Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard's record scoring leads West Coast Fever to victory over NSW Swifts

By Sports Desk June 16, 2024

West Coast Fever star Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard delivered a record-breaking performance on Sunday, scoring 73 goals to lead her team to a 78-71 victory over the New South Wales Swifts in the Suncorp Super Netball League.

The win, witnessed by a home and away record crowd of 11,267, secured Fever's second spot on the Super Netball table.

The match came on the heels of a tumultuous week for the Swifts, who announced the release of Trinidadian star Samantha Wallace-Joseph on Friday due to "behavior concerns." The loss of Wallace-Joseph, a key player for the Swifts, left the team struggling to adjust their gameplay and maintain cohesion on the court.

Despite the Swifts' impressive tally of 18 supershots to Fever’s one, they were outplayed from the beginning.

 Swifts co-captain Maddy Proud admitted the controversy surrounding Wallace-Joseph had taken a toll on the team. "While it has only come out this week, we have had to deal with it for probably a month. There was a little bit of a relief in a way that all that speculation now has a conclusion," she said following the loss. "It would be silly to say that it hasn’t affected the group. We are a very tight-knit group and we had played with Sammy for eight years. We won two premierships with her and have been through a lot."

The Swifts, still adjusting to playing without a holding shooter like Wallace-Joseph, faced early challenges in feeding a moving circle. This led to moments of confusion between Helen Housby and youngster Sophie Fawns, resulting in both players moving into the same space.

The Fever capitalized on the Swifts' ball-handling errors in the second term, extending their lead to 14 points heading into the third term's power five. Although Fawns managed a flurry of supershots, hitting 11 out of 14 two-point goals, it wasn't enough to close the gap.

Fowler-Nembhard's exceptional aerial prowess earned her MVP honours for the match. Her performance not only secured a vital win for the Fever but also highlighted her as a continued formidable force in the league.

The Fever's victory reinforces their strong position in the league, while the Swifts will need to regroup and adapt quickly to their new team dynamics as they navigate the rest of the season without Wallace-Joseph.

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    In a thrilling encounter at John Cain Arena, the West Coast Fever edged out the Melbourne Vixens with a 68-67 victory, setting up a three-way tie atop the Suncorp Super Netball. This dramatic win, spearheaded by Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard, has the Fever, Adelaide Thunderbirds, and Melbourne Vixens all tied in the standings heading into the final week of the regular season.

    Fowler-Nembhard, the highest-rated player on the court, was exceptional, scoring 60 of her 61 attempts and keeping her cool in the dying moments to secure the victory. "My team came out here with one goal in mind and that was to fight really hard. Super proud of how we played in defence through to attack,” she said. “We want a top-two finish because we’ve been fighting so hard throughout the season. It would mean a lot for us. That’s what we’re gunning for.”

    The Fever were impressive in their efficiency, making 74 shots from 76 feeds. Alice Teague-Neeld was outstanding with 25 goal assists and 29 feeds, combining strongly with centre Jess Anstiss, whose defensive efforts were crucial. Wing defence Sunday Aryang also stood out with a match-high three intercepts, matching the total intercepts of the entire Vixens side.

    Despite several late super shot attempts by the Vixens, the Fever's solid defence, particularly from Fran Williams and Kadie-Ann Dehaney, proved too much. The Vixens' shooting pair, Sophie Garbin and Kiera Austin, struggled under the pressure, committing five turnovers each, leading to a second straight defeat for the Vixens against top contenders.

    Meanwhile, the Adelaide Thunderbirds secured a decisive 60-48 victory over the NSW Swifts in Sydney, propelling them to the top of the Super Netball ladder. The Swifts, who have now lost seven consecutive matches, put up a strong fight but could not overcome the Thunderbirds' relentless defence.

    Shamera Sterling-Humphrey, named MVP, was a defensive powerhouse, blocking multiple attempts and restricting the Swifts to just 62 per cent shooting accuracy early on. Despite some strong individual performances, including Romelda Aiken-George’s 43/46 scoring, the Swifts could not match the Thunderbirds' intensity.

    Looking ahead, the final round of the regular season promises high stakes as teams jostle for the top two spots, which guarantees a crucial finals double chance. The Vixens will face the Queensland Firebirds in Brisbane, while the Fever will host the Melbourne Mavericks. All eyes will then turn to the Adelaide Thunderbirds, who will take on the Sunshine Coast Lightning at home, to determine the final ladder positions.

  • Jok tops Jamaican counterpart Ward as Mavericks edge GIANTS to move into top four Jok tops Jamaican counterpart Ward as Mavericks edge GIANTS to move into top four

    Jamaican Shimona Jok was again on song for Melbourne Mavericks, as they edged GIANTS 55-54 in a nail-biting Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) League affair in Sydney on Saturday.

    Not only did the win propel Mavericks into the top four, but it also marked an historic feat as it was their first time securing back-to-back victories in the First Nations Round opener. 

