The Queensland Firebirds have broken through for their first win of the season after defeating West Coast Fever 69-57.Heading into Saturday’s contest at Nissan Arena, Queensland were anchored to the bottom of the ladder with a 0-5 record and seeking their first victory in over 12 months.
But the Firebirds once again produced their best form against the West Australians to secure their first win since defeating the Fever 68-62 in Round 13 last season.
The result also keeps Queensland’s unbeaten record against West Coast intact, having recorded six wins and one draw against them since Super Netball’s inception in 2017.
The Fever made a flying start to lead 10-4 with prolific shooter Jhaniele Fowler contributing nine goals and a deflection leading to a gain.
But the Firebirds enjoyed a purple patch as they reduced West Coast’s quarter-time advantage to 16-14 then dominated possession in the second term by forcing four general play turnovers from the Fever on their way to a 12-3 start.
Player of the Match Romelda Aiken cashed in with 13 goals as Queensland held the highest-scoring team in the league to nine goals in the second term to take a 33-25 edge into halftime.
The Fever threatened to make a run in the third quarter when Fowler poured in five consecutive goals but the home side absorbed the pressure to maintain a 50-43 lead, a late error from Olivia Lewis handing Aiken a goal on the siren.
A 6-3 opening to the fourth quarter eliminated any concerns about a late Firebirds fade-out, goaler Tippah Dwan kicking off the celebrations with a long two-point goal as the lead blew out to 14 points.
Captain Courtney Bruce (11 deflections, six gains, four intercepts) was a tower of strength, Fowler finished with 48 goals and Kaylia Stanton added three super shots in the fourth quarter but it was not enough to prevent West Coast’s fourth loss in five games.
The Fever will open Tuesday night’s double-header at Nissan Arena against Collingwood Magpies, followed by the Firebirds taking on the GIANTS.
Q1: Fever 16 v Firebirds 14
Q2: Fever 9 v Firebirds 19
Q3: Fever 18 v Firebirds 17
Q4: Fever 16 v Firebirds 20
Nissan Player of The Match – Romelda Aiken (Queensland Firebirds)
Fever shooting statistics
Jhaniele Fowler: Total points – 50 G1 – 46/48 (96%) G2 – 2/3 (67%)
Alice Teague-Neeld: Total points – 1 G1 – 1/3 (33%) G2 – 0/2 (0%)
Kaylia Stanton: Total points – 6 G1- 0/1 (0%) G2 – 3/6 (50%)
Firebirds shooting statistics
Romelda Aiken: Total points – 42 G1 – 40/47 (85%) G2 -1/2 (50%)
Tippah Dwan: Total points – 23 G1 – 17/19 (90%) G2 – 3/5 (60%)
Ine-Mari Venter: Total points – 3 G1 – 1/3 (33%) G2 – 1/5 (20%)
Fever starting seven: GS – Jhaniele Fowler GA – Alice Teague-Neeld WA – Verity Charles C – Jess Anstiss WD – Stacey Francis GD – Sunday Aryang GK – Courtney Bruce
Firebirds starting seven: GS – Romelda Aiken GA – Tippah Dwan WA – Jemma Mi Mi C – Mahalia Cassidy WD – Gabi Simpson GD – Kim Jenner GK – Tara Hinchliffe