Sunshine Coast Lightning struck twice in as many weeks to get their Super Netball season back on the rails with a 60-51 win over Adelaide Thunderbirds.
The defending premiers had endured the worst possible start to the season with a 0-3 run but for the time being snuck back into the top four with consecutive wins.
Following on from a nervy two-point victory over Collingwood the previous week – where they were nearly run down in the final period – the Lightning again started slowly.
But a strong finish to the period saw them claim the first of all bonus points on offer and a 13-11 lead at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
The Thunderbirds hung tough to keep the margin to three points at the main break but were literally dealt a savage blow in the third quarter when goal attack Charlee Hodges collected a stray shoulder to the face.
She groggily left the court and with her seemingly went the Thunderbirds’ prospects of a come-from-behind win.
Lightning’s Caitlin Bassett continued to sharpen her attack and finished with 43 goals from 47 attempts.
Shimona Nelson was left to carry the scoring for the Thunderbirds and managed 30 from 34.
Geva Mentor, in her 150th national league netball match, was outstanding in defence and earned player of the match honours.
“It’s been a decade in this game and I love every minute, it’s great to celebrate it with the Lightning and it’s a very special occasion for me personally,” the English international said.
Lightning coach Noeline Taurua was absent for the win, spending time with her family in New Zealand after the death of her father.
Assistant coach Kylee Byrne took charge of the side as the players wore black armbands in a mark of respect for the Taurua family.
Lightning’s win was soured by an ankle injury to Madeline McAuliffe late in the match.
Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.