Suncorp Super Netball club, the New South Wales Swifts, issued a statement on Tuesday thanking Jamaican goal-shooter Romelda Aiken-George for her contributions to the club during the 2023 season.

After 14 successful seasons with the Queensland Firebirds which included three titles, Aiken-George joined the Swifts for the 2023 season as a replacement for injured goal-shooter Sam Wallace.

The Jamaican was instrumental as the Swifts finished the season as runners-up to the Adelaide Thunderbirds, losing the grand final by just two points (62-64).

“The Swifts would like to thank Romelda Aiken-George and her family for their amazing contribution to our Club in 2023,” the statement began.

It continued, “Once a respected rival, Romelda came to us as one of the most celebrated players in our game and departs with her reputation even more enhanced. What a ride it was.”

Aiken-George has signed with the Thunderbirds for the 2024 season.

“We wish her all the best for the next chapter in Adelaide and look forward to welcoming her back to Ken Rosewall Arena in the future,” the statement concluded.

 

After a fairly decent showing on day one action, Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls will be hoping to return to winning ways on the second and decisive day of the Fast5 Netball World Series, as they push for a medal in Christchurch, New Zealand on Saturday.

The Jamaicans, who defeated Australia 38-36 and Malawi 41-37 courtesy of some classy long-range shooting from goal-attack Gezelle Allison, failed to go unbeaten on the day, after being hammered by South Africa in a 17-33 loss.

Still, they remain on course for a spot in the medal round with only New Zealand, Australia and England –all of whom also had two wins and a loss –ahead of them on goal difference.

With that in mind, Shawn Murdock, is cautiously optimistic that the Sunshine Girls will achieve the feat, though they are scheduled to face two tough opponents in New Zealand and England.

“As always when we face England and New Zealand it’s never an easy encounter.  The English showed some fight yesterday and they are perhaps our biggest rivals internationally over the years; New Zealand are playing at home and are still smarting from their World Cup performance.

“So I expect the home crowd and their hurt from their World Cup campaign to be major factors for them.  So we just have to control the controllable from our end and ensure we are scoring goals consistently and our defenders are winning balls to provide more opportunities for us,” Murdock told SportsMax.TV.

“As you know, five doesn’t go in three, so it’s game on for a place in the medal matches. Still a major mountain to climb as five of the six teams are all in a position to still make the gold medal match. Only two can make it though, and so I expect all the teams to come battling hard today,” he added.

Jamaica’s day one performance already represents a significant step up from last year’s outing when they failed to win a single game. For that, Murdock, who is co-coaching with Nicole Aikin-Pinnock, expressed pleasure with the team’s display on Friday’s opening day.

“We are pleased with the performance of the ladies. We are from a country that loves winning so we were disappointed we never got three victories yesterday because that would have placed us in prime position heading into the two other matches today. We, however, are proud of how the ladies have performed so far,” he said.

Much like she did against the Australian Diamonds, Allison again scored a last-ditched six-pointer, to lift the Jamaicans over Malawi, in a contest where their East African counterparts lead for most of the way.

Sloppy ball handling by the Jamaicans, who led the first quarter 12-6, allowed Malawi to assert their authority from the second stanza onward.

It wasn’t until the backend of the third quarter that they started a rally and with a mere two points separating the teams in the closing stages of the fourth, Allison came up trumps with another big six-pointer in the powerplay seconds to end with 24 goals.

Captain and veteran goal-shooter Romelda Aiken-George scored 13 goals from 12 attempts, while Amanda Pinkney and Rhea Dixon both scored two goals.

However, they failed to repeat the heroics of their two earlier wins, as their shooting returns ran cold against a plucky South African team that burst their bubble.

Despite that, Murdock and his Sunshine Girls know a win over England and, or New Zealand would all put them in the final two.

“The mood heading into day two action is very positive. Of course there was a level of sadness from the ladies not being able to secure all three wins last evening, but we’ve placed that loss and yesterday behind us. 

