Firebirds beat Fever for first netball win

Mar 3, 2017 - 12:53 PM It was the battle of the Super Netball cellar-dwellers at Perth Arena on Friday night with the Queensland Firebirds prevailing over West Coast Fever 60-47.

It was a dominant showing from the Firebirds who had opened the season drawing with the Sunshine Coast Lightning and losing to the Giants.

Fever remain winless after three games, having already gone down on the road to the Adelaide Thunderbirds and Giants.

Fever weren't happy with 45 contact penalties against them to nine in the first half, but the 18 turnovers to 11 were just as costly.

By the end, that was 73 contact penalties to 31, and 31 turnovers to 27.

Romelda Aitken might have missed nine shots but had four rebounds on her way to shooting 44 of 53. Gretel Tippett added 16 from 22 for the Firebirds.

Shooter Kate Beveridge was celebrating her 150th national league game but struggled in the opening quarter and was benched by Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich.

Kaylia Stanton replaced her and impressed with 28 from 35. Captain Nat Medhurst had 14 from 16.

The Firebirds dominated the first half to lead 34-18 at the break.

Fever hit back during the third term to close to within eight but Queensland steadied to lead by 14 at three quarter-time and win by 13.

The Firebirds return home to host NSW Swifts next Friday. Fever heads to Melbourne to play Vixens.

Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke was just happy to get a win after a tough first three weeks.

"I saw improvement and what we've been working on throughout the week, which is really pleasing considering we only had one decent training before we came out to the west," Jencke said.

"We had better connection in that attack end and our passing was better. Defensively in that first half some of the unit work was very good which confused the Fever. We were able to get some loose ball and capitalise on that."

Marinkovich was pleased with the second half but knows the Fever can't afford to give up so many turnovers or penalties.

"It was a combination of those things and Firebirds played clean with the ball and were finding their connections. To be out of play it enables that to happen a lot more," Marinkovich said.

Source: AAP

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