Lightning to face Firebirds in semis after beating Vixens
NETBALL: The Sunshine Coast will collide with the Queensland Firebirds in the Super Netball minor semi-final after beating the Vixens in Melbourne on Sunday.
A blockbuster Queensland derby awaits in Brisbane, following the Lightning's 56-51 triumph which secured them fourth place on the eight-team ladder at the end of the regular season.
It was a clash between two teams desperate to secure one spot in the play-offs berth but the Lightning proved too strong for the Vixens in front of a crowd of more than 7100 .
The hosts started the better, stealing a break early in the match en-route to a 15-14 first quarter.
But the Lightning struck back in the second quarter, winning it 16-9, to take a 30-24 lead into half-time.
They continued their good form after the main break, securing their place in the finals with a 15-12 third quarter, to forge to a 45-36 advantage.
But the Lightning missed out on the opportunity to claim hosting rights for the minor semi-final in the last quarter when the Vixens won the last stanza 15-11.
The Lightning went into the match essentially needing to win two quarters to secure their berth in the finals.
For the reigning premiers Lightning, Caitlin Bassett bagged 41 goals from 47 attempts while Stephanie Wood nabbed 15 goals from 19 attempts.
For the Vixens, Kim Commane scored 31 goals from 33 shots, in the absence of injured star shooter Mwai Kumwenda, while Tegan Philip got 20 from 24.
It's a four-team finals.
The Lightning will meet the Firebirds in an elimination clash on Sunday, August 12, at 1pm at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
The Giants will host the Fever in the major semi-final on Saturday.
Full story to come.