Tag: Hannah Petty

2020 SSN: Season preview- Adelaide Thunderbirds

AFTER an extended break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season is set to commence on August 1. Draft Central takes a look at each team, starting off with the Adelaide Thunderbirds. 

Coach: Tania Obst
Captain: Layla Guscoth and Chelsea Pitman
2019 finish: 7th 

Breaking their 27 game losing streak in Round 1 against the Fever last year, the Thunderbirds seemed to uncover a new lease on life attacking the ball with intensity. Unfortunately they could not maintain that style of play throughout the season only notching up two more wins. Riddled with injuries, England Roses midcourter Beth Cobden was ruled out early with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and co-captain Layla Guscoth missed the second half of the season after rupturing her Achilles. Sasha Glasgow also went down late in the season with an ACL topping off what had been a trying season for the Thunderbirds. They will be keen to put that to bed in 2020 and put their foot down. Adelaide well and truly proved they have the defensive firepower to change the course of the game, something they will be hoping to build on this season to register more wins. 

2020 predictions/expectations:

With the key loss and retirement of long bomb specialist Maria Folau and uncertainty surrounding Glasgow’s return the Thunderbirds shooting end oozes plenty of youth and inexperience when it comes to connections. Welcoming quickfire goal shooter and Spar Proteas star Lenize Potgieter the Thunderbirds attack will rely heavily on her to deliver while the likes of Samantha Gooden and Charlee Hodges will also have a challenge on their hands stepping into a new-look side. The midcourt remains relatively unchanged with Chelsea Pitman the key through the attacking third with her clever ball placement, speed on the pass, strong circle edge positioning and vision into the circle. Her output will be key to ensuring the goalers get good access. Defensively Adelaide are littered with ball winners, none bigger than Shamera Sterling. The Jamaican goal keeper took the competition by storm last year, using her long arms, speed off the mark and pressure over the shot to win ball back and cause havoc. The versatility of Kate Shimmin also worked wonders for the Thunderbirds while Shadine van der Merwe also slotted into the team seamlessly with her hands over pressure and strength to swing into circle defence or wing defence. The return of Guscoth will also be huge for the Thunderbirds with the England Roses representative able to have an impact with her calming nature, skill to win ball back and tagging style of play. 

Key player to watch:

New to the Thunderbirds this season, Potgieter is a real playmaker and staple hold under the post for any team. She is quick on her feet, able to change up the angles in an instant and more importantly score quickly and accurately. Having played with the Steel in the ANZ Premiership last season and spending time with the Queensland Firebirds midseason the Proteas goal shooter is well aware of what it takes to perform at SSN level. She is unfazed by the physical nature of the game, instead relying on her strong holds, baseline drives and range to do all the talking. She is an exciting prospect for the Thunderbirds this season given it will be her first full SSN season and has proven time and time again on the international stage that she is a true competitor, able to read the play and command the ball. 

Team list:

Sasha Glasgow
Samantha Gooden
Layla Guscoth
Charlee Hodges
Maisie Nankivell
Hannah Petty
Chelsea Pitman
Lenize Potgieter
Kate Shimmin
Shamera Sterling
Shadine van der Merwe

SSN potential 2020 line-ups: Adelaide Thunderbirds

WITH so much uncertainty surrounding the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a host of international players returning home as a result of the outbreak it sparks questions about how this season will look and which players will actually take the court. We take a look at how each side in the SSN might line up in 2020 if the season does commence with the Thunderbirds the first cab off the rank.

The key signing of Lenize Potgieter will have a huge impact on the Thunderbirds line-up in 2020 with the goal shooter renowned for her accuracy, high volume, smooth movement in the circle and unique shooting action. Potgieter was arguably one of the biggest acquisitions at the end of last year with long bomb specialist Maria Folau departing the club and young gun Sasha Glasgow succumbing to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. But with the season pushed until late June the return of Glasgow could be on the tables. The talented goaler proved that she could score from anywhere and was not fazed by the physical nature of the game, using her fancy footwork and strong holds despite her short stature to full effect. Newbie Samantha Gooden could also be a likely starter if the season goes ahead with the former Collingwood training partner able to have an impact with her movement across the court and high netball understanding. Gooden could add that sense of experience in the circle along with her ability to find space and exploit it to create attacking forays.

