The Mission Queensland Firebirds survived an early scare to come away eventual winners over New Zealand’s Central Pulse on Saturday as they outscored the visitors 55-45 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Craigie Mac reports.
The Pulse got off to a flying start shooting 100% in the first quarter and leading our girls 13-8 at the first change. The Firebirds looked shaky early, after losing Sarah “Sparkles” Wall for the season and, given a short turn around, were forced to trial some new options in the midcourt.
Firebirds veteran, and last season’s ghoal Attack, Alissa Castrisos was given the nod to take the wing attack bib for the first quarter. Jamaican superstar, Romelda Aiken looked out of sorts as she missed five of her first eight attempts to start the match.
Coach Roselee Jenke switched things up in the second quarter, moving Captain Lauren Nourse to wing attack and bringing Jacquie Russell into Centre, with immediate results. It was only a few minutes before the Firebirds caught up, and by halftime, they led by two goals.
The game proved closer than could have been expected for most of the match, until the final quarter, when the Firebirds proved too fit and too fast, running away with it to win by 10 goals.
Not a bad margin and it currently boosts our girls back into fourth spot, with the Steel yet to play this round, but I would like to have seen a total demolition of the competitions cellar dwellers.
The talk of the weekend was regarding former Firebird and UK import, Tamsin Greenway. Greenway was rushed to Brisbane in an attempt to fill the clown-sized shoes of Sarah Wall, however, bureaucratic red tape has held up the decision to allow Tamsin into the side. Hopefully, she will be given the green light ahead of the next round.
Due to Sparkles being in Melbourne receiving medical treatment, I sought the next best thing in Sarah’s housemate, Amy Steel, who voted in her stead.
Amy Steel’s teammate of the match: 3 points – Laura Geitz (of course she would pick her playing partner first!!) 2 point – Nat Medhurst 1 point – Jacquie Russell
Craigie Mac’s player of the match: Laura Geitz – despite Amy’s clear favouritism, you couldn’t deny how red hot her defence was.
Craigie Mac’s benchwarmer of the week: Jacquie Russell – an impressive rebound performance after her last game against the Thunderbirds – not that I’m blaming her for it! Well done, Jackie!