The Magpies have shown why they have been a favourite heading into the 2019 Suncorp Super Netball Season after a strong win over the Sunshine Coast Lightning, 57 to 43, in round 1.
Suncorp Super Netball
The match started with very tight defensive pressure from both teams with some early touches by both goal keepers, Phumza Maweni for Lightning and Magpies’ Geva Mentor, who was facing her old team for the first official time.
It was clear from the outset that Magpies new recruit Shimona Nelson is going to be a pillar of strength for the team with her incredible vertical leap and reach. Nelson has made her way to the Magpies nest from the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
Magpies Netball’s Kelsey Browne also had a strong start against her old side, feeding well into the circle and making her signature explosive centre pass drives, helping the Magpies finish the first quarter ahead of the Lightning 15 to 10.
Sunshine Coast Lightning up-and-comer Cara Koenen looked right at home in the goal circle replacing the departed Caitlin Bassett. Koenen shot accurately right throughout the first half, sinking 13 from 14 alongside fellow shooter Steph Wood who shot 10 from 12, keeping the Lightning within reach.
It was a battle of the mid-court between Lightning captain Laura Langman and Kim Ravaillion who worked tirelessly down the middle and both took strong intercepts at key moments in the second quarter.
The final two minutes of the second quarter were fiercely contested with the Sunshine Coast Lightning going on to win the quarter but continue to trail the Magpies at the main break, 23 to 27.
Teams remained unchanged heading into the second half and the third quarter involved a lot of up and back. Inaccuracy cost the Magpies but defenders April Brandley and Mentor ensured the Lightning didn’t capitalise.
Lightning recruit Peace Proscovia was brought on at goal shooter late in the third to make her official debut for the club, alongside Jacqui Russell who came on at wing attack. The Magpies kept the Lightning at bay to win the quarter and stretch their lead out to six, 39 to 33.
Magpies Netball came out firing in the last thanks to a swift moving attack end, running away with the lead and leaving the Lightning looking for answers.
The Magpies won the final quarter 18 to 10, claiming three quarters for the match and, as a result, three bonus Suncorp Super Netball premiership points, taking their total to seven for the match.
Q1: Magpies 15 v Lightning 10
Q2: Magpies 12 v Lightning 13
Q3: Magpies 12 v Lightning 10
Q4: Magpies 18 v Lightning 10
Suncorp Super Netball Premiership Points
Magpies – 7
Lightning – 1
Magpies shooting statistics
Shimona Nelson: 46/54 (85%)
Nat Medhurst: 11/15 (73%)
Lightning shooting statistics
Cara Koenen: 18/21 (86%)
Steph Wood: 15/22 (68%)
Peace Proscovia: 10/11 (91%)
Magpies starting seven:
GS – Shimona Nelson, GA – Nat Medhurst, WA – Kelsey Browne, C – Kim Ravaillion, WD, Ash Brazill, GD – April Brandley, GK – Geva Mentor
Lightning starting seven:
GS – Cara Koenen, GA – Steph Wood, WA – Laura Scherian, C – Laura Langman, WD – Maddy McAuliffe, GD – Karla Pretorius, GK – Phumza Maweni