The likes of veteran of Chelsea Pitman will lead the midcourt and more than likely the attacking third given her innate ability to create space and thread the needle with her well-timed and highly executed passes. She is a crafty player that works hard to feed into the circle and provide easy avenues to goal, pair that with her strength around the circle and Pitman is arguably one of the most important links in the Thunderbirds line-up. Still developing her craft in centre is Hannah Petty. The 22-year-old works hard in transition plying her trade in both defence and offence to be a constant option. Petty is more attacking minded able to create space with ease and hit the circle edge with precision.  Rounding out the midcourt is South African Shadine van der Merwe, with the wing defence able to also slide into goal defence if needed. Van der Merwe is a bit of an unknown quantity but has shown time and time again that if the ball is there for the taking she will throw her body on the line. She is quick on her feet able to cover the court with ease and apply strong hands over pressure to help out her fellow defenders.

Defensively the Thunderbirds are set, with excitement machine Shamera Sterling expected to pull on the goal keeper bib once again. She took the competition by storm last year with her impressive aerial ability, constant pressure and defensive skill to gobble up any ball that came her way. Her tenacity and hunt for the ball is unquestionable and while she can be costly at times when it comes to penalties her ability to make up for her mistakes is what makes her such an integral member in the Thunderbirds line-up. Moving out to goal defence is partner-in-crime, Layla Guscoth. Her season ended abruptly after suffering an Achilles injury during the World Cup last year unable to see out the year with the Thunderbirds and leaving somewhat of a hole down back. Guscoth oozes class and patience, while she is not the flashiest player her ability to nullify the influence of her opponent with her tagging style of defence gives her that X-factor.

GK: Shamera Sterling
GD: Layla Guscoth
WD: Shadine van de Merwe
C: Hannah Petty
WA: Chelsea Pitman
GA: Sasha Glasgow
GS: Lenize Potgieter

SSN Player focus: Sasha Glasgow

WHILE the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) might be done and dusted for 2019, we will review a number of talented players who stepped up this year and take a look at just what they have to offer and how they can improve further.

Sasha Glasgow

DOB 19/07/1998
Height: 187cm
Position: GS/GA

Season overview:

It was a breakout season for Sasha Glasgow with the talented goal shooter, growing with confidence throughout Adelaide’s 2019 campaign and relishing the opportunity to work with Maria Folau. But an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury in Round 13 put a dampener on her impressive year while stopping next years ambitions right in its tracks.


She developed at a rate of knots throughout the season looking more and more at home as the games went on and enhancing her connection out the front with the likes of Chelsea Pitman and Hannah Petty. Glasgow well and truly came out of her shell owning the court with her strong movements, well placed holds and clean hands. She stood up under the pressure of Suncorp Super Netball, backing herself from range and using her feet to edge closer to the post and outmanoeuvre her opponents.


Glasgow will miss most of 2020 with her ACL tear but prior to the injury Glasgow was shaping up to be a prominent goaler for the Thunderbirds. Only being 21 Glasgow still has plenty of development left in her and will be hoping to gain experience in years to come once she is fully recovered. Although her influence under the post was solid she needs to increase her volume and add another layer of versatility to constantly change up her game play and remain a constant threat. Given her light frame, she can often be outmuscled or out-bodied by more imposing defenders and will be looking to strengthen up over the off-season.

2019 SSN season team review: Adelaide Thunderbirds

WITH a new coach at the helm, the Adelaide Thunderbirds kicked the year off in style, breaking the winless drought of the previous season with an emphatic win over the West Coast Fever in Round 1. But their season was plagued with inconsistency, unable to string together four quarter performances, while also being struck with multiple injuries to key players across the court.

Position: 7th
Percentage: 88.17%
Win-loss: 3-2-9


After a hot start to the year the Thunderbirds faded in and out, showing glimpses of brilliance on the court. The newly formed side took some time to gel and were forced to bring in injury replacement players with England Roses pair Beth Cobden and Layla Guscoth both struck down with season-ending injuries. The recruitment of Shamera Sterling in the off-season brought plenty of excitement to the team with the Jamaican international renowned for her aerial ability and hands over pressure. She paired well with veteran Kate Shimmin who proved she still has plenty in the tank, running hard and regaining possession for her side. The Thunderbirds fought hard, challenging some of the top teams with Maria Folau and Chelsea Pitman showcasing their experience and composure in the front end with their silky movement and clever ball placement. The midcourt was subject to a lot of change throughout the course of 2019 with Shadine Van der Merwe brought into the squad for Cobden while Kelly Altmann and Hannah Petty rotated through centre providing good bursts of speed. Young up and coming goaler Sasha Glasgow also flexed her muscles in the circle with her silky footwork.