“It’s a new day, all teams start again, so we are focusing on trying to replicate or do better than how we performed in our first match yesterday. The game is about scoring goals, and so we’ve done what we can to ensure our shooters and the overall team got enough recovery to face the day ahead,” the coach shared.

Action is scheduled for 5:45pm Jamaica time.

Live coverage will be on SportsMax and SportsMax 2

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls, through a superb display of long-range shooting by Gezelle Allison, rallied to defeat defending champions Australia 38-36 in their opening contest at the Fast5 World Netball Series in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday.

The Jamaicans were slow into rhythm and made a number of unforced errors which saw them trailing the Diamonds in the first three quarters.

They were three goals down at 10-7 at the end of the opening quarter and a poor second quarter display in mid-court and in the goal circle, resulted in the Sunshine Girls slipping even further behind, 11 goals down 25-14 at half-time.

However, the started their rally with a much better showing at the backend of the third quarter, which ended with Allison sinking a six-pointer in the PowerPlay to bring the Sunshine Girls within five at 32-27 heading into the decisive quarter.

The Jamaicans, captained by Romelda Aiken-George, who is still working her way back into form, failed to maintain that momentum at the top of the fourth and the Diamonds capitalised, as they again gradually widened the gap.

But a few interceptions midway the quarter and another timely six-pointer by Allison in the PowerPlay seconds, propelled the Sunshine Girls ahead of their opponents for the win.

Allison, who recently returned from maternity break, was overwhelmed with her Player of the Game honours.

“I am very pleased, it is my first international player of the match award, so I am very happy. I used to shoot a lot of long-range effort in the past, but I fell back a bit and with this format of the game encouraging the long-range shots, coach said I should go out and shoot and that’s what I did,” Allison said shortly after the win.

The Jamaicans will next face Malawi at 9:30pm Jamaica time, before closing day one action against South Africa at 12:45am.

Live coverage is on SportsMax and SportsMax 2.

Crystal Plummer had a stellar maiden Vitality Netball World Cup appearance earlier this year, as her performances in South Africa assisted Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls to end a 16-year medal drought when they claimed bronze.

Now back on the international assignment for a second Fast5 Netball World Series appearance, Plummer knows it is another opportunity for her to make a mark on the big stage with hopes that an efficient execution, both individually and collectively as a team, will propel them to another medal.

Plummer, 21, possesses incredible physical prowess and the intensity that she paraded at the World Cup is testament to the demands she puts on herself to always perform at her best.

It is that stubborn determination, coupled with an unwavering desire to succeed, that place her among a number of dangerous young prospects that will grace the court at the fast-paced, two-day tournament in Christchurch, New Zealand, and she is definitely out to prove that much.

“Honestly, I am excited and looking forward to the challenge. For me it is another opportunity to show what I can do because I am always looking to do better every chance I get. It’s about doing my best and having fun at the same time, but still focused on the goal head,” Plummer told SportsMax.TV. 

“Unlike last year when I struggled to get acclimatised, this year, I am both mentally and physically ready and I am very motivated and just looking forward to doing my utmost best to execute according to the team's game plans," she added.

Should the now Nicole Aiken-Pinnock and Shawn Murdock-coached Sunshine Girls achieve the medal feat, it would represent a significant improvement on last year’s display when they placed at the foot of the six-team ladder without a win. It would also be the country’s fourth Fast5 medal and first since 2018.

But that is easier said than done, as Australia, England, Malawi, South Africa and seven-time champions New Zealand, are all formidable opponents, who will take some amount of beating.

“It’s always challenging, but the entire team is up for the challenge and we will be leaving it all on court as we hope to come away with a medal. I have a saying ‘work hard and win easy’, so again, I am ready for the excitement of Fast5. My aim is to be one of the standout players for this year’s competition and to do that I will need to be consistent in how I play to get the job done,” Plummer declared.

