Game Detail // ANZ Championship 2009 

Round Name:  Round 1     Starting Date:  4/4/2009  
Team v Team Location Date/Time
  » Firebirds 48 v. » Thunderbirds 60 Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane 05/04/2009  2:30PM
   SKYTime:   16:30
   ONE Time:   14:30
   Umpire 1:   Rachael Ayre
   Umpire 2:   Clare McCabe
   Reserve Umpire:   Dianne Cocker
   10 Time:   14:30

Game Report:

The Adelaide Thunderbirds repelled a strong challenge from the Queensland Firebirds before prevailing 60-48 in the ANZ Championship first round match in Queensland today.

Taken to the wire for three-quarters of the match, a dominant final quarter set up the talented Thunderbirds for a winning start to their 2009 campaign.One of the pre-season favourites, the star-studded Thunderbirds line-up, which boasts over 100 international caps, had marginally the better of a tight opening quarter.

Defensively strong through the court, the visitors did a good job of slowing the delivery of the Firebirds ball and were able to create turnover opportunities.

Not always on the receiving end of a great delivery service and trying to outwit the constant pressure from Moíonia Gerrard and Geva Mentor did not deter towering Jamaican shooter Romelda Aiken. In her second season with the Firebirds, the willowy 1.96m shooting machine had her radar focused from the outset as she converted all ball that came her way.

Aikenís opposite Kate Beveridge was also doing her bit for the Thunderbirds at the other end of the court, as she made an equally impressive start.

With the Thunderbirds threatening to pull away in the latter stages of the quarter, the Firebirds proved equal to the occasion in holding their opponents to a narrow 14-13 first quarter lead.

The Firebirds were out of the blocks quickly on the resumption with rising Australian goalkeeper Laura Geitz a prominent figure as she snaffled a clutch of timely intercepts.

Showing more intensity and better flow through court enabled cleaner ball to Aiken, who didnít miss a shot in the first half and helped the Firebirds turn around proceedings to lead 28-27 at half-time.

The Firebirds were unable to maintain the pressure as the Thunderbirds responded strongly in the all-important third quarter. Smothering midcourt defence, with Natalie von Bertouch particularly prominent, stalled the Firebirds` flow and forced the turnover on several occasions to propel the visitors back into the lead.

Not to be outdone, the Firebirds fought back gamely asboth teams battled for the ascendancy. Lauren Nourse helped steady the Firebirds attacking line while Geitz continued to leave her mark with a strong effort against the Thurderbirds shooting duo of Beveridge and Natalie Medhurst. There was nothing in it as the Thunderbirds headed into the last break 41-40 ahead.

Momentum swung again at the start of the final quarter with the Thunderbirds shooting out to a five-goal lead with fresh legs on the court.

Returned after a year-long break from netball, Laura von Bertouch re-joined her sister in the Thunderbirds` midcourt for the last 15 minutes for her first taste of trans-Tasman netball. Joanna Sutton was also introduced in the final quarter, while Georgia Beaton came on to replace Mo`onia Gerrard during an injury break.

The visitors`  experience, firepower and depth off the bench paid dividends in the final quarter as they piled on the pressure to knock the last of the resistance out of the home team. On the back of a fine all-court defensive effort, shooters Beveridge and Medhurst re-discovered their touch in the final stanza to launch the Thunderbirds to a comfortable win.

Game Sheet | 1st Qtr| 2nd Qtr| 3rd Qtr| 4th Qtr

Home Team Game sheet: Firebirds
 Scores  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4 
   13  15  12  8 
 Player  Goals  %Avg
 Romelda Aiken  33/37  89%
 Janelle Lawson  15/24  63%
 AIKEN, Romelda  GS  GS  GS  GS
 CASTRISOS, Alissa  -  -  -  -
 DZIWOCKI, Carla  -  -  -  -
 GEITZ, Laura  GK  GK  GK  GK
 LAWSON, Janelle  GA  GA  GA  GA
 MCCLOUD, Demelza  GD  GD  GD  GD
 NOURSE, Lauren  C  C  C  C
 O'CONNOR, Jenny  -  -  -  -
 STEPHENS, Peta  -  -  -  -
 TROMPF, Kierra  -  -  -  -

Away Team Game sheet: Thunderbirds
 Scores  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4 
   14  13  14  19 
 Player  Goals  %Avg
 Kate Beveridge  33/43  77%
 Natalie Medhurst  27/32  84%
 ALTSCHWAGER, Jane  -  -  -  -
 BEATON, Emily  WA  WA  WA  -
 BEATON, Georgia  -  -  -  GD
 GERRARD, Mo'onia  GD  GD  GD  -
 MEDHURST, Natalie  GA  GA  GA  GA
 REDDY, Bianca  WD  WD  -  -
 SUTTON, Joanna  -  -  WD  WD
 VON BERTOUCH, Laura  -  -  -  WA
 VON BERTOUCH, Natalie  C  C  C  C
 WINGARD, Sheree  -  -  -  -


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