Shining light:

21-year-old goal shooter Glasgow really came into her own this season but unfortunately did not get the finish she would have liked, rupturing her Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in Round 13. Glasgow relished the opportunity of having Folau out the front, making full use of her shooting counterpart’s experience, ball placement and general netball know how. The goal shooter grew in confidence as the season went on, developing her movement in the circle and accuracy to post, often displaying impressive rebounding ability for a shorter goal shooter. She backed herself from range and worked the circle well to edge closer to the post, displaying her quick feet and connection with the midcourt. Although she will be sidelined next year with injury, Glasgow showed plenty of promise absorbing the pressure and owning the space with her strong holds.

2020 predictions:

The Adelaide Thunderbirds have secured the services of South African shooter Lenize Potgieter for next season and while her fellow starting goaler is still unknown, she will provide a good target under the post. Potgieter will offer good stability under the post with her accuracy and clever movement a real feature of her game. If the Thunderbirds retain long bomb specialist Folau the two could create a damaging duo given their experience, accuracy and movement.

2019 Australian Development Team & Squad

WITH a big season of international netball set to commence, the Australian Diamonds have released a Development Team and Squad consisting of 20 players. The side is dedicated to strengthening the Aussie stocks and fostering the talent of young up-and-coming players to become future Diamonds.

Experienced heads Gabi Simpson, Kate Moloney and Emily Mannix have all been named in the team after missing out on Constellation Cup selection. The trio are renowned for their hard work, endurance and craft in their respective positions and will provide plenty of composure and wisdom on the court given the youth and inexperience.

After a breakout season, it is no surprise Sunshine Coast Lightning versatile shooter Cara Koenen got the nod in the team. The 23-year-old played an integral role in the Lightning’s finals berth with her accuracy, clever footwork and strong holds all but cementing her spot in the starting side. Given her scope the training squad could be just the beginning and a stepping stone for the talented goaler who oozes composure and class. Teammate Maddy McAuliffe also got the call up with the wing defence plying her trade credit to her hands over pressure and tagging style of defence.

Despite of a lack of court time in 2019 through injury Matilda Garrett has been named in the Development Squad thanks to her defensive pressure while fellow Magpie Gabby Sinclair has also secured a spot. After coming in as a replacement player for Maddy Proud at the Swifts youngster Tayla Fraser has earned a spot in the squad with her dynamic movement and speed to boot a real feature of her game. Fellow Swift, Sophie Garbin also got the nod in the Development Team after an impressive season with her accuracy and strength on full display throughout the year. Other shooters such as Kiera Austin and Alice Teague-Neeld have also been selected with Austin renowned for her versatility, silky movement and general netball know how able to adapt to just about any situation on the court.

Queensland Firebirds defensive duo Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe also landed a spot in the Development Team with their hard work throughout the season well and truly recognised. Both Hincliffe and Jenner have plenty of class paired with tenacity and a desire to hunt any cross-court ball making them a promising combination. Teammate Jemma Mi Mi also caught the eye of selectors with her speed, agility and ability to stop on a dime.

The GIANTS are well represented with Kristiana Manu’a and Amy Parmenter both in the team, along with 28-year-old goal keeper Sam Poolman who was selected in the squad. Parmenter burst onto the scene this season with her speed off the mark, ability to read the play and skill to cover the court. West Coast Fever duo Jess Anstiss and Olivia Lewis will also be hoping to have an impact while Hannah Petty is the only representative from the Thunderbirds after having a solid season in the midcourt with her drives and speed.

2019 Australian Development Team
Jess Anstiss
Kiera Austin
Sophie Garbin
Tara Hinchliffe
Kim Jenner
Cara Koenen
Emily Mannix
Kristiana Manu’a
Maddy McAuliffe
Jemma Mi Mi
Kate Moloney
Amy Parmenter
Gabi Simpson
Alice Teague-Neeld

2019 Australian Development Squad
Tayla Fraser
Matilda Garrett
Olivia Lewis
Hannah Petty
Sam Poolman
Gabby Sinclair

Lightning storm home to claim minor premiership

SUNSHINE Coast Lightning secured the minor premiership after a dominant performance against Adelaide Thunderbirds in the final game of the home and away season (58-37). Lightning walked away with seven points to snatch top spot from the NSW Swifts and claim rights to a home final while restricting the Thunderbirds to their lowest score to date.

