Vitality Roses Helen Housby and Natalie Haythornthwaite (NSW Swifts), and Stacey Francis (West Coast Fever) secured opening-round victories as the 2020 Super Netball season began.
GIANTS Netball 61-63 NSW Swifts
Vitality Roses involved: Jo Harten (GIANTS Netball), Helen Housby and Natalie Haythornthwaite (NSW Swifts)
NSW Swifts started their title defence with a thrilling 63-61 win over local rivals GIANTS Netball.
The defending champions came back from a five-goal half-time deficit to lead by eight with four minutes to play and then successfully withstood a late GIANTS run.
Harten and Housby both started for their respective sides, while Haythornthwaite entered the action early on after Swifts Head Coach Briony Akle made a number of changes with the condensed season ahead.
GIANTS captain Harten proved difficult to handle from distance during the Super Shot period and led her team to a 33-28 advantage at half-time.
But Swifts upped the speed and intensity in the second half and went from five goals down to lead by three within the space of five minutes.
After taking the third quarter by 21 goals to 13, Swifts kept their foot on the gas for most of the fourth quarter.
Despite GIANTS working hard to reduce the margin, Swifts saw it out to secure the win and retain the Carole Sykes Memorial Trophy until the next time the sides meet later in the season.
Q1: GIANTS 17 v Swifts 17
Q2: GIANTS 16 v Swifts 11
Q3: GIANTS 13 v Swifts 21
Q4: GIANTS 15 v Swifts 14
Vitality Roses shooting stats
Jo Harten – G1 – 11/11 (100%); G2 – 9/13 (69%)
Helen Housby – G1 – 8/9 (89%); G2 – 2/3 (66%)
G1 = shots during normal play | G2 = Super Shots taken
Adelaide Thunderbirds 62-74 West Coast Fever
Vitality Roses involved: Chelsea Pitman, Kate Shimmin (both Adelaide Thunderbirds) and Stacey Francis (West Coast Fever)
Stacey Francis’ West Coast Fever opened their 2020 campaign with a 12-goal win against Adelaide Thunderbirds.
Until Wednesday morning, Fever were preparing themselves for a Sydney showdown with GIANTS before games in NSW were rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic and they instead packed their bags for Queensland.
Francis (GD) and Chelsea Pitman (WA) both started for their respective sides with Kate Shimmin entering the game later on for Thunderbirds.
Fever goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler was the dominant figure in the first half, guiding the Perth-based side to a 27-38 lead.
Thunderbirds pressured their opponents in the third quarter and stayed in touch thanks to a trio of Super Shots (18-15), but Fever laid down a marker as they sealed the win.
Taking to Instagram afterwards, Pitman said: “Didn’t start 2020 with a win but a whole lot of learnings and I am excited to see what this season holds for us (Adelaide Thunderbirds).”
Layla Guscoth (Adelaide Thunderbirds) lined up for Newton Jaguars Netball Club in Netball SA’s Premier League on Friday night as she recovers from injury and looks to build up match fitness.
Q1: Thunderbirds 13 vs Fever 18
Q2: Thunderbirds 14 vs Fever 20
Q3: Thunderbirds 18 vs Fever 15
Q4: Thunderbirds 17 vs Fever 21
Melbourne Vixens 63-52 Collingwood Magpies
Vitality Rose involved: Geva Mentor (Collingwood Magpies)
A decisive final quarter from Melbourne Vixens saw them claim victory over Collingwood Magpies in the Melbourne derby as round one of the 2020 Super Netball season came to a close.
After “3 months delay to the season, 2 Covid lockdowns later and 1 rollercoaster” as Geva Mentor put it on her Instagram, the Magpies co-captain played the full 60 minutes at GK.
It was a hard-fought and tight contest as Collingwood’s revamped line-up (with a number of key players missing from last season’s squad) faced the stability and experience of Melbourne’s starting seven.
Vixens edged the opening quarter (15-13) before Magpies responded to take the second (14-16) meaning there was nothing separating the two sides at half-time (29-29).
The contest remained tight in the third quarter as Mentor’s outfit kept pace with their local rivals before four Super Shots from Mwai Kumwenda handed Melbourne a 45-43 advantage at the end of the third quarter.
Magpies were outscored 18-9 in the final quarter as Vixens pulled away to get their season off to a winning start.
Q1: Vixens 15 vs Magpies 13
Q2: Vixens 14 vs Magpies 16
Q3: Vixens 16 vs Magpies 14
Q4: Vixens 18 vs Magpies 9