REPORT: COMEBACK ON THE COAST FALLS SHORT
A spirited second-half comeback wasn't enough for the Magpies in round 11, falling to the Sunshine Coast Lightning by two goals on Saturday afternoon.
Down, but not out in the final term, the Magpies threw everything they had at the Lightning and had their chances to win.
Only a determined effort on the defensive end - particularly from Geva Mentor - halted the Collingwood assault that shredded a 10 goal deficit back to just two in the final quarter.
Match MVP Caitlin Bassett was perfect on the offensive end as well with 43 goals from 43 attempts, despite persistent and furious attention from Magpies goalkeeper Sharni Layton.
Collingwood's desperation translated to crisp ball movement in the early stages and after five minutes of play, it was the visitors who held a narrow 6-5 advantage.
The match settled into a tense arm-wrestle, with both sides delivering tough one-on-one defence and ball movement through the centre becoming hard work for both teams.
The scores remained deadlocked for most of the first quarter as it became a battle of attrition and who would blink first. A penalty from a Layton hit on Bassett gave the Lightning the lead, with the final possession of the quarter giving the home side a 17-15 lead at the end of the first term.
The Lightning began to break down the Magpies defensive end, scoring with efficiency despite having less possession than their opposition.
The momentum quickly swung, though, with Collingwood turning a three-goal deficit into a one-goal advantage in the blink of an eye.
Steph Wood came up clutch for the Lightning, with eight goals and eight assists that helped steer the Lightning out to a five-goal lead late in the second quarter - their biggest of the match.
A last-second long-range pass to Bassett put the exclamation mark on the quarter, the goal shooter pushing the lead out to six and securing the Lightning's second bonus point of the match.
The Sunshine Coast roared out the blocks in the third quarter, pushing that lead out to 10 goals and putting the Magpies in a spot of trouble.
Layton took it upon herself to take the game by the scruff of the neck, reeling in two intercepts and helping the Magpies peg back four goals.
It was an inspirational run of play that brought Collingwood roaring back into the match. They chanced their arm, swung the ball across the court and cut the lead to just four - prompting a rattled Lightning to call a timeout.
The Magpies were able to take the bonus point for the quarter, though, with the Lightning leading 47-43 heading into a grandstand final quarter.
Erin Bell scored the opening two goals of the final quarter to cut the margin to just two, but a disciplined Lightning outfit were able to hold on during a tense final few minutes, and claim the two-goal victory over the Magpies at home.
Collingwood coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell said she was proud of her group's resilience.
"Despite being down by 10, the game didn't run away from us, and I'm proud of the group for showing that fight in the second-half," Keppich-Birrell said post-game.
"The positivity of this group, and their work-rate, didn't let up, so that was a key to us getting back in the game.
"They worked really hard today, but unfortunately in some critical moments, we made some errors."
Q1: Lightning 17 v Magpies 15
Q2: Lightning 18 v Magpies 14
Q3: Lightning 14 v Magpies 12
Q4: Lightning 13 v Magpies 11
Suncorp Super Netball premiership points
Sunshine Coast Lightning 6
Collingwood Magpies 2
Lightning shooting statistics
Caitlin Bassett 43/43
Steph Wood 15/18
Magpies shooting statistics
Caitlin Thwaites 30/36
Erin Bell 26/31
Lightning starting seven
GS: Caitlin Bassett, GA: Steph Wood, WA: Kelsey Browne, C: Laura Scherian, WD: Madeline McAuliffe, GD: Karla Pretorius, GK: Geva Mentor
Magpies starting seven
GS: Caitlin Thwaites, GA: Erin Bell, WA: Madi Robinson, C: Kim Ravaillion, WD: Ash Brazill, GD: April Brandley, GK: Sharni Layton
Match MVP: Caitlin Bassett