The opening couple of minutes was played at a frenetic pace with the ball flying up and down the court before the Thunderbirds settled into a routine. With both Emma Ryde and Sasha Glasgow out with knee injuries, Cody Lange got the nod at goal shooter and did not look back. Lange was composed at the post and made the most of her opportunities with two goals straight, albeit playing second fiddle to New Zealand international, Maria Folau who slotted 13 goals at 100 per cent. Adelaide were determined not to go down without a fight, striking first and establishing a four goal lead in the opening term thanks to Shamera Sterling putting on a show in defence with her impressive aerial skill. Sterling put on a clinic denying easy entry into the circle with five gains; three intercepts, two deflection and one rebound. But Karla Pretorius proved that anything you can do I can do better, taking her fair share of intercepts in the first quarter to keep the Lightning in the match and create doubt in Adelaide’s minds. With two minutes left in the quarter Cara Koenen made her way onto the court replacing Peace Proscovia who struggled to make an impact in the goal circle only registering five goals. Sunshine Coast were not the only side to make changes with Maisie Nankivell replacing Shadine Van der Merwe.

Down by four goals at quarter time the Lightning well and truly flipped the script, piling on the pain both in attack and defence. Although they did not post a huge total they kept the Thunderbirds to a mere seven goals highlighting their defensive prowess and pressure to limit their transition and impact under the post. Koenen made her presence felt in the goal circle with eight goals straight while Laura Langman lifted her intensity, hitting the circle edge repeatedly with pace and precision. Her offensive work was just as impressive as her defensive efforts amassing one gain, one intercept and one pick-up. Goal keeper Phumza Maweni also upped the ante applying strong hands over pressure, clogging up space and forcing errors in the defensive third. After a solid start Lange struggled to find the net, not sinking a single shot from her three attempts and forcing Folau to carry the load in the circle. Tania Obst rung in the changes with Chelsea Pitman and Kate Shimmin making their way to the bench while Hannah Petty switched into wing attack. Kelly Altmann also entered the game in centre while Van der Merwe took the court once more in goal defence in hope to reclaim their first quarter form.

The Lightning continued to go from strength to strength, unphased by Adelaide’s wholesale changes. Former training partner, Charlee Hodges made her way onto the court but simply could not find the post, struggling to have an impact under the post with one goal from three attempts. Folau continued on her merry way but Pretorius outshone her with an impressive four gains and three intercepts credit to her defensive nous and cleanliness to win ball back. Up the other end, Steph Wood took control in the circle for Sunshine Coast with her cuts and drives on full display. Meanwhile, her ability to turn and shoot created headaches for the Thunderbirds with the goal attack scoring seven goals at 100 per cent. Sunshine Coast won their second bonus point thanks to an 18 goal to eight third quarter.

With one hand on top spot and the minor premiership crown, the Lightning pushed hard to end their home and away season on a high. Annika Lee-Jones replaced Maweni in goal keeper while Proscovia also re-entered the game late in the final quarter. Maddy McAuliffe donned the centre bib with Langman heading to the bench. Even with the changes the Lightning were slick with ball in hand while the Thunderbirds simply looked out of sorts across the court. Folau finished the match with 33 goals from 39 attempts at 85 per cent while Koenen topscored for the Lightning only missing two of her attempts to finish with 30 goals.


Sunshine Coast Lightning:

GS | Peace Proscovia
GA | Steph Wood
WA | Laura Scherian
C | Laura Langman
WD | Maddy McAuliffe
GD | Karla Pretorius
GK | Phumza Maweni

Adelaide Thunderbirds:

GS | Cody Lange
GA | Maria Folau
WA | Chelsea Pitman
C | Hannah Petty
WD | Shadine Van der Merwe
GD | Kate Shimmin
GK | Shamera Sterling

SSN Team of the Week: Round 13

ROUND 13 of the Suncorp Super Netball saw records broken and players return for consecutive weeks in Draft Central’s Suncorp Super Netball Team of the Week. The Magpies feature three players the most of any other team this rounds credit to their impressive win, while NSW Swifts and West Coast Fever failed to have a player make the side.

GK: Geva Mentor (Collingwood Magpies)

It was a vintage performance from Mentor who completely dominated in the goal keeper position credit to her smothering pressure. Mentor blocked any easy access into the goal circle hunting the crosscourt ball and getting hands to ball time and time again. She took Sam Wallace out of the game pushing her up high and wearing her like a glove to limit her an impact under the post. Mentor created doubt in the feeders’ minds racking up 12 deflections, eight gains and three intercepts while also showcasing her strength and netball nous to claim prime position under the post with two rebounds.

GD: Karla Pretorius (Sunshine Coast Lightning)

Pretorius has become a regular in our Team of the Week thanks to impressive performances throughout the season, and she did not disappoint once again in Round 13. The Lightning goal defence played a huge role in keeping her side within touch throughout the game with her timely tips, read of the play and sheer understanding with teammate Phumza Maweni on when to go and when to drop back. She really worked herself into the match after being well held in the opening term credit to her defensive pressure and commitment to the contest. Pretorius worked effortlessly across the court competing for both the high and low balls while also helping transition through the midcourt. She finished with six gains, five intercepts, three deflections and three pickups.

