Winless season a real prospect for Firebirds

The Firebirds completed a horror winless season on their shiny new homecourt with an error-riddled 71-59 loss to the Adelaide Thunderbirds at the Queensland State Netball Centre on Sunday.

The last-placed Firebirds are now in the box seat to claim Suncorp Super Netball's wooden spoon after falling to their fifth loss at Nathan to go with two draws at the $44 million QSNC which opened earlier this year.

New co-tenant - the NBL's Brisbane Bullets - are set to be the first home team to win a proper regular season match at the venue.

Overall, Queensland now has 10 losses and two draws for the 2019 season.

And they face the very real prospect of going through the entire campaign without a victory with away games against the West Coast Fever and NSW Swifts remaining.

Firebirds captain Gabi Simpson said "silly little mistakes" cost the home team dearly in a loss that hurt more than most.

"There's no question that one stung even more,'' Simpson said.

"Last game in front of our home crowd...we really wanted to put out a better performance than that.

"Last game with Caitlyn and Clemmy in front of our home crowd, we wanted to be better than we were.''

 

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Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke talks to her team after the loss.
Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke talks to her team after the loss.

 

The last time the Firebirds won a match was August 4, 2018 when they thumped the Collingwood Magpies to the tune of 76-44 in Round 14 on route to the finals.

It seems a very, very long time ago.

The title-winning duo of Caitlyn Nevins and Laura Clemesha were playing their last home game for the Firebirds but instead of going out with a bang, Queensland sent them out with a whimper.

The Firebirds closed the margin to just three goals early in the fourth quarter but the seventh-placed Thunderbirds piled on the pain in the run home to the final siren.

Maria Folau (35/38) was the star of the show for the T-Birds and received great shooting support from Sasha Glasgow (36/37).

 

Firebirds’ Macy Gardner passes the ball during their latest loss
Firebirds’ Macy Gardner passes the ball during their latest loss

 

 

Romelda Aiken (38/39) and Gretel Tippett (21/25) converted their chances but too often the ball was thrown away before it got to their end of the court.

The Thunderbirds took a six-goal cushion into the final term after a wild third quarter.

Adelaide got out to a five-goal buffer but the Firebirds grabbed the momentum and levelled the scores.

However, the Thunderbirds went on an 8-3 run to finish the term and surged to a 51-45 lead at the last change.

The QSNC crowd erupted like it was fulltime in a grand final when the Firebirds secured the bonus point with a 16-15 lead at quarter-time.

But the Thunderbirds managed to silence the purple army when they slowly but surely pulled away from Queensland in the second term.

The Firebirds started to turn over the ball and Adelaide took advantage to win the quarter 18-14 to earn a 33-30 halftime advantage.

Laura Clemesha competes with Thunderbirds’ Sasha Glasgow.
Laura Clemesha competes with Thunderbirds’ Sasha Glasgow.
News Corp Australia


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