24/04/2024

Amy Parmenter contests against Steph Wood. (Photo: GIANTS Netball)

The Sunshine Coast Lightning handed the Giants a one goal defeat in extra time on Tuesday afternoon, but coach Julie Fitzgerald only sees the positives behind the loss.

The Sunshine Coast Lightning handed the Giants a one goal defeat in extra time on Tuesday afternoon, but coach Julie Fitzgerald only sees the positives behind the loss.

Sam Poolman’s 100 game milestone was celebrated by the defeated Giants, who were bitterly disappointed with their loss, but also glad to have a close contest approaching their Fever game on Saturday.

Sophie Dwyer was among the Giants’ standouts, displaying the confidence of a veteran as she sunk six of seven Super Shots over the hands of Karla Pretorius to keep her team in the game.

Captain Jo Harten’s leadership shone through in crucial moments, calling time-outs after her teammates received cautions.

Inaugural Giant Sam Poolman says the dramatic loss is positive as the Giants will face the Lightning in finals where they will have the opportunity for redemption.

“I thought we did really well today, we had patience and kept possession quite nicely,” Poolman said.

Coach Julie Fitzgerald chose to bring young gun Matilda McDonell on at half time, believing the Giants should have worked harder in the first half.

“I think we could have played a little better in that first half and been in a better position after half time,” Fitzgerald said.

The Giants came back from a three goal deficit at half time to equal the Lighting at full time, sending the game into extra time.

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Despite the agonising defeat, Fitzgerald said she was very pleased with the fight back in order to keep her side in the game.

“I think when you look at the fact we’ve got two very young ones out there and we’ve got four who’ve never played finals, I’m hoping the pressure of this game will give good learnings for them,” she said.

A late collision whilst jogging back to the transverse line saw Giants defender April Brandley hobble to the sideline with a right ankle injury.

Brandley will undergo an assessment in the coming says to determine whether she can take to the court to face the Fever.

Fitzgerald’s Giants face their shortest turnaround this season as they approach the Fever game on Saturday.

“Obviously there will be a lot of recovery during the next few says and we will only have the one session leading into that but I think we train so that we can be prepared for this and we’re looking forward to it,” Fitzgerald said.

Four cautions given out in one game shows just how much was on the line for both teams, but ultimately the Lightning were able to keep their finals hopes alive with the smallest of defeats.

This loss means the Giants will need to defeat the West Coast Fever on Saturday in their final match of the home and away season to claim their second ever minor premiership.

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