WD: Amy Parmenter (GIANTS Netball)

She continued her breakout season for the GIANTS with the young wing defence doing a wealth of work across the court to provide that drive through the midcourt as well as defensive pressure. Parmenter put up a strong front throughout the game blocking both Chelsea Pitman and Hannah Petty from hitting the circle edge with ease given her clever footwork and strength off the ball to keep them away. Her hands over pressure was on full display while she also showcased her speed to chase down errant passes and pick up deflections. Parmenter notched up four gains, one intercept and five deflections for the match.

C: Ash Brazill (Collingwood Magpies)

It was another midcourt masterclass from fan favourite Brazill who displayed her full array of tricks. The ball winning, crafty player has well and truly stood up to the plate in the centre position providing strong drives into the attacking third while also not losing her defensive touch amassing two gains, one intercept and four deflections. Her dynamic movement and aerial abilities caused havoc for opponent, Paige Hadley. Brazil lifted her load in the second half after Kelsey Browne went down finding good space to feed into both Shimona Nelson and Nat Medhurst while also varying the passes into the circle to keep the defenders guessing. The makeshift centre took ownership in the attacking third commanding the ball both in the pocket and at the top of the circle racking up a game high 24 goal assists.

WA: Caitlyn Nevins (Queensland Firebirds)

The veteran wing attack showcased that she still has plenty to give despite announcing her retirement with a dominant performance in her sides first win of the season. Nevins was in hot form finding Gretel Tippett, Lenize Potgieter and Romelda Aiken with ease under the post thanks to her impressive vision and quick hands. She tussled hard throughout the match to claim prime position around the circle edge while consistently re-offering to allow the goalers to re-position in the circle. In her second last game Nevins racked up a match high 23 goal assists along with a whopping 36 centre pass receives highlighting her high work rate.

GA: Gretel Tippett (Queensland Firebirds)

Tippet once again steered the ship in attack for the Firebirds showcasing her impressive athleticism and attacking flair throughout the four quarters. Her hot hand was on full display not missing a shot with 30 goals from 30 attempts highlighting her ability to be an imposing force under the post. She shot with confidence backing herself from range while pairing with Aiken and Potgieter seamlessly. The goal attack doing a wealth of work out the front to deliver the ball into her shooting counterparts with 19 goal assists. Tippett also displayed her defensive capabilities picking up two intercepts and two gains to earn another nomination in our Team of the Week.

GS: Shimona Nelson (Collingwood Magpies)

She was a lynchpin in the goal circle for the Magpies controlling the airwaves with her impressive leap and fingertip control. Nelson was not fazed by the defensive pressure of Sarah Klau, Maddy Turner and Katrina Rore standing up to the pressure time and time again. She found good space in the circle holding strong while also getting on the moves at time to varying up her game. Nelson commanded the ball and used her silky footwork to edge herself closer to the post. She capitalised on her opportunities under the post only missing two goals with 52 from 54 attempts at 96 per cent.

BENCH: Shamera Sterling (Adelaide Thunderbirds), Liz Watson (Melbourne Vixens), Peace Proscovia (Sunshine Coast Lightning)

All three players impressed in Round 13 showcasing their class and skill for their respective sides. Shamera Sterling was rumoured to have broken the intercept record with 10 but upon review only managed eight. Despite not breaking the record the Thunderbirds goal keeper but on a stunning display to contest the ball in the air and cause confusion in the circle with her lanky arms and quick feet amassing 12 gains, three rebounds and eight deflections. Liz Watson was her ever-reliable self through the midcourt showcasing her dynamic movement and strength to hit the circle edge with precision. She finished with a game high 28 goal assists from 45 feeds credit to her clever passes into the circle and ability to create space. Lightning goal shooter Peace Proscovia proved to be the difference in the circle coming on with a commanding presence. She only missed one goal after coming on late in the first quarter with 33 from 34 attempts at 97 per cent accuracy, showing composure under the post. Proscovia was unfazed by the physical nature of the game standing up under the pressure and backing herself time and time again.

Finals are go for GIANTS after defeating Thunderbirds

IT was a highly physical encounter with plenty of players hitting the deck for both the GIANTS and Thunderbirds but in the end the GIANTS prevailed by 14 goals (54-40). The game was not without plenty of controversy and injuries with both Sasha Glasgow and Emma Ryde going down with knee injuries while Shamera Sterling was handed a caution.

