Collingwood Magpies Netball’s season is underway after grinding out a thrilling 60-56 win over the Adelaide Thunderbirds at John Cain Arena.
The game went down to the wire, with the door still slightly open for the Thunderbirds to tie the game up with 50 seconds to go.
But returning superstar Ash Brazil did what Ash Brazil does best and was able to cause a turnover that saw Collingwood take the win.
Collingwood Coach Nicole Richardson was pleased with the win but echoed the fact that there is still some improvement to come from the Magpies
“The game could have still gone either way and the thing that I am so pleased about is that we really found a way to grind that win out,” she said.
“It still wasn’t our best netball and we’ve probably still got two or three gears to go again but to be able to play a game like that and come away with the win is a great effort on the girls behalf.
“This game now is the start of our season and I hope we can build on from here.”
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Although the Magpies came away with the win, there were some costly errors that almost lost them the game.
“From our stats we still threw away 32 balls, but the pleasing thing was we gained about 35,” Richardson continued.
“Our key focus is making sure we have more gained possession then lost possession. [it was] still way to high from a lost possession perspective.
“In order to continue to build we need to make sure we’re really valuing the ball.”
Magpies shooter Shimona Nelson continues to improve on a weekly basis and she was a pillar in the goal circle, finishing the game with 95 percent accuracy.
For Richardson the key to beating the Thunderbirds was minimising the threat of Shamera Sterling, which was something Nelson did extremely well.
“I think in the past we’ve really struggled against Shamera but I think Shimmy [Shimona Nelson] was awesome and to beat the Thunderbirds you really need to take Shamera Sterling out of the contest and I think Shimmy did a great job with that,” Richardson said.