WEST Coast Fever made it six on the trot with a strong performance against Collingwood Magpies (78-55). It was all one way traffic and while the Pies made somewhat of a comeback in the third term it was not enough to ruffle the feathers of the Fever who had the game on their terms from go-to-woe.
Boasting two power shooters in Jhaniele Fowler and Shimona Nelson for West Coast Fever and Collingwood Magpies respectively it a battle of the towering goalers. Fowler was a rock in the goal circle using her added centimetres to reel the high looping pass in while the predictable nature for Collingwood allowed Courtney Bruce to get hands to ball. Despite Bruce having an influence early the Pies were not fazed as they continued to bomb it long. It was goal for goal for majority of the term before the Fever started to pull away thanks to some strong hands over pressure.
Getting the nod at goal attack this week Sasha Glasgow made her mark felt landing the first super shot of the game to keep the Fever ticking along. West Coast nudged out to a five goal lead before Gabby Sinclair got one back for the Pies. It was becoming the Fowler show with the towering goaler shaking up her game style up to play not only a holding goaler but so too a moving one, not afraid to dart out of the circle and then lead back in. The transitional play from the Fever was causing all sorts of pain for Collingwood as the ball darted from one end of the court to the other in a heartbeat. Jess Anstiss showcased her dare to come screaming through for an intercept with Fowler converting under the post. the Fever monopolised the play for the final minutes, heading into the break with a 10-goal lead.
Ash Brazill came out with a point to prove in the second term getting hands to ball nice and early but the ball was lost in transition with the Fever able to extend their lead once again. it was laboured in attack for the Pies as Bruce, Sunday Aryang and Stacey Francis-Bayman won ball back time and time again. the trio were causing all sorts of chaos down back, stopping Collingwood in their tracks and then transitioning through court with great speed. fowler was in dominant form with the goal shooter nailing 22 goals straight and proving to be a real thorn in the Pies’ side.
The wheels really started to fall off for Collingwood as West Coast Fever snuck out to a 16-goal lead. Kelsey Browne was struggling to find her timing in attack with her second phase drives a couple of seconds off as Francis-Bayman used her long arms to get in Browne’s head. With the super shot period in play, Sinclair nailed a handy two-point goal before Kalifa McCollin was injected into the goal shooter position. but she lacked the potency, with her first shot an airball. The changes did not step there as Jodi-Ann Ward swung out to wing defence as Jacqui Newton pulled on the goal defence bib. Bruce was making a nuisance of herself with the Fever goal keeper wearing McCollin like a glove and imposing herself with her three-foot mark over the shot. The lead pushed out to 19 goals with Glasgow sinking consecutive super shots as the Fever oozed control and class.
The Fever continued their merry way with their silky connections through the midcourt coming to the fore. The decision to have Jess Anstiss through the centre and Verity Charles in wing attack worked wonders as the duo found Fowler with great ease. Speaking of dynamic midcourts, Collingwood’s duo of Browne and Brazill increased their load in attack with their footspeed and vision bringing Nelson into the game. Collingwood managed to peg back the lead to 17 goals credit to some strong attacking passages but any errant landed in the hands of the Fever. Collingwood’s fightback continued as Geva Mentor asserted herself on the contest to swing the momentum in favour of the black and white for the first time since the opening quarter.
The Fever went back to basics as Glasgow proved to be an integral link between the midcourt and goal circle but Collingwood’s mini charge continued slowly pegging away at the deficit. The Fever maintained a 17-goal buffer and with the Pies needing a change in the goal circle, McCollin made her way back onto the court. Brazill pulled out some Brazill magic with a crafty intercept to inspire her side as Collingwood closed the gap to 14 goals at three quarter time.
With it all to play for in the final quarter, Alice Teague-Neeld made her way onto the court in goal attack and found her groove relatively quickly to dish the ball off to Fowler. Bruce was unstoppable with her hunt and tenacity on full display but McCollin proved anything you can do, I can do better with a deflection. Mel Bragg was injected into the game in hope to limit the speed in attack but the Fever looked unfazed able to go about their business in a cool, calm and collected manner. Teague-Neeld was having a field day with her to secure a 23-goal win.
Fowler finished with 59 goals from 60 attempts while Glasgow was incredibly accurate from super shot range managing five goals. Charles was a force to be reckoned with around circle edge amassing 20 goal assists while defensively Bruce was a menace racking up eight deflections, 11 gains and five intercepts. For the Pies, Nelson was the prominent goaler sinking 39 goals from 41 attempts. Browne was the driving force in attack thanks to her 26 goal assists as Brazill also featured highly with her three intercepts.
COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES 14 | 11 | 20 | 10 (55)
WEST COAST FEVER 24 | 20 | 15 | 19 (78)
GS: Shimona Nelson
GA: Gabby Sinclair
WA: Kelsey Browne
C: Molly Jovic
WD: Ash Brazill
GD: Jodi-Ann Ward
GK: Geva Mentor
GS: Jhaniele Fowler
GA: Sasha Glasgow
WA: Verity Charles
C: Jess Anstiss
WD: Stacey Francis-Bayman
GD: Sunday Aryang
GK: Courtney Bruce
Photo credit: Jason McCawley