It was a tale of two halves for GIANTS Netball in their Round 5 clash against Sunshine Coast Lightning on the Sunshine Coast, as a strong start turned into a tough finish, with Lightning eventually taking the win 72-61.
The team had a solid start to the game, with the defending duo of Kristiana Manu’a (GD) and Sam Poolman (GK) putting pressure on early and shooters Caitlin Bassett (GS) and Jo Harten holding their own against an equally tight defence from Lightning.
Both teams were pretty evenly matched, with each showing moments of brilliance while also having a couple of shaky plays. Each side also brought intensity from the first whistle, playing with plenty of passion in the search for crucial bonus points. GIANTS managed to take the lead at the right moment – just three seconds before the end of the quarter in fact – with an impressive goal from Harten basically on the buzzer helping them secure the bonus point.
GIANTS played with confidence in the second quarter, with Manu’a showcasing great vision in passing while working hard to back up her teammates across the midcourt and fellow defenders Poolman and Amy Parmenter (WD) getting key intercepts. Kim Green (WA), Jamie-Lee Price (C), Parmenter and Harten also added to the team’s strong play in the midcourt during the quarter. GIANTS went up by three leading into halftime and nabbed the second bonus point.
Lightning came out firing in the third, scoring seven of the first nine goals, and managed to take a good lead by the end of the quarter to steal the third bonus point.
There were two bright points of note in the third quarter of the match for GIANTS, along with plenty of key learnings that the team is sure to take away from the game. Bassett achieved the huge milestone of netting 7000 national league goals, an impressive feat for the experienced shooter.
In addition, young defender Teigan O’Shannassy made her debut during the third quarter, coming on in place of Poolman in GK. O’Shannassy made her return from a ruptured Achilles in Round 4 and her taking to the court in Round 5 demonstrates the confidence that Head Coach Julie Fitzgerald has in her ability to be a future star of the game.
While the fourth quarter was a much more even affair, the Lightning retained their momentum and continued to build ground on GIANTS, with some key calls that went their way adding to the tough spot GIANTS found themselves in. In the end, GIANTS were unable to make up the deficit and Lightning took the final bonus point and the match 72-61.
GIANTS | Q1: 17 – Q2: 16 (33) Q3: 14 (47) Q4: 14 (61)
L’TNING | Q1: 16 – Q2: 14 (30) Q3: 25 (55) Q4: 17 (72)
GIANTS | GS Caitlin Bassett, GA Jo Harten, WA Kim Green, C Jamie-Lee Price, WD Amy Parmenter, GD Kristiana Manu’a, GK Sam Poolman
LIGHTNING | GS Peace Proscovia, GA Stephanie Wood, WA Laura Scherian, C Laura Langman, WD Madeline McAuliffe, GD Karla Pretorius, GK Phumza Maweni
Positional Changes (from Champion Data):
GIANTS: 61/69 @ 88%
C Bassett: 31/36 @ 86%
J Harten: 23/26 @ 89%
K Austin: 7/7 @ 100%
LIGHTNING: 72/81 @ 90%
P Proscovia: 43/48 @ 90%
S Wood: 21/24 @ 88%
C Koenen: 8/9 @90%