Sunshine Coast defeat Giants in Super Netball final

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    The Sunshine Coast Lightning are the inaugural Super Netball champions, defeating the Giants 65-48 in the grand final in Brisbane.

    The hosts recovered from a first-quarter deficit on Saturday night to dominate the rest of the contest in front of 8999 fans at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

    The Lightning, playing in their adopted home due to the 2000 capacity University of the Sunshine Coast venue being too small for the decider, were led to victory by goal shooter Caitlin Bassett’s 48 goals from 50 shots, ably supported by Stephanie Wood (17 from 21).

    The grand final featured the second and third-placed teams on the Super Netball ladder. They had both defeated the top-finishing Melbourne Vixens to reach the decider.

    The NSW outfit began better with Bec Bulley and Sam Poolman effectively blocking the path to Bassett as the Giants ran out to an 8-3 lead.

    The Lightning whittled the lead down and a late Wood goal reduced the deficit to 15-13 at the first break.

    The hosts went on a 10-3 scoring run in the first half of the second stanza, with Geva Mentor, Karla Mostert and Laura Langman strong in defence and the Giants went to the long break five points down.

    The lead was extended to 10 points by three-quarter time and the Sunshine Coast players and coaches visibly relaxed as they romped to victory in the final quarter, ending their season in the perfect manner.

    This is the third-straight year the Brisbane Entertainment Centre arena has witnessed a Queensland grand-final triumph after the Firebirds’ back-to-back wins in the Trans-Tasman tournament.

    © AAP 2017

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