Firebirds second side with undefeated status

Also available via The Substitute online.

The Queensland Firebirds have rivalled the Melbourne Vixens, also finishing undefeated by claiming victory over the Adelaide Thunderbirds 38-30 at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Melbourne today.

Kimberley Ravaillion during the Firebirds’ victory over the ThunderbirdsImage: Matt Johnson

Kimberley Ravaillion during the Firebirds’ victory over the Thunderbirds
Image: Matt Johnson.

The Queensland Firebirds have remained undefeated during the 2013 Summer Challenge, beating the Adelaide Thunderbirds 38-30 at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Melbourne today.

Jamaican international Romelda Aiken was rewarded with a starting position in goal shooter following her excellent performance against the NSW Swifts which saw her team take victory.

With both the Firebirds and the Thunderbirds coming off wins, the match was set up for an excellent contest- and certainly lived up to expectations.

The first quarter began with both sides playing extremely quick down the court- contests were tight and the score reflected that.

Thunderbirds held the advantage by one goal at the first break,  but the Firebirds retained the centre pass at the beginning of the second quarter- emulating just how close the contest was.

No changes were made for the Thunderbirds leading into the second quarter, with the Firebirds making only one- opting for the experience of Demelza McCloud in defence.

A few contact calls going against Aiken were costly for the Firebirds, as Adelaide cherished this extra possession and increased their lead.

The half-time score saw the Adelaide Thunderbirds leading the Queensland Firebirds 18-14.

Despite having the lead, the Thunderbirds made three changes leading into the second half with new goaling duo Carla Borrego and Laura Packard, plus Sam Poolman in at goal keeper.

The Firebirds made the one substitution, bringing Gabrielle Simpson on at wing defence.

Queensland made a resurgent comeback through the third period, hitting the front with three minutes to go- just as a tactical Adelaide timeout was called as a result.

Leading into the last term, the advantage was with the Firebirds- having completed a seven-goal turn around to lead at three quarter time.

As the final quarter of the 2013 Melbourne Vixens Summer Challenge approached, the Adelaide Thunderbirds chose to revert back to previous line-ups; placing Sharni Layton back into goal keeper and Erin Bell in goal attack, while injecting fresh legs at goal defence with the addition of Kate Shimmin.

Conversely, the Firebirds made a few changes in mid-court, bringing on young gun Nicola Grey at wing attack, moving Chelsea Pitman to centre and Kimberley Ravaillion to the bench.

Adelaide managed to make a slight dent in the score-line, but ultimately the Firebirds ran away with the match, 38-30.

The Queensland Firebirds finish their 2013 pre-season campaign undefeated- the same result as the home side; the Melbourne Vixens.

The Thunderbirds end their tournament with two wins and two losses.

The Firebirds and Vixens finish the 2013 Melbourne Vixens Summer Challenge on top, looking towards the beginning of the home and away ANZ Championship season which commences on the 24th March.



Thunderbirds: GS Stephanie Puopolo, GA Erin Bell, WA Leigh Waddington, C Emily Beaton, WD Renae Hallinan, GD Bec Bulley, GK Sharni Layton

Substitutes: Kate Shimmin, Carla Borrego, Maddy Proud, Samantha Poolman, Laura Packard

Firebirds: GS Romela Aiken, GA Ameliaranne Wells, WA Chelsea Pitman, C Kimberley Ravaillion, WD Abbey McCulloch, GD Jacinta Messer, GK  Laura Geitz

Substitutes: Natalie Medhurst, Nicola Gray, Gabrielle Simpson, Demelza McCloud, Laura Clemesha

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