Adelaide Thunderbirds blow another golden chance against West Coast Fever

Adelaide Thunderbirds blow another golden chance against West Coast Fever

REMEMBER back to the Adelaide Thunderbirds’ competition record run of 16 successive wins. It was only last season — round four in fact — when the streak ended.

That is not that long ago in ANZ Championship history. Many of those wins were built on the back of the Thunderbirds’ reputation for being able to close out games in dramatic, tense circumstances.
That trait has become a memory. The Thunderbirds seemingly have lost the knowledge on winning. Yesterday, they trailed by 10 goals in the third quarter against the West Coast Fever. With a tick over five minutes left on the clock, they had incredibly grabbed the lead and had the Fever, coming off back-to-back losses, questioning themselves.
The game was there for the taking, only for the Thunderbirds to throw a string of shaky passes which gave the impression they were scared to win. They allowed the Fever to gets their hands to some turnover ball, feed into supreme goal shooter Caitlin Bassett and hang on for a 63-61 victory to secure the crucial two premiership points.
When asked if the players had become lost in their approach, Thunderbirds coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson disagreed and praised them for their courage in fighting back from a seven-goal deficit at quarter-time.
Adelaide Thunderbirds blow another golden chance against West Coast Fever

“I thought the girls were gutsy and courageous and had a real go,’’ she said. “Don’t forget, this is the team which two weeks ago had not lost, even in pre-season.
“We gave it all we had and left nothing out there on the court. There were judgment errors in the first quarter — six stupid mistakes — and you cannot afford to make them against a team like the Fever with Bassett out there.’’
Game sense was another issue for the Thunderbirds. With just two seconds on the clock in the first half, Thunderbirds’ Leigh Waddington took the centre pass. Where were her team-mates screaming not to release the ball?
Waddington more than made amends in the final quarter when she defied the pain in her left knee to lead the recovery. Her defensive tactics and drive helped provide opportunities for shooter Carla Borrego to bag 44 goals from 50 attempts in an effort which won’t harm her Diamonds selection hopes.
Adelaide Thunderbirds blow another golden chance against West Coast Fever

At the other end of the court, Bassett showed why she is the best shooter in the world with 52 from 56 despite close attention from English defender Eboni Beckford-Chambers.

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