The wing defence, who has been a staple in the Sunshine Girls team since making her debut at the Americas qualifiers on home soil last year, was also a part of the historic Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games winning team.

Having grasped significant lessons from those, and in particular, the World Cup outing, Plummer said she has benefitted from self-preparation, as she is well aware that there is always room for improvements.

“Preparation will never be easy, but I am committed to doing what I have to, to achieve my goals and that included working on my confidence and my passes. So, as it is now, I am refuelled for this mission because each time I get to showcase my skill against world class players, it is basically one of my goals crossed off the list,” the cheerful player ended.

Live coverage is on SportsMax and SportsMax 2, starting this evening at 6:00pm Jamaica time, while coverage on Saturday’s second day is slated for 5:45pm Jamaica time.

Jamaica squad: Romelda Aiken-George (captain), Adean Thomas (vice-captain), Gezelle Allison, Theresa Beckford, Rhea Dixon, Abbeygail Linton, Amanda Pinkney, Crystal Plummer, Kimone Shaw, and Abigale Sutherland.

A number of Caribbean players are now left in wait-and-see mode, as they could be affected by an ongoing pay dispute in the Australian Super Netball League.

Players such as Jamaica’s Jhaniele Fowler, Romelda Aiken-George, Shamera Sterling, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Samantha Wallace, are among those who will be watching with bated breaths, after Australia Netball Players’ Association rejected the latest offer from Netball Australia and the eight Super Netball League clubs.

Officials from Netball Australia and the clubs expressed disappointment at the ANPA’s dismissal of the offer that they described as a “ground-breaking” collective player agreement.

However, the ANPA in its response said, “the players believe they’ve bent over backwards” in a bid to reach an agreement, and they are now appealing for mediation “to achieve meaningful and fair progress.”

Netball Australia on Monday stated that an offer was made to improve its investment by AUS $1.275 million – a 20 per cent increase across a three-year deal.

Netball Australia explained that offer was on top of “the earning potential of a profit-share partnership model”, and this was without any forecast material increase in the sport’s revenue in the short term, given the current broadcast deal runs until 2026.

Netball Australia added that it offered a base wage increase of nine per cent over three years and a maximum salary cap increase of three per cent over the same term, in addition to increased potential commercial earnings, extra playing and earning opportunities with the introduction of rookies, and a share in the profits generated by the Super Netball League for the first time.

“Throughout negotiations, Netball Australia and the clubs have made significant concessions in good faith to finalise the deal and build a strong partnership model with the ANPA and Super Netball players. Netball Australia and the ANPA met again [this past] Saturday, and we continue to offer to meet to finalise a deal,” a statement from Netball Australia said.

“Netball Australia and the clubs are not opposed to mediation, but we are concerned beginning the process at this late stage would extend this already lengthy process and continue to delay the stability and certainty all parties seek.

“Netball Australia and the eight clubs have simply reached their capacity to make further concessions to the ANPA and players without jeopardising the health of the league and its teams, their respective stakeholders, and the entire netball eco-system in Australia,” the statement continued.

Netball Australia pointed out that any further increase to player wages beyond the current offer would be irresponsible, because they would negatively impact funding for community and grassroots netball.

It reiterated that the three-year deal would provide much-needed stability for the players, clubs and the league and would ensure all parties could focus on working together collectively to grow the sport.

“We appeal to the ANPA to re-consider our revised three-year offer and present it to all Super Netball players, so they can have their say,” the statement ended.

But the players’ association argued that Netball Australia had rejected a real partnership with the players.

“We cannot in good conscience lock players into an unfair three-year deal, which does not reflect their value and contribution,” the players’ association statement asserted.

“Adding to the players’ concern is a lack of clarity around the finances underpinning the game, and uncertainty around the strategic direction for netball.”

The schedule for the 2024 Super Netball League season is yet to be released because of the collective player agreement dispute.

Sterling and compatriot Latanya Wilson are members of The Adelaide Thunderbirds, while Wallace and Aiken-George represents New South Wales Swifts. Fowler is a member of West Coast Fever.

