The Collingwood Magpies are on the board in 2022 following a 74-64 win over the Sunshine Coast Lightning at John Cain Arena.
COVID-hit Collingwood have defied the last-minute withdrawal of two key shooters to climb off the bottom of the Super Netball ladder, defeating a fast-finishing Sunshine Coast Lightning 74-64 at John Cain Arena.
The Magpies entered Wednesday's clash winless and down on firepower with Sophie Garbin and Gabby Sinclair both forced out after testing positive to COVID-19.
But Collingwood cleared the hurdles placed in front of them in style, getting their season back on track and handballing bottom place to the Lightning.
Kelsey Browne's creativity and connectivity from wing attack was critical to the drought-breaking win, setting up numerous gilt-edged opportunities for Shimona Nelson (57 goals) and Nyah Allen (14 goals, three super shots).
"After last week, everyone was really gritting their teeth trying to get that win," Browne said.
"It just feels so surreal today that we've got it.
"Unfortunately we didn't have two of our players here - that was for them (Garbin and Sinclair).
"We don't need to reinvent the wheel.
"We know we've got a really good foundation there - we just needed to string it together for 60 minutes."
Nelson's starring role came as no surprise, while Allen made a neat impression, particularly early, after making the leap from training partner to circle starter in Garbin and Sinclair's absence.
After trailing 11-7 early, Collingwood got on a roll, moving ahead 20-17 at quarter-time and 39-25 at half-time on the back of a commanding 19-8 second term.
The visitors struggled to contain Browne's influence, while the Pies defence, led by co-captain Ash Brazill and Jacqui Newton, gave nothing away as they went on a 7-0 run midway through the quarter amid an overall 14-2 blitz.
The Lightning looked fatigued and outmatched, but to their credit, they refused to wilt.
They matched Collingwood in the third stanza and outscored them in the fourth thanks chiefly to a flurry of super-shots from Reilley Batcheldor, substituted in for just that purpose.
The Lightning ate into the deficit to recover some respectability but it was never going to be enough as Collingwood leaped past them and the Giants into sixth spot.
Q1: Magpies 20 v Lightning 17
Q2: Magpies 39 v Lightning 24
Q3: Magpies 56 v Lightning 42
Q4: Magpies 74 v Lightning 64
Player of the Match: Kelsey Browne (Magpies)
Magpies Shooting Statistics:
Shimona Nelson: 57/61 - 93%, G1: 57/61, G2: 0/0, Total Points: 57
Nyah Allen: 14/19 - 74%, G1: 11/13, G2 3/6, Total points: 17
Lightning Shooting Statistics:
Cara Koenen: 32/33 - 97%, G1: 32/33, G2: 0/0, Total Points: 32
Steph Wood: 15/24 - 62%, G1: 11/15, G2: 4/9, Total Points: 19
Reilley Batcheldor: 9/12 - 75%, G1: 5/5, G2: 4/7, Total Points: 11
Magpies Starting Seven: GS: Shimona Nelson, GA: Nyah Allen, WA: Kelsey Browne, C: Molly Jovic, WD: Ash Brazill (C), GD: Jodi-Ann Ward, GK: Geva Mentor (C)
Lightning Starting Seven: GS: Cara Koenen, GA: Steph Wood, WA: Laura Scherian, C: Maddie Hinchliffe, WD: Mahalia Cassidy, GD: Tara Hinchliffe, GK: Kadie-Ann Dehaney