Jencke writes her name into record books


The ANZ Championship records continue to tumble for the Queensland Firebirds in 2016.

The latest one to fall their way came in the side’s 61-52 victory over West Coast Fever in Perth in the opening game of Round 7 action.

The nine-goal victory was Roselee Jencke’s 71st victory as a coach, overtaking the mark of 70 she previously held with former Adelaide Thunderbirds mentor Jane Woodlands-Thompson, making her the most successful coach in the competition’s history.

Jencke, pictured above, is also closing in on becoming only the second Australian to coach 100 games in the ANZ Championship – behind Woodlands-Thompson (114).

Fever pushed the reigning champions for most of the match before Firebirds lifted in the final term to secure their 20th consecutive victory.

But Fever can take some solace from the fact that the final margin is the closest any team has come to the unbeaten Firebirds this season.

In-form shooter Romelda Aiken claimed her fifth Most Valuable Player award for the season after shooting 50 goals for the third straight game.

Aiken’s usual shooting partner Gretel Tippett was absent through injury but rookie Chelsea Lemke impressed in the support role with 11 goals in her first full 60-minute game.

While the result cemented the Firebirds spot on top of the Australian Conference ladder, the NSW Swifts remain close on their heels after beating the Melbourne Vixens 59-51 in Melbourne on Sunday afternoon.

While the home side started strongly to lead at the first break and were in touch at half-time, the Swifts stamped their authority in the third term through their defensive combination of Sharni Layton and Maddy Turner.

Remarkably, it was the eighth time in nine visits to Melbourne the Swifts have taken the points against their traditional rivals – and the second time this season.

The eight-goal victory also saw the Swifts retain the Sargeant-McKinnis Cup for another 12 months.

The Vixens head to Perth next round for a virtual mini-elimination final against Fever while the Swifts head across the Tasman for the first time in 2016 to take on the Mainland Tactix in Christchurch.

The Firebirds host the Adelaide Thunderbirds – who had the bye on the weekend – at Brisbane on Sunday.

Pictures courtesy of David Callow and DC Images