The Collingwood Magpies have handed out a 71-67 loss to the Queensland Firebirds in Hobart, as the race for the final Super Netball spots heats up.
- The Firebirds remain in third place in the standings, despite the loss to the Magpies
- The Swifts had little trouble defeating the Thunderbirds 54-40
- Firebirds, Giants, Swifts and Magpies are all at 16 points
In Sunday’s final game, the New South Wales Swifts kept their playoff hopes alive by beating the Adelaide Thunderbirds 54-40 at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena.
The Firebirds remain in third place in the standings but are one of four teams, including the Magpies and Swifts, with 16 points.
Firebirds star Gretel Bueta fought back in the second half of her 100th game in the domestic league, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Magpies from grabbing a big scalp and joining the Queenslanders in contention. final with four wins in 10 games.
The sixth-placed Magpies almost blew a 14-goal second-half lead when the Firebirds chased hard in the final minutes.
After being overpowered early by Jodi-Ann Ward, Bueta found her range and benefited from some gutsy, accurate shooting from midcourt.
The big escape was spot on when trailing by just two, but a desperate possession gain by Magpies center Molly Jovic helped her team stabilize.
Ward set the stage with his pressure on Bueta, Shimona Nelson shot 65 goals in 66 attempts and Kelsey Browne (34 shots) was too quick and decisive for the Firebirds.
Bueta eventually broke free of Ward’s hold to score 20 goals and two super shots for the game.
Swifts too strong for Thunderbirds
Sarah Klau planted a marker for Commonwealth Games selection with a winning performance in the Swifts’ victory over the Thunderbirds.
Klau has served as a backup for Diamonds goaltender Courtney Bruce for the past several years.
Bruce will now look over his shoulder at the former South Australian, who stood over Thunderbirds shooters Lenize Potgieter and Tippah Dwan.
That he had seven interceptions and seven deflections while only giving up five penalties would have caught the attention of Diamonds coach Stacey Marinkovich.
Swift co-captain Maddy Proud had another powerful performance in center, while teenager Sophie Fawns (17 points) was a live wire off the bench in support of Helen Housby (29 goals, one super shot).
Center Tayla Williams had her best game with the Thunderbirds, who wasted too much of the ball to be a real threat.