The Collingwood Magpies have put themselves back on the winner’s board, taking a 65-47 win over the Adelaide Thunderbirds at Melbourne Arena and claiming all eight available Suncorp Super Netball premiership points.
Both teams came out firing from the first centre pass making for a physical and hard-fought first few minutes, both determined to bounce back after a disappointing Round 3.
Ash Brazill was quick to prove why she’s being referred to as one of the best wing defences in the league. She applied incredible defensive pressure early, taking two big intercepts and forcing several Thunderbirds passing errors.
The Magpies were quick to capitalise on these turnovers by feeding well into a well-positioned and accurate Shimona Nelson who shot at 92% in the first term.
The Magpies took control of the first quarter going into the break with a six-goal lead, 17 to 11.
It was the Thunderbirds’ goal keeper Shamera Sterling and goal shooter Maria Folau who stood out for Adelaide in the second quarter. Sterling stuck to her fellow Jamaican Shimona Nelson like glue in the circle and Folau sank her signature long-range goals without hesitation.
The Thunderbirds struggled to open up or get any flow happening in their attack end, making it difficult for midcourters Chelsea Pitman and Hannah Petty to feed into Folau and Sasha Glasgow. This was made only more difficult by the tight Magpies defence in play by Geva Mentor and April Brandley – both applying brilliant pressure and taking critical intercepts.
The Magpies’ swift transition out of defence through the midcourt, thanks to the speed and agility of Kelsey Browne and Kim Ravaillion, was leaving the Thunderbirds looking for answers leading into half time and the Magpies managed to stretch their lead out to 11 at the main break.
The third quarter demonstrated a stark contrast between the two teams, the Magpies remained settled with no positional changes whereas the Thunderbirds continued rotate their roster, struggling to lock in the perfect combinations.
And, while the Thunderbirds battled with movement in their attack end, the Magpies continued to find Nelson alone under the post resulting in an extension of their lead at three quarter time, 47 to 35.
The last quarter saw the Magpies maintain their dominance throughout, but Shamera Sterling was a shining light for the Thunderbirds. She managed to take eight intercepts for the match to even Sharni Layton’s record for the most intercepts in a Suncorp Super Netball game, an effort that earned herself a Nissan Player of the Match nod.
Congratulations to South Australian Maisie Nankivell, who made her debut for the club coming on in the second quarter to play wing defence against Australian Diamond Kelsey Browne tonight.
Q1: Magpies 17 v Thunderbirds 11
Q2: Magpies 15 v Thunderbirds 12
Q3: Magpies 15 v Thunderbirds 12
Q4: Magpies 18 v Thunderbirds 12
Suncorp Super Netball Premiership Points
Magpies – 8
Thunderbirds – 0
Nissan Player of the Match – Shamera Sterling
Magpies shooting statistics
Shimona Nelson – 52/57 (91%)
Nat Medhurst – 13/14 (93%)
Thunderbirds shooting statistics
Sasha Glasgow – 16/21 (76%)
Maria Folau – 30/39 (77%)
Cody Lange – 1/4 (25%)
Magpies starting seven: GS – Shimona Nelson, GA – Nat Medhurst, WA – Kelsey Browne, C – Kim Ravaillion, WD – Ash Brazill, GD – April Brandley, GK – Geva Mentor
Thunderbirds starting seven: GS – Sasha Glasgow, GA – Maria Folau, WA – Chelsea Pitman, C – Hannah Petty, WD – Kate Shimmin, GD – Layla Guscoth, GK – Shamera Sterling