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The Netball Show with Flyhawk

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SSN R3: T’Birds V Lightning

Rookie lands Lightning’s first win of 2022.

Rookie Reilley Batcheldor has sunk a two-point super shot in the dying minutes to help deliver an emotional milestone win for Sunshine Coast Lightning teammate Laura Scherian against the Adelaide Thunderbirds

Scherian fought back tears after Sunday’s 52-51 Super Netball nail-biter at Netball SA Stadium. The match provided her with a memorable 100th national league game and, more importantly, gave the Sunshine Coast Lightning their first win for the season.

“It’s really what we needed, everyone’s been working so hard,” said Scherian, who was named player of the match after fighting off a cramp to finish with 31 feeds and a miserly three turnovers.

“We got ball today and we used it.”

When virtually nothing separated the two teams with five minutes to go, the contest was set to be decided by super shots.

Lightning captain Steph Wood, back in the side after missing last week with COVID-19, and the Adelaide Thunderbirds’ Tippah Dwan traded super shots to set up a thrilling climax.

Then Lightning coach Kylee Byrne turned to 20-year-old Batcheldor to make an impact off the bench and she confidently sank a long-range goal with less than three minutes remaining to give her side what was ultimately the match-winning shot.

Batcheldor missed with another super shot but there was not enough time for the hosts to transition to the other end to land a final blow.

The Lightning trailed Adelaide 20-17 in gains but their improved efficiency in winning ball finally delivered a win for the Queenslanders.

Cara Koenen gracefully exited the court to give Batcheldor her moment but Koenen was one of the keys in the first half on her way to 34 goals.

Defenders Latanya Wilson and Shamera Sterling pocketed a combined 12 gains but could not do enough in the closing seconds to haul the Thunderbirds home.

The Thunderbirds’ connections that were so seamless over the first two rounds faced a stern test from the desperate Lightning.

Stars Maisie Nankivell, Lenize Potgieter and Sterling all spent time on the interchange bench as coach Tanya Obst searched for the right mix to stand up to the Queenslanders.

Lightning vice-captain Scherian was a handful for Adelaide’s Hannah Petty and shooter Koenen provided a reliable target for the visitors who edged out to a two-goal halftime lead.

Sterling’s return to the court coincided with a significant turning point.

Her long arms and perfect timing worried the Lightning out of possession during the third term, with Sterling’s two third-quarter gains enough to help the Thunderbirds creep to a handy lead.

Match Report and stats: Suncorp Super Netball

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