Historic win keeps Fever in the top 4 race

R4-AMVvMag0295LiWest Coast Fever kept its slim ANZ Championship top four hopes alive after toppling reigning premiers the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Round 6 action.

Coming off consecutive defeats on the road in New Zealand, Fever responded by claiming their first ever victory over the Thunderbirds in Perth.

The 53-51 result puts Fever back into the mix for a top four berth heading towards the half-way mark of the season.

Goal shooter Caitlin Bassett reached a personal milestone during the match, becoming the first Australian player and the third overall to reach 3000 career goals in the ANZ Championship while Fever captain Natalie Medhurst was named MVP for the match.

She said it was great to see Fever respond after being put under pressure in the lead-up to the game.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” Medhurst said. “They (Thunderbirds) are always a quality side even though they were coming off a couple of losses so to hang on … we had to dig deep a few moments there.”

The Thunderbirds have now lost three consecutive games for the first time in their history and face a tough fortnight on the road after their bye this weekend against the Melbourne Vixens and Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.

“We had a few good moments out there and then patches where w probably could have pushed on but didn’t,” captain Renae Hallinan said.

“So obviously really disappointed with that.”

The Thunderbirds have been hit hard by injuries in recent weeks – so much so that they called up former Melbourne Vixen Wendy Jacobsen for the trip to Perth. Jacobson has not played in the elite league since 2010.

The Fever hosts the Queensland Firebirds this Sunday, who relinquished fourth spot on the ladder to the Thunderbirds following their 50-38 loss to the Melbourne Vixens up in Brisbane.

The Vixens made amends for their narrow Round 3 loss to the Firebirds in Melbourne, holding the Firebirds to their lowest ever ANZ Championship total. The visitors dominated from the opening whistle, keeping the Firebirds to just 15 goals for the first half.

Vixens goal attack Tegan Caldwell celebrated her 50th ANZ Championship match in style, shooting 28 goals at 88 per cent accuracy in an MVP performance.

The win lifted the Vixens into second spot on the ladder ahead of a showdown against the NSW Swifts in Sydney next Sunday.

The Swifts had a bye this round.