 

If ever Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls required a performance to add impetus to their charge of securing an historic Vitality Netball World Cup gold medal, it came in their historic 59-48 win over reigning champions New Zealand in their top Pool G clash at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in South Africa, on Thursday.

Captain Jhaniele Fowler shot a perfect 49 goals from 49 attempts and the defence produced one of its most consistent showings where applying pressure is concerned, as the number four-ranked Sunshine Girls topped their number two-ranked opponents for the first time ever on this stage.

Goal attack Shanice Beckford chipped in with nine goals from 10 attempts and Romelda Aiken-George the other goal from three attempts.

Maia Wilson led New Zealand with 31 goals from 33 attempts.

The Jamaicans, who extended their rich vein of form with this, their sixth-straight win at the tournament, will now have a day to rest and recover for their semi-final date with world number one-ranked Australia on Saturday. The Australians had earlier suffered a nail-biting final minute 55-56 loss to number three-ranked England, in their top Pool F clash.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s title defence seems in jeopardy, as they will have to wait on the result of South Africa's match against Uganda, to see if they are through to face England in the other semi-final.

Fowler lauded her teammates for their execution of the game plan, for the most parts.

“Kudos to my team, we went out there and did what we had to do, and it all came together in the end. We knew it was going to be tough, but we played hard and more importantly, maintained our focus and it showed in the fact that we remained consistent and disciplined which is what we were aiming for, so I am very pleased,” Fowler said in a post-game interview.

Having never beaten New Zealand on the World Cup stage previously, the Sunshine Girls drew inspiration from last year’s Commonwealth Games meeting when they drubbed the Silver Ferns 67-51 on their way to an historic silver medal.

Though they have proven strong side when they get their full squad together, the Jamaicans had their shakiest start of the tournament on this occasion, but eventually found their flow and got going. 

Of the two sides, Jamaica looked far more comfortable on attack in the first quarter, as they found the imposing presence of Fowler with consummate ease in the shooting circle.

The Silver Ferns, on the other hand, were made to battle for every pass and struggled to find any sense of flow in possession. That pressure resulted in them conceding multiple offensive fouls and, ultimately, a four-goal deficit on the scoreboard at 15-11.

This was the first opening quarter New Zealand lost in the tournament, but they again found the going tough in the second quarter.

Jamaica immediately shut down the Silver Ferns attack, as they delayed the passes to get the ball into the shooting circle. Once there, Ameliaranne Ekenasio's shot first up, was blocked and rebounded superbly by Shamera Sterling.

In fact, both teams defence proved too good to get past and forced multiple turnovers and missed shots in what was a messy period that New Zealand emerged strong from to quickly wipe out the four-goal gap.

From there, they evenly matched strides goal-for-goal, as both sides found their shooters with more ease.

But, as the second quarter seemed poised to end in a deadlock, especially after Jamaica lost Sterling to injury and a possible warning, the Sunshine Girls produced a late charge with two quick steals and passes to Fowler, who made no mistakes.

While New Zealand won the quarter 12-11, the Jamaicans maintained the ascendancy at half time, with a three-goal lead at 26-23.

Both sides were able to score more freely in the third quarter and Jamaica did well to open a five-goal lead at one point. But, unforced errors at the backend, allowed New Zealand to again close within two at 41-39, as they again outscored the Jamaicans 16-15 in that quarter.

However, any hopes the Silver Ferns harboured of finishing tops were dashed, as it appears the Jamaicans saved their best for the last quarter.

They applied consistent pressure in defence and mid-court, and that, coupled with quick passes into the shooting circle, allowed Fowler to score at will and open a 10-point gap, which was the Jamaicans biggest lead of the game.

At the end, they romped the quarter 18-9 and with it came the 11-goal win that solidifies their status as a gold-medal favourite. The last of their three bronze medals at this tournament, came in 2007.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls confirmed their spot in the semi-finals of the Vitality Netball World following another impressive performance in bettering Caribbean rivals Trinidad and Tobago 89-26 in their second Pool G game in Cape Town, South Africa on Wednesday.

