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The Netball Show with Flyhawk

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R4: Magpies Vs Lightning

Lightning for first win of the season.

The Collingwood Magpies are on the board in 2022 following a 74-64 win over the Sunshine Coast Lightning at John Cain Arena.

COVID-hit Collingwood have defied the last-minute withdrawal of two key shooters to climb off the bottom of the Super Netball ladder by defeating a fast-finishing Sunshine Coast Lightning 74-64 at John Cain Arena.

The Magpies entered Wednesday’s clash winless and down on firepower with Sophie Garbin and Gabbie Sinclair both forced out after contracting COVID-19.

But Collingwood cleared the hurdles placed in front of them in style, getting their season back on track and handballing bottom place to the Lightning.

Kelsey Browne’s creativity and connectivity from wing attack was critical to the drought-breaking win, setting up numerous gilt-edged opportunities for Shimona Nelson (57 goals) and Nyah Allen.

“After last week (a 75-64 away loss to the NSW Swifts), everyone was really gritting their teeth trying to get that win,” Browne said.

“It just feels so surreal today that we’ve got it.

“Unfortunately we didn’t have two of our players here – that was for them (Garbin and Sinclair).

“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

“We know we’ve got a really good foundation there – we just needed to string it together for 60 minutes.”

Nelson’s starring role came as no surprise, while Allen made a neat impression, particularly early, after making the leap from training partner to circle starter in Garbin and Sinclair’s absence.

After trailing 11-7 early, Collingwood got on a roll, moving ahead 20-17 quarter-time and a 39-25 at half-time on the back of a commanding 19-8 second term.

The visitors struggled to contain Browne’s influence, while the Pies defence, led by co-captain Ash Brazill and Jacqui Newton, gave nothing away as they went on a 7-0 run midway through the quarter amid an overall 14-2 blitz.

The Lightning looked fatigued and outmatched, but to their credit, they refused to wilt.

They matched Collingwood in the third stanza and outscored them in the fourth thanks chiefly to a flurry of super-shots from Reilley Batcheldor, substituted in for just that purpose.

The Lightning ate into the deficit to recover some respectability but it was never going to be enough for Collingwood to leapfrog past them and the Giants into sixth spot.

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