With a spot in the top four up for grabs, the GIANTS came to play quickly surging ahead thanks to a 17 to seven first quarter. Shooters Jo Harten and Caitlin Bassett found their feet with both goalers combining well in the circle and setting up clever plays for one another however they struggled for accuracy with a combined percentage of 71. Harten did a wealth of work out the front creating plenty of front space for her shooting partner while also showcasing her ability to turn and shoot herself. Despite the repeat entries Sterling stood up down in defence injecting herself into the game with three intercepts, three gains and two deflections. GIANTS centre, Jamie-Lee Price seemed to have the ball on a string throughout the quarter finding good space in the attacking third while running hard in defence to apply strong hands over pressure and block easy avenue to goal for the Thunderbirds. The GIANTS really hit their straps early with their connections across the court on song and unfazed by the physical nature of the game. With only seconds left in the quarter Glasgow went down with a suspected knee injury after landing awkwardly sending shock waves throughout the Thunderbirds camp but continued to play.

The Thunderbirds lifted their intensity in the second quarter but were still searching for a spark. South African, Shadine Van der Merwe made her way onto the court in goal defence and made an immediate impact for the Thunderbirds winning back some ball and helping to propel it back down the court. With Glasgow injured Ryde took the court using her height and strong holds to command the ball under the post against both Sam Poolman and Kristiana Manu’a. Ryde highlighted her ability to turn and shoot with confidence nailing 10 goals straight while Maria Folau worked tirelessly out the front to draw the attention of Manu’a and create a one on one in the circle. The battle between Maisie Nankivell and veteran Kim Green provided plenty of interest with both players going toe to toe throughout the quarter. Nankivell shadowed Green’s every movement and applied strong hands over pressure to limit her influence in the attacking third however Green was not bothered racking up five goal assists.

After a disappointing start to the game the Thunderbirds showed some fight to draw even on the quarter scores with 10 goals apiece. The Jamaican goal keeper put on a masterclass in defence credit to her long reach, incredible aerial skills and read of the play racking up another five gains, three intercepts, three deflections and two rebounds. The GIANTS brought on youngster Kiera Austin with the wing attack stepping up to the plate immediately with her clever feeds and good vision while also putting in the hard yards defensively with one deflection and one pickup. Amy Parmenter took control in the defensive third with three gains, one intercept and two deflections displaying her ability to apply strong pressure, force turnovers and limit easy access to goals. With the T’birds attack end connecting well they were struck by injury once again with Ryde going down late in the quarter with another suspected knee injury. With two players out Adelaide were forced to make some wholesale changes with Chelsea Pitman dropping into goal attack, Hannah Petty into wing attack and Kelly Altmann coming on in centre. Though Pitman did not hit the scoreboard her work to feed the ball into Folau and create space in the goal circle was second to none.

The GIANTS regained control after a relatively even third term to run out with another bonus point. With effectively one shooter, Folau proved that accuracy was no problem piling on 12 goals from 14 attempts well and truly carrying the load in attack. The Silver Ferns shooter nailed 18 from 22 at 82 per cent while Ryde was going along nicely with 18 from 19 before injury struck. Altmann and Petty paired nicely through the midcourt but the GIANTS were just too good closing down every option and capitalising on turnover ball. Bassett finished with 32 from 38 attempts at 84 per cent while Harten slotted 22 from 28 at 79 per cent both down on their seasons average accuracy. Sterling broke the record for the number of intercepts with an impressive 10 for the game surpassing Emily Mannix’s nine earlier in the season.


Adelaide Thunderbirds:

GS | Sasha Glasgow
GA | Maria Folau
WA | Chelsea Pitman
C | Hannah Petty
WD | Maisie Nankivell
GD | Kate Shimmin
GK | Shamera Sterling

GIANTS Netball:

GS | Caitlin Bassett
GA | Jo Harten
WA | Kim Green
C | Jamie-Lee Price
WD | Amy Parmenter
GD | Kristiana Manu’a
GK | Sam Poolman

Adelaide thunders home against struggling Firebirds

IT was a hard and fast start for the Queensland Firebirds in their final home game of 2019, but it was unfortunately a mostly forgettable match to say goodbye to upcoming retirees, Laura Clemesha and Caitlyn Nevins. The Adelaide Thunderbirds were far too good on the day, winning three bonus points against the struggling Firebirds and poking holes in their connections across the court on their way to a 71-59 victory.

The old-school connection between Gretel Tippett and Romelda Aiken was firing well in the first, finding plenty of ball and combining for 16 goals from 17 attempts in the first to generate some excitement for the home crowd. However it did not last long with the likes of Shamera Sterling putting on a show in defence, collecting two intercepts in the first quarter alone to propel plenty of ball back down court to Sasha Glasgow and Maria Folau in attack. It took some stellar work from captain, Gabi Simpson to get the Firebirds over the line in the first quarter, applying phenomenal pressure on Chelsea Pitman early to head into the second quarter up by one goal. It was the Firebirds’ only competition point for the day however, with the Thunderbirds holding their ground for the rest of the match and shooting 38 goals to 29 in the second half to run away with an impressive win.

