Lightning crowned minor premiers after toppling Thunderbirds
UPDATE: Sunshine Coast Lightning have been crowned minor premiers of Super Netball after a dominant display against Adelaide.
They capped their regular season in stunning fashion with a 21-goal triumph, 58-37, over Thunderbirds at USC Stadium on Saturday night.
They started the match slow, and finished the opening quarter on the back foot, but managed to step up their game in each quarter following to get the win and three bonus points.
The victory not only cemented a club first minor premiership by three points but earned them a home semi-final next week against Swifts.
"We got the job done and were able to get the points so for us to go into minor premiers, that's pretty cool for us," Coach Noeline Taurua said.
"It (home semi-final) had been something we had been talking about and something we haven't been able to do over the last couple of years so it's a bonus - Not only for ourselves but also for our community.
"It's something that we do talk about and know the value of being here and what it means to play here so I'm really happy about that."
Entering the finals as ladder leaders was a new experience for the Lightning and Taurua said they'd make sure to savour the feat.
"We're really just going to live it, it's the first time that we've had the opportunity to do a minor premiership here at home so we really want to live it and enjoy the moment and if we deserve to go through (direct to the decider) we will and if we don't so be it. We play the prelim," she said.
She said they'd work hard to nail down better starts in the finals series.
Wayward passes and simple errors hurt the Lightning in the opening stanza, down 15-11 at the first break.
Peace Proscovia was replaced by Cara Koenen late in that quarter.
Lightning battled to convert on attacking plays early in the second quarter, down by as many as five goals, but soon snapped back into action and stormed into half-time up 24-22.
Their intensity continued to lift in damaging fashion in the third quarter, stretching their lead out to 12 goals, 42-30.
They didn't take their foot off the pedal in the final period of play either, charging to a 21-goal triumph.
Jacqui Russel and Annika Lee-Jones entered the fray in the fourth quarter, with Laura Langman earning a break.
Koenen enjoyed a solid outing, shooting at 94 percent accuracy (30/32) with Steph Wood also a weapon in attack at 88 percent accuracy (22/25).
For the Thunderbirds, Maria Folau was a dominant force, nailing a game high 33 goals at 85 percent accuracy.
NETBALL: Sunshine Coast Lightning will be looking to enter a third-straight finals campaign on a high with victory over Adelaide on Saturday.
The Sunshine Coast will host Thunderbirds at USC Stadium for Round 14 of Super Netball tonight (7pm).
While it's the last regular season fixture and Lightning are already guaranteed a spot in the finals, there's still plenty to play for.
The Sippy Downs-based outfit are currently on top of the eight-team ladder with victory against Thunderbirds not just placing them in good stead of earning a minor premiership but a home semi-final too.
Thunderbirds are second-last on the ladder but have pushed plenty of strong outfits this season.
The last time the two teams faced off was in the Nara orthern Territory on June 8, with the Lightning coming out on top with a 59-53 win.
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