Romelda Aiken-George led the way on this occasion with 37 goals from 42 attempts, getting support from Shanice Beckford, who chipped in with 20 goals from 24 attempts early on.

Captain Jhaniele Fowler, who was only introduced for the third quarter of the match, added 17 goals from 19 attempts, while Rebekah Robinson had 15 goals from 17 attempts in the blowout win.

Afeisha Noel expectedly led Trinidad and Tobago with 20 goals from 22 attempts.

After celebrating the Reggae Girlz historic feat of progressing to the knockout stages of the Fifa Women’s World Cup at the expense of Brazil in Australia, the Sunshine Girls entered their contest brimming with confidence and that was on display from the opening whistle.

With another strong start, both in attack and defence, the number four-ranked Jamaicans, forced a number of early turnovers and at one point, opened an 8-1 lead in the early exchanges.

Their fast and fluent transitions, coupled with that defensive pressure proved too much for the number 11-ranked Calypso Girls, who struggled to maintain composure, resulting in the Sunshine Girls taking a 20-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was more of the same, as Trinidad and Tobago again struggled for rhythm. In fact, so high was the Jamaican tempo and flair that they scored 12 unanswered goals with the Calypso Girls only scoring one, in the first 10 minutes of the quarter.

They eventually found three more late on, but by then, the Jamaicans had raced to a 34-point gap, to enter the half-time break 44-10 up.  

Fowler entered the contest at the start of the third quarter and kept the scoring momentum going, so even though Trinidad and Tobago enjoyed their best scoring period with nine goals at that point, they found themselves 69-19 down and with too much to do heading into the final stanza.

As such, Sunshine Girls Head coach Connie Francis, used the opportunity to feel out a few other combinations, throwing rising sensation Crystal Plummer at centre and Adean Thomas back at wing attack to feed Aiken-George and Robinson, who scored at free will to complete the rout.

The Jamaicans, who last won one of their three bronze medals at the tournament in 2007, are aiming to not only break that drought, but to do so by winning the coveted gold medal and, by all indications, they are on course to do so.

Sunshine Girls assistant coach Shawn Murdock, believes the performance was a glimpse of how lethal the team can be when fresh and focused, as the brace for reigning champions and number two-ranked New Zealand in their Pool G top of the table clash on Thursday.

“We were so happy for the rest day to have the ladies rest and go again and the performance was proof of that recovery. We were actually using this game to prepare for the game against New Zealand tomorrow, so we wanted to get the ladies tuned in, limit turnovers and penalties to get ourselves ready for the game tomorrow,” Murdock said.

Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago’s captain Shaquanda Greene-Noel rued the lack of concentration from her team in another loss.

They are scheduled to take on Wales on Thursday.

“I don’t think we executed our game plan, I thought we had moments of brilliance, but indiscipline worked against us. It was a pleasure to come up against a Caribbean team, but we need to be better. We won some balls in defence which is good, so it is just to create more opportunities and put some shots up,” Greene-Noel said.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls expectedly opened their Vitality Netball World Cup campaign with a bang, as they hammered Sri Lanka 105-25 in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday.

The number four-ranked Jamaicans were dominant from the start and didn’t relent against their number 15-ranked opponents for a minute with the towering combination of Romelda Aiken-George and captain Jhaniele Fowler sharing goal shooting duties across two quarters apiece.

Though the Sunshine Girls usual bad habit of making unforced errors kicked in at one point, Aiken-George with 33 goals from 34 attempts and Fowler with 42 goals from 43 attempts, spared their blushes, as goal attacks Rebekah Robinson and Shanice Beckford, contributed 17 and 13 goals respectively.

With the win, the Jamaicans assume pole position in Pool C, ahead of host South Africa, who were 61-50 winners over Wales.

