As the competition reached the half-way mark, little changed on the ladder as Victorian Fury, Southern Force, QLD Fusion and Western Sting split their weekend matches, setting-up for what shapes as a fascinating finish to the regular season.
The Force followed their ANZ Championship team the Adelaide Thunderbirds up to Queensland to take on Fusion but were unable to get the job done in the first game, going down 65-54 on the Sunshine Coast.
The visitors led by five goals at half-time but a strong second half performance by Fusion saw them deliver Force their first defeat of the campaign. Young shooter Abigail Meafou, pictured above, scored 25 of her 34 goals for the match in the second half alone.
But it was a different story in Sunday’s game as Force bounced back to claim an important 61-56 victory.
It was a see-sawing match with the lead changing at every break. But a 20-goal final quarter gave the Force the edge.
Sasha Glasgow, pictured right who was named the Most Valuable Player at last month’s 19/U National Netball Championships in Perth, was a scoring machine in the Force’s victory, shooting 42 goals at 86 per cent.
Fury headed west to Perth coming off their first loss since 2012 the previous weekend and started the weekend with a 57-46 defeat at the hands of Sting at the State Netball Centre.
Sting were strengthened by the addition of West Coast Fever players Kate Beveridge, Erena Mikaere, Josie Janz-Dawson, Ingrid Colyer and Kaylia Stanton – who shot 45 goals in the victory.
It was the first time in four seasons that Fury had suffered consecutive defeats. But the defending champions bounced back on Sunday to claim a 63-49 victory over a Sting side minus their ANZ Championship contingent with Melbourne Vixens’ rookie Emma Ryde shooting 44 goals and Kelsey Browne busy in the midcourt.
“One of the things we’ve been trying to work on is our performance across the four quarters,” Wilkins said.
“We didn’t quite get that in Saturday’s game, there was a bit of a lapse in the second quarter, but I happy with the effort across the other three quarters.
“I think Jess Anstiss was pretty solid for us across both games this weekend – Saturday’s game in particular. I thought she did a very good job in the middle, finding a lot of good space.”
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