Sunshine Coast Lightning v NSW Swifts

The Lightning are within one game of having a chance to defend their title after dominant 61-51 win over the Swifts. They had been sitting equal on points with fourth-placed Firebirds but now jump to third as they claimed all eight competition points.

The defenders were the stars of the day with Karla Pretorius finishing with six intercepts, Madeline McAuliffe was a brick wall in the second half and centre Laura Scherian completed the defensive triumvirate.

The Swifts season was over two rounds ago but were competitive and fought to the final whistle. However missed opportunities to score off turnovers will leave them to rue what could have been.

West Coast Fever v Melbourne Vixens

Fever have guaranteed their spot as finalist for 2018 after torching the Vixens 68-55, putting them out of the top four. 

“We’ve been building and building and keep coming up against quality opposition every week and I think even the score tonight didn’t reflect how hard each ball was fought for,” Head Coach Stacey Marikovich said.

“Vixens are tremendous in the way they can convert, they’ve got versatility all over the court, so to be able to punch out that scoreline and the way we did it was really, really pleasing," she said.

The Vixens face a do-or-die showdown with the Lightning in the final round of the season.

The Fever, who lost to the Firebirds last week and were downed by the Vixens in Round 7, were relentless, winning the battle on all fronts. While the Vixens saw the return of star defender Emily Mannix from finger surgery, they lost goal shooter Mwai Kumwenda to a knee injury in the third term.

Veteran Nat Medhurst reminded Australian Diamonds selectors of her value, claiming  39 goal assists to Jhaniele Fowler while the Fever were all but impenetrable in defence for much of the contest.

Queensland Firebirds v Adelaide Thunderbirds

The Firebirds had to do a demolition job on the bottom-placed Thunderbirds to keep their finals hopes alive, and they did...well sort of. While the Firebirds won 67-46, they only took away seven of a possible eight points on offer after a first-quarter ambush by the Thunderbirds. 

The Thunderbirds weren't given much hope in this match, as they were without a win all season and were dealt a further blow with goal attack Charlee Hodges being ruled out for a second week with a foot injury.
 

Chelsea Pitman was thrust into the foreign role of goal attack to partner shooter Shimona Nelson in the circle and they made it their personal mission to stick to defenders Laura Geitz and Kim Jenner like glue.
 
There was no bonus point for the first quarter as both teams the first break with 15 goals each.
That could prove critical with just one round left to play.

Collingwood Magpies v Giants Netball

It was fan-favourite Sharni Layton's Melbourne farewell but the Giants were about to let them celebrate with a 66-56 win. The Giants couldn't afford to spare any sentiment though, with the tussle for the top four spots being wide open following the Lightning's win. 
 
Layton and fellow defender Ash Brazill gave them plenty of headaches, but the Giants exercised their usual patience and broke the game open late in the third quarter.
 
The Giants became the second team to be assured a final four spot with the Firebirds, Lightning and Vixens still vying for the final two spots.