Queensland Firebirds have snapped their winless streak in the 2020 Super Netball season, beating West Coast Fever 69-57 in Brisbane.
- Queensland Firebirds had four losses and a draw heading into the clash with the Fever
- The Firebirds moved from bottom place to seventh on the eight-team ladder following the win
- NSW Swifts edged Collingwood Magpies 60-58 in Saturday’s opening encounter
In Saturday’s earlier contest, NSW Swifts continued their championship defence with a titanic 60-58 victory over Collingwood Magpies.
Heading into the clash against the Fever, the Firebirds were sitting in last position on the ladder with four losses and a draw, and they were chasing their first victory in over 12 months.
They started on the back foot, however, with the Fever leading 10-4 early, as the talented Jhaniele Fowler found her range with nine goals for the Western Australian team.
But the Firebirds woke from their slumber and only trailed 16-14 at quarter-time, before they shifted gears in the second term to lead 33-25 at half-time.
Romelda Aiken added 13 of the 19 Firebirds goals in the second quarter, while the Fever were restricted to just nine.
The Fever outscored the Firebirds in the third term but the hosts held a 50-43 lead at the final change, before finishing strongly in the fourth quarter to clinch the four competition points.
Aiken scored 42 points (40 goals, one super shot) for the match and Fowler was superb for the beaten Fever with 50 points (46 goals, two super shots).
It was the Fever’s fourth loss from their past five matches and they sit in fifth place on the ladder.
The Firebird leapfrogged the Magpies as a result of the victory to move off the bottom of the ladder into seventh position.
Swifts tested by gutsy Magpies
The Swifts claimed provisional top spot on the ladder following their win over the Magpies, with round six yet to be completed.
They needed to show cool nerves late against the Magpies, having taken a 55-54 lead into the final Power Five period.
Helen Housby recorded 10-of-10 shooting for the quarter to help the Swifts clinch victory.
It was a see-sawing encounter throughout the four quarters, with the Magpies leading 28-20 at one stage during the second term, before the Swifts fought back for a 29-all scoreline at half-time.
The Swifts established a five-goal advantage during the third quarter, however the Magpies responded to lock up the score at 44-all at three-quarter time.
“Two years ago we struggled to win those really close battles,” Swifts defender Sarah Klau said after the match.
“But this year we’ve got that belief that we can finish those games off strong, which is really great.”
Sam Wallace led the scoring for the Swifts with 32 points (30 goals, one super shot) and Housby finished with 20 (12 goals, four super shots).
Shimona Nelson top-scored for the Magpies with 26 goals.