    Jok, with 34 goals from 35 attempts, and Eleanor Cardwell, with 21 goals from 24 attempts, got the job done for the Mavericks, while Jo Harten (14 goals from 18 attempts), Sophie Dwyer (24 goals from 28 attempts) and Matisse Letherbarrow (16 goals from 16 attempts) fought gallantly for GIANTS, the team of another Jamaican Jodi-Ann Ward.

    The Mavericks, who pulled off a thrilling 72-71 last-minute win over the Sunshine Coast Lightning in Hobart last week, somewhat repeated the feat on this occasion as it was a crucial intercept from Player of the Match Kim Jenner that paved the way for Cardwell to score the winning goal in the final minute.

    Earlier, the GIANTS got off to a brisk start, scoring three unanswered goals, before the Mavericks responded. In fact, it was end-to-end action for much of the first quarter before a pair of late goals pushed the Mavericks ahead 14-12.

    It was another action-packed second quarter, as the GIANTS lifted their intensity and again scored the first three goals. Jodi-Ann Ward made a crucial intercept, which was converted, but a misplaced pass allowed the Mavericks to regain possession.

    Melbourne Mavericks and GIANTS players tussle for possession.

    Despite being dominant in possession, the Mavericks conversion rate was low. They struggled to advance the ball down the court efficiently, often taking wide drives and long passes, instead of tightening up their play and improve their second-phase transitions.

    That, along with the fact that both teams also demonstrated strong defensive efforts, saw the score locked at 25-25 at the half-time interval.

    The Mavericks tried to explode at the top of the third quarter, but the GIANTS applied pressure to keep their opponents in check. However, the game finally opened up for the Mavericks with five minutes remaining at the backend of the quarter, as they opened up a five-goal lead at 44-39 heading into the final quarter.

    The GIANTS needed to make an early impact to close the deficit, and they did just that with two unanswered goals.

    Ward, who had been dominant throughout, grabbed a defensive rebound and sent the ball down the court. However, the GIANTS struggled with composure, allowing the Mavericks to regain possession.

    With the scores locked at 51-51 heading into the Power Five, a missed shot by Cardwell saw Ward again recover the rebound, but the GIANTS again failed to capitalise as the Mavericks won back possession.

    Letherbarrow then delivered a crucial Super Shot, putting the GIANTS ahead with 90 seconds left, but Cardwell responded with a Super Shot of her own, leveling the score once more.

    With the GIANTS looking to score the winning goal, Jenner made a critical intercept, and the Mavericks scored the winning goal to keep their final hopes alive.

  • Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard leads West Coast Fever to come-from-behind victory over Giants Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard leads West Coast Fever to come-from-behind victory over Giants

    Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard delivered another outstanding performance, scoring 55 of 59 attempts, as the West Coast Fever rebounded from a mid-season slump with a come-from-behind 68-65 win over the Giants in Perth on Sunday.

    The victory keeps the Fever within striking distance of the top two in the Super Netball standings, crucial for securing a double chance in the finals. Conversely, the loss dashes the Giants' finals hopes, leaving them anchored at the bottom of the ladder.

    The Giants, despite their lowly position, led for more than half the match and were particularly effective during the supershot period. Giants' coach Julie Fitzgerald lamented a lack of confidence that cost them dearly, especially after scoring just nine goals in a disastrous third term.

    "I felt for most of the game we played really, really well, but we had a patch where we let it go. We won two quarters, drew one, and still came away without the points," Fitzgerald said. "We come out and really attack the game, but when a couple of things go wrong, we lose a little bit of confidence."

    The Fever struggled to contain the dynamic duo of Giants’ captain Jo Harten and Sophie Dwyer. Harten scored 35 of 39 attempts, including seven supershots, while Dwyer added 19 from 23 attempts, with four supershots. In contrast, the Fever managed just one supershot at a dismal 12 percent, forcing them to rely on their standard one-point game to stay in contention.

    Down by eight points at halftime, Fever coach Dan Ryan made strategic changes that ignited the home crowd, helping the team to complete an 11-point turnaround and take the lead. The final quarter saw both teams scrambling for control of the ball, with Fever’s Kadie-Ann Dehaney narrowly avoiding a send-off after a late challenge on Sam Winders.

    Despite the Giants’ supershot prowess, they could not close the gap, and the Fever hung on for a nail-biting win. Fowler-Nembhard was instrumental, top-scoring with 55 goals from 59 attempts. Fever’s Fran Williams also shone, delivering a stellar performance in front of her family, who had traveled from England to watch her play.

    Alice Teague-Neeld was named MVP, contributing 36 goal assists and two pickups. Jamie-Lee Price dominated at center for the Giants, but it wasn’t enough to secure the win.

    The Fever’s victory reasserts their position as strong contenders for the Super Netball finals, while the Giants will need to regroup and plan for the next season.





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