It wasn’t our night, going down to West Coast Fever (62-71) at John Cain Arena in our semi final clash.
Fever burst out of the blocks but some clever defensive work from Emily Mannix allowed us back in the contest. Kiera Austin imposed herself as we created a handy three-goal lead. The tables quickly turned as Jhaniele Fowler found her mojo under the post and defensive duo Courtney Bruce and Sunday Aryang fired up. Aryang and Bruce worked in overdrive as Fever went into quarter time with a nine-goal buffer.
We made a couple of midcourt changes to start the second with Hannah Mundy injected into the action at wing attack, Liz Watson into centre and Kate Moloney shuffling back into wing defence. Austin stole the show with a nice intercept as we slowly started to peg back the margin, but momentum stayed with Fever, holding a handy 12-goal lead despite some strong work from Jo Weston and Mannix who rolled back into goal keeper.
Fever continued to put the foot down with Verity Simmons controlling the midcourt and Alice Teague-Neeld finding Fowler with ease inside the circle. The lead crept out to 15 goals despite Mwai Kumwenda working tirelessly under the post to keep us in the hunt. Kate Eddy found her way back onto the court while Rahni Samason flexed her super shot muscle, sinking four in a row.
With the game getting away from us some Samason magic was exactly what we needed, consecutive super shots helping cull the margin from a 22-goal lead back to 11. Moloney and Watson were influential once again through the midcourt but it was too little, too late.
Head coach Simone McKinnis was disappointed with the performance, but already casting an eye to next week’s preliminary final.
“We let them get a good start and then it was chase mode,” she said.
“It’s disappointing but we’ve got to have a chat about that, it’s a big week for us again because we’re fortunate enough to get another go at it.”
It’s a quick turnaround to our preliminary final clash next week at John Cain Arena on Saturday 23 June, against the winner of Sunday’s minor semi between GIANTS and Magpies. Tickets will be available on Monday via Ticketek, click here for details.