West Coast Fever have continued their unbeaten start to the Super Netball campaign and bagged a couple of season-best performances in their 78-55 win over Collingwood in Sydney.
The Collingwood home game was originally scheduled for Melbourne, but was switched to Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena because of the pandemic situation.
The win on Saturday lifted Fever into third spot on percentage above NSW Swifts and they have already beaten the other three teams in the top four.
Despite being docked 12 points before the season started for salary cap infractions, Fever have surged into the top four on the back of six successive wins.
With four minutes to go, they beat the previous season-high score of 70 they tallied in their round four win over Adelaide Thunderbirds.
It comfortably eclipsed the previous biggest winning margin of the season, of 14, set by two clubs.
“I just thought we had attention to detail in what we were trying to execute,” Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich said.
“I thought we brought our brand a lot earlier than what we have done in previous games and were able to sustain it for longer.
Prolific shooter Jhaniele Fowler netted 59 of 60 attempts and Collingwood couldn’t interrupt the steady flow of accurate feeds to the Jamaican from goal attack Sasha Glasgow and midcourters Jess Anstiss and Verity Charles.
At the other end, Fever and Diamonds’ goalkeeper Courtney Bruce had five intercepts, 11 gains and eight deflections.
After a tight start in which neither team led by more than two through the first nine minutes, Fever took control to lead 24-14 at quarter time.
Trailing 11-10 they scored six straight points and that burst triggered a 14-3 run in their favour going into quarter time.
The Magpies couldn’t get the deficit below nine in the second quarter which the Fever won 20-11 to lead 45-24 at halftime.
Collingwood were much more competitive in the third quarter, winning 20-15 to trail 59-42 at the final change before being outscored 19-10 in the final period.
Shimona Nelson made 39 of her 41 attempts for Collingwood, who have dropped to 2-4.
“We started really well and it seemed to be that once we made our first error, the girls for whatever reason, lost some confidence and lost their way a little bit and before you know it you’re ten goals down at quarter time,” Collingwood coach Nicole Richardson said.
“You can’t give a team like Fever an inch, they take an absolute mile.”