Firebirds finish strongly to down Pulse

Mar 8, 2015 - 8:17 AM A runaway fourth quarter set up the Queensland Firebirds for a 52-46 trans-Tasman netball league win over Central Pulse at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua on Sunday.

Both teams were coming off a loss, the Pulse pounded 64-40 by the Vixens last week, while the Firebirds looked out of sorts against West Coast Fever, losing 57-50.

The first three quarters were tight, the Firebirds sinking two late goals to take a 13-12 lead into the first break before easing ahead fractionally in the second spell to lead 23-21 at halftime.

The third quarter was shared 13-13, despite Queensland wing defence Gabrielle Simpson being hit with a three-goal stand-down for persistent infringing.

The visitors ran away with the match in the final 15 minutes, leading by 10 goals at one stage before the Pulse surged back late in the spell to introduce some respectability to the scoreline.

The Firebirds suffered a worrying blow late in the final spell, wing attack Verity Simmons tangling with Pulse defender Joline Henry and crashing heavily to ground with what looked like a serious wrist injury.

Queensland's win was built around an uncompromising through-court defensive effort, topped off with outstanding work at the back from circle defenders Laura Geitz and Clare McMeniman.

Their midcourt engine, driven by Australian international Kimberley Ravaillion, moved the ball quickly into the shooting circle, where it was efficiently converted by long-reaching Jamaican Romelda Aiken and goal attack Amy Wild.

The pair were kept under pressure by Pulse defenders Katrina Grant and Ama Agbeze, but the flow of possession proved hard to halt outside the circle, and the Firebirds were patient on attack in shifting the ball around.

Aiken sunk 37 of 45 attempts, while Wild missed five of her 20 shots on goal.

For the Pulse, Irene van Dyk shot 19 from 22, with Jodi Brown shouldering the bulk of the workload in sinking 27 from 37.

Source: AAP

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