Giants pip Fever 74-73 in Super Netball cliffhanger, Magpies score upset 67-59 win over Firebirds

The Giants have overcome a third-quarter mauling to leap into the top four after edging past the West Coast Fever 74-73 in a gripping clash at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena.

Their win followed the Collingwood Magpies’ 67-59 upset victory over the Queensland Firebirds in Brisbane earlier on Sunday.

The Giants saw their first-half lead vanish as the second-placed Fever seized control and threatened to sprint away.

But the home side, with shooters Jo Harten and Sophie Dwyer sizzling and Jamie-Lee Price superb in the centre, recovered to muscle past Fever with a fine final-quarter revival, improving their season win-loss record to 3-3.

After conceding the first three goals, the Giants went on an 8-1 burst midway through the opening term to lead 21-17 at quarter-time against an uncharacteristically untidy Fever outfit.

Price got on top of Verity Simmons, while Harten and Dwyer continued to hold sway in the Giants’ shooting circle as the hosts narrowly won the second term to lead 38-33 at half-time.

Fever’s Jamaican legend Jhaniele Fowler, a thorn in the Giants’ side all match with 62 goals, rifled 21 without a miss in a third-quarter blitz.

Fowler, aided by Chelsea Pitman’s exquisite passing and playmaking, spearheaded a stunning 25-goal quarter by the visitors, who pinched a 58-55 lead at the last break.

But Dwyer and Harten did not miss a shot in the final period, which was played with a finals-like standard and intensity.

It was largely goal-for-goal before Dwyer and Harten finally created some separation in the last 90 seconds to put an end to West Coast’s brave fight.

Magpies shock Firebirds

Shimona Nelson (right) and Sophie Garbin celebrate the Magpies’ win over the Firebirds.(AAP: Jason O’Brien)

After a tight opening term, the Magpies — who now hold a 2-4 win-loss record — created separation in the second quarter, before responding to a second-half rally from the Firebirds (3-3) in emphatic fashion.

Molly Jovic (35 feeds, 12 assists) and Kelsey Browne (52, 28) ran the Firebirds’ mid-court ragged all afternoon, while Shimona Nelson (54 goals) presented powerfully in attack.

Jovic had Firebirds centre Kim Ravaillion’s measure from the outset and Nelson got the scoreboard moving.

The Magpies stretched their 18-16 quarter-time lead to 37-31 at half-time, thanks chiefly to Jovic’s brilliance.

Ravaillion lifted in the third term, spearheading Queensland’s brief rearguard.

Gretel Bueta and Donnell Wallam caught fire in the Firebirds’ shooting circle and Ruby Bakewell-Doran began having an influence at goal defence, cutting the margin to 51-48 at three-quarter-time.

Collingwood responded with the first four goals of the fourth term, while the defensive smarts of Magpies co-captains Ash Brazill and Geva Mentor put a stranglehold on the home side.

Nelson uncharacteristically missed a couple of sitters but with Jovic and Browne continuing to dictate with their playmaking in the middle, the heavily-fancied Firebirds were left with too much to do.


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