The Adelaide Thunderbirds have recovered from an untidy start to notch a clinical 62-54 victory over the Collingwood Magpies at Netball SA Stadium to stay in the Super Netball finals race.
After falling in an early 8-3 hole, the Thunderbirds bounced back strongly to control the remainder of the contest, piloted by Shamera Sterling who was flawless in defence.
The athletic goalkeeper notched eight intercepts and five deflections while ensuring Collingwood spearhead and fellow Jamaican Shamona Nelson had to work overtime for her 29 goals.
Thunderbirds wing attack Maisie Nankivell (46 feeds, 31 assists) piloted the initial rearguard before a slew of errors from the Magpies, combined with Sterling's brilliance, kept the home side on top.
"I thought we probably had control for the majority of the match," said Adelaide coach Tania Obst, ecstatic at the response to a disappointing loss to the Giants in her team's previous outing.
"A focus at training had been reminding ourselves of the netball we had been putting out there and we did that for the majority of the game.
"I thought Shamera was brilliant in some critical moments for us."
After leading 15-14 at quarter-time, the Thunderbirds opened up a 10-goal lead following a 6-0 burst and still held sway 32-26 at halftime.
Collingwood reduced the deficit to two goals as Nelson threatened to seize control, before Sterling's defence and Lezine Potgieter's supreme shooting ensured the match stayed on Adelaide's terms, up 45-40 at three-quarter time.
Thunderbirds captain Hannah Petty came back on in the fourth, after an extended spell on the bench to nurse a corked thigh, and thrived as Adelaide kept their foot on the Magpies' throat.
"We got too wide when bringing the ball down the court which played into Adelaide's hands in terms of throwing way too many crosscourt balls," Collingwood coach Nicole Richardson said.
"That completely plays into Shamera's hands, particularly in that third quarter.
"It was just not playing smart netball against a team that likes to hunt and has a goalkeeper that's world class."
Australian Associated Press