The Sunshine Coast Lightning are one game away from defending their Premiership crown after they held off a Queensland Firebirds comeback to win 57-56.
It was the Firebirds second-straight one-goal loss to the Lightning following their 58-57 defeat back in Round 9. It was a heart racing and exhausting game for fans to watch but it had everything that would be expected from a grand final.
Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke kept the same starting seven which proved for an exciting and exhilarating start as they raced out to a 6-4 lead but as it goes, the Lightning struck back, scoring five straight goals.
It was physical from the get-go though and by halftime, each team were well into the 40s with penalties conceded.
The home ground advantaged played into the Firebirds favour as they reclaim the lead at 26-25 with four minutes remaining in the quarter but once again the Lightning scored five consecutive goals to lead at halftime.
A shaky start to the third quarter from the Firebird saw them make clear mistakes which resulted in the Lightning taking advantage and the lead. However, the game was lost when the Firebirds shooters did not back themselves to score goals.
The visitors pushed the margin out to seven inside the opening minutes of the third quarter before the Firebirds recovered but couldn’t keep pace.
A tense final minute played out, but the Firebirds couldn’t find the needed turnover as the Lightning controlled possession to seal a one-goal victory.
Lightning now head into a preliminary final against the Giants in Sydney on Sunday at 1pm. It will also be a re-match of the 2017 Super Netball Grand Final with the winner set to meet West Coast Fever in a fortnights time.