Thunderbirds rally late to seal first-up win
NETBALL: The Adelaide Thunderbirds have stunned the West Coast Fever to win their opening game in the new-look Super Netball competition.
The Thunderbirds were trailing by seven goals at three-quarter-time at Priceline Stadium in Adelaide and were still four goals behind with just under eight minutes remaining.
But the home team dominated the closing stages, scoring eight unanswered goals on the way to a 10-1 streak to eventually run out winners 56-51.
The Fever's Kate Beveridge was shooting well in the early stages and the Perth outfit finally edged ahead 16-14 at the first break following a roller-coaster opening quarter.
The sides went goal for goal in the second term with the Fever leading 29-27 at the break.
The Fever also led at the end of the third period, with skipper Nat Medhurst taking control, but in the fourth quarter the home side found another gear and the visitors began to drop off, with Adelaide hanging on for a five-point win.
Thunderbirds coach Dan Ryan hailed his team's never-say-die attitude.
"In the last quarter we just encouraged them to be fearless and go for it," he said.
"With that lack of hesitation and basic structure in defence things just fell into gear.
"They were very unified and very connected.
"It looked like we were dead and buried, seven goals down in the third term.
"All guts in the end to get across the line."