Photo: Giants Netball via twitter

Giants Netball fought hard but fell short to the Sunshine Coast Lightning in Round 7 of the Suncorp Super Netball going down by six.

Giants Netball and Lightning fought a scrappy game, with the Giants falling short. The Lightning won by 6 goals, with the big difference being the conversion under the post, where the Giants didn’t quite match up.

The Giants’ defence was strong early, with six gains in the first quarter.

Sam Poolman and April Brandley played a very different start as opposed to last week, with the more mobile Cara Koenen and Steph Wood giving up a couple of possessions early.

The Giants also struggled shooting, making just over 70% of their shots. It was a question of what could have been, as the play was the difference in the end, as the Lightning converted better.

Julie Fitzgerald, in her 350th game coaching, spoke after the game.

“I’m really disappointed. I think we lost it in the early stages. We won enough ball and we just didn’t convert it, and you can’t play like that against a quality side like that” Fitzgerald said.

“I just couldn’t understand the early part of the game. We just seemed to do such silly things, and that’s not what we normally play like” Fitzgerald continued.

Amy Parmenter was Giants best, with six intercepts, and eight gains over the course of the match. She had three intercepts in the third quarter alone, as she dominated play for the Giants.

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Despite Parmenter’s heroics, the Giants were unable to capitalise with a big score.

The story of the match was the turnover battle, as both the Giants and the Lightning turned the ball over plenty. The Giants had 14 turnovers in the first half, finishing with 23 overall.

Defender April Brandley also spoke after the game, about the challenges the Lightning attack posed, after a different Swifts attack last week. Sun doesn’t shine for Lightning in crosstown clash

“It was more of a moving circle [with Koenen and Wood], and coming into the game, and then at half time, we had a different game plan against them. It’s about being agile and getting in front of them and making them question their options as much as possible,” Brandley explained.

Brandley explained how it’s a team effort in a defensive performance like that.

“I think the work has to be done out the front to stop that ball coming in. She’s a really strong target for them and it’s going to be hard to get the ball off her, so we need to do the work before.”

Fitzgerald trumpeted her team’s defensive heroics, despite the loss.

“I think the defensive end put enough pressure, I think they won enough ball back for us, and its more in our transition in the ball up the court” Fitzgerald commented.

The Giants will now turn their focus to the Adelaide Thunderbirds and will hope to arrest a three-game losing streak.

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