Giants equal record as Lightning crash

·2-min read

The Giants have equalled the all-time Super Netball scoring record and sent a statement to their rivals by crushing Sunshine Coast Lightning 82-54 at USC Stadium.

With a top-four berth at the season's half-way mark on the line between the two sides, a tight match was anticipated on Sunday but the Giants, after a ragged start, ran riot.

Their score equalled the competition-best haul posted by West Coast Fever, also against the Lightning, in the season opener in March.

In defeating long-time bogey side Sunshine Coast for the first time since 2018, the Giants had winners all over the court.

Centre Jamie-Lee Price set the early tempo, Maddie Hay was tireless and creative at wing attack and Amy Brandley (seven rebounds, four deflections) led a miserly defence.

"We came here to do business," Brandley said.

"Staying in the moment was really important for us.

"I think we did a really good job to stay composed."

With Lightning defenders Tara Hinchliffe and Katie Walsh creating early havoc, the Giants fell behind 11-8 when coach Julie Fitzgerald called a timeout and implored her midcourt to avoid getting too wide and deep.

It proved a masterstroke.

The visitors silenced the crowd by going on an 11-0 tear and they never relented.

They shutdown the Lightning with an 18-11 second term before showing their wares offensively with a 26-14 third stanza, Jo Harten and Sophie Dwyer firing in the circle.

The hosts became frustrated with a plethora of turnovers and penalties, Lightning coach Kylee Byrne bemoaning: "We couldn't understand the amount of whistle we were getting".

The margin blew out to 62-35 in the third quarter and after Sunshine Coast showed some belated fight in the fourth, the Giants again surged, finishing powerfully with the last eight goals of the whitewash.

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