With Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) Round 14 fixtures coming to a close, the top four placings in the league were confirmed with Stacey Francis’ West Coast Fever and Natalie Haythornthwaite’s and Helen Housby’s NSW Swifts finishing 3rd and 4th respectively.
They’ll now face off against each other in the Minor Semi-Final which will take place at 12:00pm AEST (2:00am GMT) on Sunday 4 October. With Melbourne Vixens and Sunshine Coast Lightning finishing 1st and 2nd respectively, they’ll play against each other in the Major Semi-Final on Saturday 3 October at 1:00pm AEST (3:00am GMT).
Winner of the Minor Semi-Final will play against the Major Semi-Final Loser in the Preliminary Final, with the Winner of the Major Semi-Final going straight into the Grand Final and then playing against the winner of the Prelimary Final. The Preliminary Final will take place on 11 October and the Grand Final will take place on 18 October.
Jo Harten’s GIANTS Netball finished 6th in the ladder, Thunderbirds (Chelsea Pitman, Layla Guscoth and Kate Shimmin) finished 7th and Geva Mentor’s Collingwood Magpies finished 8th.
There were celebrations for Mentor after her Round 14 game as she awarded Collingwood’s Players’ Player Award and also the clubs Best & Fairest Award, becoming back-to-back winner of the award. A fantastic achievement for the Vitality Rose!
Harten finished the regular season at the top of the Super Shot leaderboard, landing an incredible 78 which was 21 ahead of second place Gabrielle Sinclair (Aus).
The final round of the regular season did not disappoint with some incredibly tight games being played and some inspired Vitality Roses performances.
Collingwood Magpies 63-65 Queensland Firebirds
Vitality Roses involved: Geva Mentor (Collingwood Magpies)
Vitality Rose, Geva Mentor unfortunately couldn’t push her team to a final round victory with the Collingwood Magpies ending their season with a loss against the Queensland Firebirds.
Collingwood is in the middle of a rebuilding program but it was Mentor, who was their prime mover in the first half. The 36-year-old pulled down two rebounds and was responsible for four second-quarter gains which helped the Magpies to a slim advantage at halftime.
Collingwood led for most of the game but the Firebirds fought back from six points down early in the fourth quarter to win the game.
You can watch match highlights here:
NSW Swifts 77-77 GIANTS Netball
Vitality Roses involved: Natalie Haythornthwaite, Helen Housby (NSW Swifts) and Jo Harten (GIANTS Netball)
The NSW Swifts drew 77-all with GIANTS Netball in a thrilling New South Wales derby in Brisbane’s Nissan Arena. GIANTS came back from 10 down with five minutes to go to even the score, Vitaliy Rose Jo Harten nailing six Super Shots in the final quarter to haul her team level.
Harten finished with 34 goals at 87% accuracy and was the player the team looked to when it was tight.
“When everything’s on the line and you want to get your team back in it you want to be the one to put your hand up, which is what I did today,” Harten said.
West Coast Fever 63-64 Adelaide Thunderbirds
Vitality Roses involved: Stacey Francis (West Coast Fever), Chelsea Pitman, Kate Shimmin and Layla Guscoth (Adelaide Thunderbirds)
There was another thrilling comeback in the third game of the round with the Thunderbirds’ coming back from eight points down in the final quarter and subsequently ending the third-placed Fever’s chances of qualifying for the Major Semi-Final. But it was all about Vitality Rose Chelsea Pitman who had her final game in the Thunderbirds dress and was awarded player of the match.
Pitman has not been offered a contract with the club for next season but that did not stop her from coming off the bench to play a key role in the upset.
“I’m going to get emotional just thinking about it. It’s been a big week for me,” a teary Pitman said after her 17 assists and 32 feeds performance.
“I’ve made it known I don’t want to be leaving … Sport sometimes doesn’t give you the dream ending and I’m not saying that’s my retirement.
“I want to keep playing so I think that’s where the emotion comes from. It’s bittersweet.”