The second quarter saw the Thunderbirds kick into gear, shooting nine of their 18 goals from range to showcase their ability to turn and shoot as well as building confidence as they headed into the second half up by three goals. For the Firebirds, the turning point was their penalty count having only sat up by five in the first before collecting a whopping 17 contact calls in the second. With Nevins having a hard time penetrating the goal circle only managing eight assists thanks to the defensive efforts of both Shadine Van Der Merwe and Maisie Nankivell, coach Roselee Jencke threw the bibs around moving Jemma MiMi into wing attack bib while young gun Macy Gardner took the court in centre in the hope to spur the home side into action. The 18 goal to 14 second term ultimately set up the beginning of the end for the Firebirds, with the Thunderbirds well and truly controlling every aspect of the contest.

Half time saw Kim Jenner head to the bench with Tara Hinchliffe returning to the court after a few weeks off with injury, but the switch was to no avail as the Thunderbirds continued to fire on all cylinders, applying great pressure down court and shooting goals with both accuracy and volume. While the Firebirds maintained accuracy once more, only dropping one shot for the quarter, it was the lack of ball coming into the circle that lost them the term with the percentage of goals converted from centre passes dropping with every quarter. While Simpson and Clemesha worked tirelessly to provide ball back up to attack, the lack of connection through the midcourt gave the Thunderbirds plenty of time and space to force turnovers. Simpson was impressive in wing defence with six gains and three intercepts, leading from the front to spur the defensive unit into action.

While the Firebirds regained some composure in the third despite still being down by five goals at three quarter time, a win was still in sight if they played their cards right. However it was easier said than done with the Thunderbirds unleashing a phenomenal 20 goal quarter to run home for a third win of the season. While the Firebirds shared the load at the post better in the final term, it was the phenomenal effort of Glasgow at the post with 15 goals at 100 per cent accuracy to not only outshoot the Firebirds’ final quarter alone but also set up a massive win that did not reflect the closeness of the contest prior to the final quarter. Both sides stuck by their connections in goals with no changes made throughout the match. For the losing side, Aiken (38 from 39 at 97 per cent) and Tippett (21 from 25 at 84 per cent, 22 goal assists) were back up to their usual tricks but were unable to receive easy ball into the circle thanks to the defensive efforts of the Thunderbirds. Glasgow (36 from 37 at 97 per cent) and Folau (35 from 38 at 92 per cent) shared the load well in a moving circle for the opposition, with plenty of ball finding its way into attack. Pitman was impressive around the circle with 28 assists from 31 feeds despite all efforts of Simpson while Hannah Petty managed 18 assists and two gains in just over half a game in centre. It was an exceptional full court effort from the Thunderbirds, with Sterling collecting seven gains and five intercepts despite also getting a talking to from the umpire in the final quarter.


Queensland Firebirds
GK | Laura Clemesha
GD | Kim Jenner
WD | Gabi Simpson
C | Jemma MiMi
WA | Caitlyn Nevins
GA | Gretel Tippett
GS | Romelda Aiken

Adelaide Thunderbirds
GK | Shamera Sterling
GD | Kate Shimmin
WD | Shadine Van Der Merwe
C | Hannah Petty
WA | Chelsea Pitman
GA | Maria Folau
GS | Sasha Glasgow

Vixens too strong for forceful Thunderbirds

LAST time the Adelaide Thunderbirds and Melbourne Vixens met saw a comfortable win by the Vixens and a 16-goal margin that the Thunderbirds were unwilling to submit to again. The six-goal victory this time around was not the margin the Vixens wanted for Tegan Philip’s milestone game – overtaking Bianca Chatfield for the most games at the club – but it was a win all the same, which the Vixens needed coming back from the Netball World Cup, sitting in third on the ladder.

A big late exclusion for the Thunderbirds saw Maria Folau pulled out of the lineup ahead of the match, with Victorian Fury’s Emma Ryde pulled into the fray. Meanwhile, Vixens fan favourites Mwai Kumwenda and Kim Commane were selected for the side’s extended lineup, though neither player took the court. It was a very defensive first half, with the Vixens getting a handy lead early in the first before the Thunderbirds found some form thanks to the defensive prowess and long arms of Kate Shimmin and Shamera Sterling. While it did not look it on the scoreboard, the Thunderbirds made the Vixens work for every ball into the circle, finding difficulty using the space and giving away too many easy balls. Down the other end, despite the late exclusion of star goaler, Folau, it seemed to be business as usual in attack for the Thunderbirds with Sasha Glasgow rotating well with Cody Lange. However despite relative ease getting into the circle, the likes of Jo Weston and Emily Mannix did their best to cause issues, forcing the Thunderbirds to shoot from distance and denying easy rebounds.