Jamaica’s Head coach Connie Francis started with two debutants in Latanya Wilson at goal defence and wing defence Crystal Plummer, as Robinson and Aiken-George got the starting goal attack and shooter roles ahead of Beckford and Fowler.

The potent attack of the Sunshine Girls saw them open a brisk five-goal lead inside the first 30 seconds, as they displayed their usual speed and flair that delighted crowd, especially when Aiken-George scored a lay-up shot.

In fact, the Jamaicans were so dominant that Sri Lanka’s first goal came almost seven minutes into the opening quarter, which eventually ended 26-5.

Jodi-Ann Ward joined Kadie-Ann Dehaney and the dynamic Plummer in defence for the second quarter and the trio proved too formidable for Sri Lanka’s attackers, as their consistent deflections resulted in the Jamaicans firing in 14 unanswered goals, before the opponents belated got their first almost nine minutes in.

From there, they went on to register a 52-11 half time lead, which all but signalled the writing on the wall for Sri Lanka.

The Jamaicans signalled their intent to hit the century mark with the introduction of Fowler at the start of the third quarter and she flawlessly scored her first 14 attempts, with Beckford providing the necessary support to again outscore Sri Lanka 23-7 for a 75-18 lead heading into the final quarter.

That final quarter represented the best display from Sri Lanka in the shooting circle as the matched the Jamaicans goal for goal in the early exchanges.

However, once the defence lead by Shamera Sterling and player of the game Wilson, found back their rhythm, they forced a number of turnovers and orchestrated some quick transitions for Fowler and Robinson to finish off and propel Jamaica to the 14th 100-plus goal scoreline in the tournament's history.

It was also the first 100-plus score by a team at the World Cup since 2015, when Malawi achieved the feat ironically, also against Sri Lanka.

While the Sunshine Girls scored at 89 percent, they also had 17 turnovers, an issue that Francis is hoping to correct going forward.

“From the first day when we assembled here, I saw the hunger and the will to execute well, and I am very impressed with my team. We made a number of changes just to work on combinations and also to manage the workload because the thing that we are trying to work on mostly is our turnovers.

“We know we have players that can hunt and win balls which makes them dangerous, so it is just to minimize the turnovers some more and we will be good,” Francis said.

For Fowler, the execution was on par for the most parts.

“We wanted to come out and practice some of our strategies and make sure we are cementing some of our plays. Romelda and I are both amazing shooters so either one starting a game is fine, we are just more focused on gelling as best as we can and just going one game at a time,” the captain shared.

The Sunshine Girls will next face Wales on Saturday at 4:00 am Jamaica time.

Either way, a Jamaican player would have become 2023 Suncorp Super Netball League champion but at the end of an intensely grand-final at the John Cain Arena on Saturday, it was the Jamaican defensive pair of Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson that sealed the deal as Adelaide Thunderbirds defeated New South Wales Swifts 60-59 in overtime.

Three-time champion Romelda Aiken-George who led the Swifts’ scoring with 27 goals had to settle for the position of runner-up in a match-up that will be remembered for ages.

Sterling was the first to make her mark on the match battling Aiken-George for the ball and drawing the offensive contact to put the Thunderbirds ahead.

Following suite, her teammate Wilson controlled the ball for another gain and the Thunderbirds then blitzed out to a five-goal lead.

Swift Helen Housby had her eyes firmly locked on the goal when she entered the Suncorp Super Shot zone during the Power Five to confidently narrow the Thunderbirds’ lead.

However, Sterling prevented the Swifts from getting too close with an intercept before the end of the quarter allowing the Thunderbirds to head into the break in front 16-12.

Eleanor Cardwell led the scoring for Adelaide with 31 goals and Lucy Austin had nine goals as Adelaide extended their advantage to eight points at half time after outscoring their opponents 19-15 in the second stanza to take a 35-27 led into the break.

The break proved to be a welcome one for New South Wales, who had eliminated last year’s champions West Coast Fever in last week’s preliminary final.

