Firebirds shock Thunderbirds in Super Netball boilover

Steve Barrett |

Ruby Bakewell-Doran (L) was outstanding for the Firebirds in their upset netball win over Adelaide.
Ruby Bakewell-Doran (L) was outstanding for the Firebirds in their upset netball win over Adelaide.

The Queensland Firebirds have pulled off one of the upsets of the Super Netball season, shocking the third-placed Adelaide Thunderbirds 52-42 at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena.

The Firebirds hit the front in the opening minute on Sunday and were never headed, snapping a five-game losing skid to move off the bottom of the ladder.

Queensland’s dynamic defensive duo Ruby Bakewell-Doran and Remi Kamo corralled the Thunderbirds’ shooters throughout.

“I’m so proud of the girls,” Bakewell-Doran said. “It’s been a hard slog.

“For us to put up a performance like that, I’m just mind-blown.

“Our hunger has never left and we did what we know how to do. We did it with confidence and the score shows that.”

Donnell Wallam
Donnell Wallam (C) and Hulita Veve celebrate the end of the Firebirds’ super netball losing streak. (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

With classy attacker Georgie Horjus sidelined – load managed as a precaution to protect a lower leg injury – reigning champions Adelaide looked completely disjointed in their frontcourt.

Adelaide coach Tania Obst changed her circle set-up in search for a winning formula, but Bakewell-Doran and Kamo had the answer to every combination thrown at them.

The Firebirds led 14-11 at quarter-time, extending that to 28-21 at halfway.

Queensland clinically fashioned a 100 per cent goal-to-gain conversion rate in the opening half, as gun Thunderbirds goalkeeper Shamera Sterling-Humphrey seemed to be waging a lone vigil for the visitors.

Spearhead Donnell Wallam went on a roll in the third period, burying 12 shots without a miss, to help the Firebirds march to an impregnable 10-goal lead with a quarter to play.

Sterling-Humphrey single-handedly did her best to drag Adelaide back into the match, but penalties, turnovers and ongoing shooting woes sabotaged the Thunderbirds’ bid for a late revival.