MAGPIES WITHHOLD SPIRITED COMEBACK FROM THUNDERBIRDS
Tiarne Swersky - May 28, 2017
The Magpies will go into the Suncorp Super Netball finals series on a three-game winning streak after defeating a gallant Adelaide Thunderbirds outfit by two goals at Titanium Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Six goals to Caitlin Thwaites in the final four minutes relieved the Magpies from what would have been a stunning defeat, while shooting partner Shae Brown impressed in her first start at goal attack.
After controlling the first half and taking an eight-goal lead into the major break, the Magpies appeared to ease their defensive intent in the third quarter, and the Thunderbirds pounced on the opportunity.
The Magpies coaching staff made their first tactical move, bringing on 21-year-old Alice Teague-Neeld in GA to replace Brown.
The home side piled on seven goals to one within the first six minutes, forcing Magpies head coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell to call a tactical time out to refocus her squad.
With the home crowd cheering on Renae Ingles in her final game of professional netball, the momentum was well and truly with the South Australians as they took the lead with minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Scores were level at 35 goals a piece at the final break, and Keppich-Birrell decided to shift Brown back into the starting line-up for Teague-Neeld at the goal attack position.
On the back of the Magpies’ most experienced players – Madi Robinson, Sharni Layton and Thwaites – Collingwood cut into the Thunderbirds’ four-goal buffer in the final term to swing the momentum back into their favour.
With both sides going goal for goal, a clutch Brown goal with one minute remaining – for the second time in two weeks – cemented what would eventuate to be a Magpies 49-47 victory.
With another starring performance, Thwaites – who converted 39 goals at 89 per cent accuracy – reclaimed the crown for most goals this season. Her partner in crime on the day shot 10 goals from 13 attempts and recorded a crucial six goal assists.
The movement and pressure from Magpies captain Madi Robinson was immense, with the star wing attack amassing 16 goal assists, 32 circle feeds, one deflection and 12 centre-pass receives.
In the defensive third, Layton showed her Diamonds credentials in the moments that mattered, logging 11 deflections, two interceptions and six defensive rebounds.
With the result baring no weight on the finals series, the Magpies can now look ahead to next week’s Minor Semi-Final against the Giants - to be played at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday night.
Official Result & Statistics
Official Result: Magpies Netball Club (49) def Adelaide Thunderbirds (47)
Thunderbirds shooting statistics
Erin Bell 22/29 (76%)
Sasha Glasgow 9/17 (53%)
Karyn Bailey 16/19 (84%)
Magpies shooting statistics
Caitlin Thwaites 39/44 (89%)
Alice Teague-Neeld 0/1 (0%)
Shae Brown 10/13 (77%)
Thunderbirds starting seven - GS: Erin Bell, GA: Sasha Glasgow, WA: Chelsea Pitman, C: Jade Clarke, WD: Renae Ingles, GD: Fiona Themann, GK: Ama Agbeze
Magpies starting seven – GS: Caitlin Thwaites, GA: Shae Brown, WA: Madi Robinson, C: Kim Ravaillion, WD: Ash Brazill, GD: April Bradley, GK: Sharni Layton
Match MVP: Erin Bell (Thunderbirds)