SSN R2: T’Birds Vs Giants
Thunderbirds see off short-handed GIANTS.
The Adelaide Thunderbirds have taken care of business with a 56-43 win against an understaffed GIANTS side at Netball SA Stadium to close out Round 2.
Shamera Sterling’s masterclass in defence has steered the Adelaide Thunderbirds to a hard-fought 56-43 win over the coronavirus-ravaged GIANTS Netball at Netball SA Stadium.
It took more than two quarters for the Thunderbirds to finally shake off a stiff challenge from the depleted Giants, who endured a torrid build-up to Sunday’s clash.
The Giants, contentiously, were twice denied permission to reschedule the fixture after six players – including Diamonds trio Jamie-Lee Price, Sophie Dwyer and Amy Parmenter – were unavailable due to COVID-19 protocols, leaving the team decimated.
Amy Sligar, back from isolation for her first game of the season, starred for the visitors who were given no chance, but surprisingly took it to Adelaide early, moving ahead 15-13 at quarter-time.
A 7-0 scoring run by the Thunderbirds early in the second period gave the lead and momentum back to the home side but some late super-shot success saw the Giants tie the match at 25-apiece at half-time.
The Giants held a slender one-goal buffer early in the third and were dreaming of something special, before their defence began breaking down, fatigue predictably crept in and Sterling ran riot.
Jamaican Sterling (14 gains, seven rebounds, five intercepts, five deflections) was unstoppable in her goal keeping post and Elle McDonald was influential with her workrate at wing attack as Adelaide finally found separation, moving ahead 40-34 at three-quarter-time.
“The fact that the Giants were at a disadvantage this week, we used that to our advantage,” Sterling said.
“We don’t take any team lightly.
“(Coach) Tania (Obst) reminded us that the Giants had three of their contracted players not playing and to use that as an advantage.
“If the Giants had won, it would have been pretty poor.”
Former Thunderbirds captain and club champion Chelsea Pitman, a West Coast Fever training partner turned Giants’ COVID contingency fill-in, took to her old home court late in the third stanza for her first Super Netball appearance since 2020, but she was unable to turn the tide.
Sterling just got better as the match progressed, McDonald and centre Maisie Nankivell continued to impress and the Giants’ gallant run fell short.