With a four-goal margin at the end of the first, the Vixens had the lead but were unable to extend it to their full capacity with the relatively young Thunderbirds side unwilling to let the game slip away. The two sides went goal for goal in the second, with both sides capitalising off their own centre passes and turnover after turnover denying opportunity to both extend and reduce the lead. Late replacement and ex-Vixens training partner Ryde took the court in goal shooter and proved an instant threat to the Vixens, with her height and strength making her a difficult target to stop at the post, forcing a final minutes change to the Vixens lineup with Kadie-Ann Dehaney taking the court in goal keeper. While the ball started moving more smoothly in attack for the Thunderbirds, it was another story altogether for the Vixens whose movement seemed stilted, with hesitance letting go of the ball a big issue with the likes of Sterling and Shimmin finding plenty of air ball. While the Vixens’ telltale cleanliness and patience eventually worked the ball into the circle, the side was fortunate that the Thunderbirds were not scoring well off turnover opportunities. The mostly even quarter saw the Vixens finally break away towards the end of the term, extending the margin to six goals thanks to the defensive effort of Dehaney on Ryde, with the pair teammates in the Australian Netball League. While the Vixens had more scoring opportunities, the Thunderbirds shot true with 100 per cent accuracy in the second compared to the Vixens’ 86 per cent.

The second half saw the two sides equalise, with the Vixens unwilling to let go of their lead but the Thunderbirds matching them almost goal for goal, with no bonus points handed out. The third quarter saw a flurry of changes across the court, with both sides fighting for control. The Thunderbirds took a chance on the youth coming through the ranks, with Maisie Nankivell taking the court in wing defence on fresh legs to make work harder for the ailing Liz Watsonin wing attack, while Glasgow put on a show in the goal circle shooting from all over the circle while out in the unfamiliar position of goal attack. The Vixens produced some great turnovers with the help of Renae Ingles using her strength and speed to corner Chelsea Pitman and send the ball back up the court, while Dehaney put out a stellar performance forcing Ryde away from the post and over the goal line time and time again, working well with Mannix and Weston to confuse the space. A tactical timeout with four minutes left in the quarter saw Kelly Altmann take the court for Hannah Petty with Shadine Van Der Merwe re-taking the court in goal defence, while the Vixens made an unprecedented change in attack with Caitlin Thwaites switching into goal attack as Philip sat back in goal shooter, with the aim to use Philip’s stellar footwork to open up the circle and run Sterling off her feet in defence. A last ditch effort from Dehaney denied a bonus point to the Thunderbirds, with the Vixens scraping by with the narrowest of saves before the whistle.

The final quarter saw the Thunderbirds get so close yet so far once more, unable to steal away a bonus point once more, with the clinical Vixens going back to basics to scrape the win. The Thunderbirds continued their form in getting young players out on court, emptying their bench with young defender Chelsea Blackman taking on Thwaites for the final five minutes, looking to win the bonus point rather than the match but unable to finish with the win or bonus point. Player of the Match in her milestone game, Philip lead the goaling tally with 33 goals from 40 attempts, almost matched by Thwaites with 30 from 33. Despite a quiet game for the most part, Watson came away with 27 assists from 43 feeds and 31 centre pass receives, combining well with captain, Kate Moloney who finished with 25 assists from 34 feeds and three pickups. Defensively, Ingles and Dehaney starred with three intercepts apiece, combining for 10 deflections and followed closely by Mannix with two intercepts. For the Thunderbirds, Glasgow (28 goals from 32) and Ryde (28 goals from 30) paired well to combine for 90 per cent accuracy, fed well by Pitman (18 assists from 29 feeds, 30 centre pass receives). Sterling finished with seven gains and three intercepts, while Nankivell also came up with three gains in her 30 minutes on court.


GK | Emily Mannix
GD | Jo Weston
WD | Renae Ingles
C | Kate Moloney
WA | Liz Watson
GA | Tegan Philip
GS | Caitlin Thwaites

GK | Shamera Sterling
GD | Kate Shimmin
WD | Shadine Van Der Merwe
C | Hannah Petty
WA | Chelsea Pitman
GA | Sasha Glasgow
GS | Cody Lange