Mahalia Cassidy of the Firebirds and Kaitlyn Bryce of the Thunderbirds battle for possession. Picture: Getty
Mahalia Cassidy of the Firebirds and Kaitlyn Bryce of the Thunderbirds battle for possession. Picture: Getty

Firebirds burned by new Super system

THE Queensland Firebirds lost small but significant ground in the increasingly tense campaign for Suncorp Super Netball finals spots in their 67-46 win over the Adelaide Thunderbirds on Sunday.

The Firebirds failed to get the maximum four bonus points in their victory over the winless T-Birds at Boondall with the tied first quarter having the potential to come back and haunt Queensland.

The Firebirds led 15-14 going into the final frenetic minute of the first term but Adelaide were able to convert through goalshooter Shimona Nelson to level the scores and deny the home side a bonus point in front of 4221 stunned spectators.

The Sunshine Coast Lightning have now edged ahead of their Queensland rivals on the ladder after collecting the maximum eight points from their win and four-quarter domination of the NSW Swifts on Saturday.

The Firebirds finished with seven competition points on Sunday to move past the Vixens on the congested table with five teams capable of playing finals.

Queensland host Collingwood this Saturday in the final round of the regular season and need to cash-in against the second-last Magpies to stay in the hunt for the finals.

The Thunderbirds snatched a first-quarter draw. Picture: AAP
The Thunderbirds snatched a first-quarter draw. Picture: AAP

The Lightning and Vixens will play a mini final a day later in Melbourne with the winner set to proceed in to the play-offs.

The clash between the top two sides â€" Giants and Fever â€" in Sydney this Saturday will also have a bearing on the make-up of the top four.

The Firebirds were in control early and led 7-3 after six minutes but the T-Birds fought back, hit the front and put Queensland under immense pressure.

Laura Geitz celebrates the win. Picture: AAP
Laura Geitz celebrates the win. Picture: AAP

Queensland dominated the second quarter to establish a six-goal lead at the main break but the damage was done in the first quarter when they did not pick up the bonus point.

The Firebirds pulled away from the visitors in the third quarter to enjoy a 15-goal buffer at the last change.

Romelda Aiken finished with 45 goals from 54 attempts for the Firebirds while goal attack Gretel Tippett had 22 goals from 27 attempts for Queensland. Nelson had 33 goals for the Thunderbirds.



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