Light­ning stars find their spark

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT -

NEI­THER fa­tigue nor jet lag both­ered the Sunshine Coast Light­ning as they ended Su­per Net­ball’s World Cup hia­tus with vic­tory over the Queens­land Fire­birds in Bris­bane.

A sec­ond-half fight­back from the win­less but cer­tainly brave hosts fell ag­o­nis­ingly short as the two-time de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons banked a 66-64 vic­tory at the Queens­land Net­ball Cen­tre.

Nine play­ers were on af­ter World Cup ac­tion in Eng­land less than a week ago and showed no ill ef­fects be­fore Fire­birds cap­tain Gabi Simp­son’s 100th top-level game ended in dis­ap­point­ment.

Sil­ver Ferns vet­eran and Light­ning cap­tain Laura Lang­man had no World Cup hang­over in the open­ing quar­ter as the ti­tle con­tenders as­sumed early con­trol.

Fresh from a re­laxed re­cov­ery on the Sunshine Coast, mid­court gen­eral Lang­man and Aus­tralian in­ter­na­tional Steph Wood (26/29) com­bined for shooter Cara Koe­nen as the Light­ning led 36-29 at half­time.

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