They emerged from the break with renewed focus and cut decisively into Adelaide’s lead after outscoring them 13-8 in the third quarter and was only down by three heading into the final stanza.

They used that momentum to outscore Adelaide 14-11 in the final quarter as the final whistle sounded with the scores locked at 54-54.

Overtime proved just as intense both Helen Housby and Cardwell stepping up to the challenge early slotting Super Shots for their respective teams.

However, the Thunderbirds’ defensive pressure forced the Swifts into a held ball and Cardwell capitalized again but then an offensive contact had the Swifts charging.

Fawns levelled the scores for the Swifts but Sterling showed why she’s the best interceptor in the league burying the Swifts dreams as her teammates made the intercept count.

The Swifts tried their hardest, however, were unable to halt the pink tide with the Thunderbirds winning by one goal.

 

 

Spurred by Jhaniele Fowler’s 55 goals, defending Suncorp Super League champions, West Coast Fever, defeated Melbourne Vixens 64-57 on Sunday to advance to the preliminary final against New South Wales Swifts on July 1.

 The winner will the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the Grand Final set for July 8.

The Thunderbirds defeated the Swifts 64-62 on Saturday night.

In what was a tough match, Fowler playing before her home crowd at the RAC Arena, missed just one shot as Fever led each quarter 15-14, 17-16, 16-14, before opening up a seven-point lead after taking the final quarter 16-13.

Mwai Kumwenda only missed one of her 40 attempts to lead the scoring for the Vixens.

Over at the Qudos Bank Arena, Romelda Aiken George’s 29 goals were not enough to get the New South Wales Swifts against the Thunderbirds, who pulled off a dramatic 64-62 victory to book a place in the Grand Finals.

Helen Housby added 15 goals for the Swifts but Eleanor Cardwell’s 18 goals, 13 from Lucy Austin and 11 from Tippa Dwan were just enough to seal the Thunderbirds’ place in the final.

In an impressive display of shooting prowess, Jhaniele Fowler led the defending Suncorp Super League champions, West Coast Fever, to a 72-61 victory over the GIANTS at the RAC Arena on Saturday. Fowler's scoring prowess was on full display as she matched the GIANTS' final score of 61 points, missing only one shot throughout the match.

Contributing to the Fever's success, Sasha Glasgow maintained a perfect shooting record, going three for three and nailing four super shots. By halftime, the Fever held a narrow 37-33 lead.

Despite Jo Harten's 19 goals and the combined efforts of Matisse Letherbarrow and Sophie Dwyer, who both scored 10 goals, the GIANTS found themselves trailing by 10 points at the end of the third quarter. The Fever outscored them 21-15 in a dominant display.

Although the final quarter was a more evenly contested affair, the outcome of the match had already been decided.

With this victory, their ninth of the season, the Fever climbed to second place in the league standings. The New South Wales Swifts remain at the top of the table after a convincing 78-65 win against the Queensland Firebirds at the Nissan Arena. Romelda Aiken-George led the charge for the Swifts, racking up an impressive 43 goals. Supported by Helen Housby's 17 goals, the Swifts secured their 10th win of the season.

Despite Donnell Wallam's 34 goals for the Firebirds, it was another defeat for the team, marking their ninth loss of the season, and leaving them in seventh place in the league.

In the meantime, former league leaders Adelaide Thunderbirds slipped to third place after suffering a close 56-54 loss to the Sunshine Coast Lightning at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

Adelaide Thunderbirds suffered their third loss of the season and have fallen to second place when they went down 53-50 to bottom-placed Collingwood Magpies on Saturday.

Shimona Nelson scored 44 goals and Sophie Garbin nine, in a 100 per cent shooting effort as the Magpies in their final season in the Suncorp Super Netball league overcame the defensive efforts of Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson.

Collingwood led 16-12 after the first quarter and held a 27-23 lead at half time.

