Fever push Firebirds in Gabi’s 150th
Despite a strong performance from Fever – the game ended in a 73-71 loss against Fever.
A FAST-finishing Queensland Firebirds narrowly missed out on delivering Gabi Simpson the perfect result in the midcourt legend’s 150th appearance, falling by just two goals in a Suncorp Super Netball thriller against the West Coast Fever.
With her teammates – and thousands of fans in the stands – donning Gabi’s iconic yellow ribbon at Nissan Arena, the Firebirds went down 73-71 after a stunning second-half comeback just fell short.
Trailing by 13 points at halftime, the introduction of dynamic Macy Gardner transformed the contest as the Firebirds roared back into the match.
A 21-15 win in the third quarter meant the Fever’s lead was just seven points heading into the final turn.
Donnell Wallam then went Suncorp Super Shot crazy in the final quarter, nailing four two-pointers but time just run out on the Firebirds as the Fever hung on to secure the win.
Wallam ended the game with seven Suncorp Super Shots from 10 attempts as she scored 62 points for the Firebirds – pipping Fever superstar Jhaniele Fowler in the battle of the goal-shooters with the Jamaican scoring 60 goals from 61 attempts.
Gardner finished with 15 goal assists and 18 feeds in her game-changing display off the bench.
The Firebirds found themselves in early strife with the Fever fast out of the blocks on their way to a 25-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Accurate shooting by Fowler and support from her attacking partner Sasha Glasgow (11 points including three Suncorp Super Shots) extended that lead to 43-30 at the main break.
Firebirds Head Coach Bec Bulley turned to her bench at the break, introducing Gardner and Emily Moore and it worked a treat with the Queenslanders coming out firing from the dressing rooms.
Kim Ravaillion, playing half the game at wing defence, ended with 66 Nissan NetPoints while Lara Dunkley racked up 31 centre pass receives, 15 feeds and 13 goal assists in a solid four-quarter effort.
The Firebirds return to Nissan Arena on Sunday, 23 April for an ANZAC Round fixture against Giants Netball.