The Collingwood Magpies have beaten the Queensland Firebirds 63 goals to 50, leaping GIANTS Netball and forcing their way into the top four before the Netball World Cup break.
Suncorp Super Netball
With the GIANTS going down to the Vixens earlier in the round, there was a lot riding on this game for the Magpies who came into Round 9 trailing the fourth place GIANTS by just three points.
And they jumped on to the court like a team possessed, lead by their captain Geva Mentor who was dominant in the opening quarter, bringing up her 100thSuncorp Super Netball interception with her second of three for the game.
The Magpies went into the quarter time break with a handy five goal lead, thanks to some great long-range shooting by Nissan Player of the Match Nat Medhurst and brilliant ball movement by Kelsey Browne through the middle.
The game tightened up in the second quarter as the Firebirds cleaned up their transition play, evening the score early and putting the pressure back on the home team.
The momentum seesawed all the way to the half time whistle, and Firebirds coach Rosalee Jencke did everything she could to peg back the Magpies lead and win a first half bonus point, including putting star shooter Romelda Aiken into goalkeeper against Shimona Nelson.
Scoring flowed for both teams to start the third quarter and the crowd was loving the scintillating netball on display.
After starting the second half trailing by four goals, the Firebirds worked tirelessly to drag that lead back to just one goal midway through the quarter.
But the Magpies kept their cool and pounced on the tiring Firebirds, extending their lead to six going into the last term.
The Magpies put the foot down to start the final quarter, stretching their lead to nine thanks to some breathtaking offensive play between Medhurst and Nelson and some stifling midcourt defence from the unstoppable Ash Brazill and Kim Ravaillion.
The Firebirds had their opportunities throughout the fourth but struggled to break through the stout Magpies defence, who secured the win along with three precious bonus points and fourth position on the ladder.
The league will now break for the Netball World Cup which will take place in Liverpool from July 12 to 21.
The Firebirds will host their Queensland state rival Sunshine Coast Lightning when the league returns on July 27, while the Magpies will look to extend their ladder lead over the GIANTS on the July 28.
Q1: Magpies 15 v Firebirds 10
Q2: Magpies 14 v Firebirds 15
Q3: Magpies 16 v Firebirds 14
Q4: Magpies 18 v Firebirds 11
Suncorp Super Netball Premiership Points
Magpies – 7
Firebirds – 1
Nissan Player of The Match – Nat Medhurst (Magpies)
Magpies shooting statistics – 51/63 (93%)
Shimona Nelson – 45/50 (90%)
Nat Medhurst – 18/18 (100%)
Magpies starting seven: GS – Shimona Nelson, GA – Nat Medhurst, WA – Kelsey Browne, C – Kimiora Poi, WD – Ash Brazill, GD – April Brandley, GK – Geva Mentor