Collingwood widened their lead with another 16-12 effort in the third quarter and held on for the win despite a fourth-quarter rally from Thunderbirds who outscored Collinwood 15-10.

Eleanor Cardwell scored 27 goals from 29 attempts in the loss that saw Thunderbirds’ record fall to second place in the league table with eight wins, one draw and three losses this season.

The new league leaders are the New South Wales Swifts who defeated GIANTS 68-63 thanks in part to Romelda Aikens-George’s 32 goals from 39 attempts and Helen Housby’s 100 percent shooting for 18 goals.

Matisse Leatherbarrow and Jo Harten each scored 13 goals while Sophie Dwyer had 11 from 13 in the losing cause.

The Swifts now boast a record of nine wins, one draw and two losses after 12 rounds.

In the other game on Saturday, Queensland Firebirds defeated Melboune Vixens 76-71.

Key defensive plays from Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson overcame another high-percentage shooting performance from Jhaniele Fowler as the Adelaide Thunderbirds pulled off another thrilling one-goal win 54-53 over the West Coast Fever at the Netball SA Stadium on Saturday.

Fowler, the Suncorp Super Netball League’s leading scorer, converted 42 of 43 attempts but it was not enough to prevent the reigning champions from falling to their fourth defeat of the season.

Wilson earned 74.5 Nissan Net Points and Sterling 63 for defensive play that held off the defending champions who led 20-12 after the first quarter. However, the league leaders managed to close the gap by the half-time interval after outscoring Fever 14-11 in the second.

The low-scoring encounter saw the Thunderbirds win the third and fourth quarters, 13-10 and 15-12, respectively to snatch another close win. Eleanor Cardwell converted 26 of her 30 shots and Lucy Austin scored six from six in the hard-fought victory.

Adelaide Thunderbirds now have eight wins and just two losses from their 11 games this season while Fever dropped to seven wins and four losses and are only third on goal difference over Melbourne Vixens who also have a record of seven wins and four losses.

The Vixens suffered their fourth loss of the season going down 70-62 to New South Wales Swifts, who got 29 goals from Romelda Aiken-George from 34 attempts and a perfect 16 from 16 from Helen Housby.

Mwai Kumwenda scored 33 of her 35 attempts for the Vixens.

Meanwhile, Shimona Nelson scored 53 goals from 56 attempts for the Collingwood Magpies, whose miserable season will be their last in the Suncorp Super Netball League, as they suffered yet another defeat.

The Magpies were outscored 66-62 by the Sunshine Coast Lightning in what was their ninth loss of the season.

Cara Koenen scored 34 from 35 and Steph Wood 20/24 for the Lightning who were picking up their fourth win of the season and are current fifth in the league standings.

Defending Suncorp Super Netball champions West Coast Fever lost their third match of the season going down 65-64 to New South Wales Swifts and slipped to third in the league standings after what was their third loss in their last four games.

The win means the Swifts, led by Romelda Aiken-George, who scored 28 of 34, leapfrogged the Fever into second place in the standings going into round 10 of the competition.

Jhaniele Fowler, the league’s leading scorer, scored a game-high 53 goals from 55 shots, and Natalie Butler three of four for the Fever, who were without their vice-captain Jess Anstiss and goal attack Sasha Glasgow, who were ruled out due to Covid-19 Health and Safety Protocols.

The Swifts led 32-20 at half-time and despite a late rally from the Fever, they came up a goal short in the end.

Meanwhile, the Adelaide Thunderbirds maintained their position at the top of the standings after crushing the Queensland Firebirds 63-46.

Eleanor Cardwell led the scoring for the Thunderbirds with 27 from 32 and Lucy Austin, who supported with 19 from 21, while Shamera Sterling had six interceptions in what was a close match heading into the final quarter.

However, the Thunderbirds dominated the final stanza 24-9 to claim victory.

Shimona Nelson’s perfect night, scoring 46 goals from as many attempts, was unable to prevent the Collingwood Magpies from going down 69-56 to GIANTS.

 

 

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