Firebirds finish fourth

Shearer shines but Firebirds fall to Thunderbirds in TGC

AN encouraging display by young defender Isabelle Shearer wasn’t enough to prevent the Queensland Firebirds slipping to a 50-38 loss against Adelaide Thunderbirds in the Suncorp Team Girls Cup.

Sunday’s 12-point defeat means the Firebirds finish fourth in the pre-season tournament at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena.

Shearer, who is heading into her first season as Suncorp Super Netball contracted player, faced up to Thunderbirds recruit and former Firebirds great Romelda Aiken-George from the outset of the third-place playoff.

The Rockhampton product wasn’t overawed by facing the veteran Jamaican, picking up five games and four intercepts in an eye-catching performance.

While the Firebirds were unable to haul in the defending SSN premiers despite a third-quarter rally that had the margin down to five heading into the final term, it wasn’t for a lack of trying from superstar shooter Donnell Wallam.

The Australian Diamond shot seven Suncorp Super Shots and was ably supported by goal attack Emily Moore who scored five points and notched 12 goal assists with former Thunderbird Tippah Dwan rested for Sunday’s match.

Despite the defeat, the pre-season tournament was an encouraging one for Head Coach Bec Bulley’s team after victories over the Melbourne Mavericks and West Coast Fever in the pool stage.

The Firebirds will seek revenge over the Thunderbirds when they open their 2024 SSN campaign in Adelaide on Saturday, April 13.

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