Overcoming a late fight-back from the Melbourne Vixens, the Adelaide Thunderbirds delivered an upset 47-45 win over the ladder leaders in Adelaide on Sunday.
It was business as usual in the opening exchanges for the visitors, shooters Karyn Bailey and Tegan Philip converting everything that came their way while at the other end, the defensive duo Bianca Chatfield and Geva Mentor were at their menacing best.
Forced to shoot from wide out, the Thunderbirds were under the pump early with their low conversion rate. However, the home team forced their way back into the contest with five unanswered goals pushing the Thunderbirds into a slim 11-10 lead at the first break.
Still enjoying a greater share of the possession, the Thunderbirds made full use in building a slight buffer when leading 25-22 at the main break.
The Vixens looked to Carla Dziwoki as an impact player in the second half, replacing Bailey in goal shooter. Dziwoki found her range early and looked as though a change in the front end may bring the margin closer, but the Thunderbirds were able to steady and answer every time the Vixens made a charge.
Switching the midcourt pairing of Madi Robinson and Liz Watson, as well as the reintroduction of Bailey for the run home, the Vixens had no answers for the Thunderbirds consistency and were unable to bridge the two goal margin.
Thunderbirds shooting statistics:
Carla Borrego 24/32 (75%)
Erin Bell 23/30 (77%)
Vixens shooting statistics:
Karyn Bailey 23/26 (88%)
Tegan Philip 18/21 (86%)
Carla Dziwoki 4/5 (80%)
Chemist Warehouse MVP: Amy Steel (Thunderbirds)