21/04/2024

Molly Jovic with ball in hand. Credit: Collingwood Super Netball - Twitter

The Collingwood Magpies tough loss to the Sunshine Coast Lightning came at the end of extra time, going down by two goals despite their best efforts.

The Collingwood Magpies went down in a heartbreaking defeat to the Sunshine Coast Lightning in Round 8 of the Super Netball, falling by two goals in extra time.

After the game, coach Nicole Richardson was shattered, but proud of her players. There were lots of positives for the Collingwood Magpies, as they showed the same positives as before they bye, when the beat the Melbourne Vixens.

“Its mixed emotions. I’m shattered for the girls, and on the flipside of that, I’m very proud of what they put out today,” Richardson said.

“It was an arm-wrestle, yet we made most of the running throughout the game.

“I thought we started strongly, and that’s where we got a bit of a jump.

“It was probably having a bit more courage under fire early in the match when we were three or four goals up, rather than leaving it to the last minute.”

The Magpies started well, with Shimona Nelson, in her 50th game, starting with 13 goals in the first quarter. At the other end, Jodi-Ann Ward wreaked havoc on the Lightning attack, with three early deflections and two early gains.

Richardson lamented the lack of killer instinct in the team after the strong start, and commented that it might have cost them in the end.

“Having a bit more courage when we’re four or five up, and letting the ball go to get six or seven up, and that’s waht we’ve got to learn to do” Richardson said.

After the Magpies won the first quarter by five goals, the Lightning fought back to make the difference just three goals at half time. After four quarters, the scores were tied, the match went on to extra time.

In the end, the Lightning showed enough composure and polish to win by two goals at the end of extra time. Cara Koenen sealed the win with a goal as time expired after 65 minutes.

“I don’t think our players could have done much more, they fought hard, and they fought right to the end. We won ball in that last minute to give us another chance, and we couldn’t get the ball down the Court,” Richardson said.

“I think the key thing we train for, and the reason it was disappointing that we have 10 seconds left on the clock ,and being able to score.

“We did it at training in our last training session, and the scenario presented, and we got it to a shot.”

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One of the challenges for the Magpies was nullifying the impact of Lightning defender Karla Pretorius. Richardson lauded Goal Attack Gabby Sinclair after the game, for the way she ensured that Pretorious did not have a major impact.

“We spoke pre-game to Gabby, and it was a game for Gabi to step up, and really take it to Karla,” Richardson said.

“We’re very pleased with what Gabby did today… but we were a lot more patient before finding Shimona under the post.

“Gabby’s last two weeks have been exceptional, and hopefully she can gain more confidence from there and continue to grow in the back half of the season.”

Collingwood Magpies will regroup before taking on the Adelaide Thunderbirds next week.

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