30 Apr 2015

Steel draw with Thunderbirds

12:40 pm on 30 April 2015

The Southern Steel have played out a dramatic 53-53 draw with the Adelaide Thunderbirds in their trans-Tasman netball championship clash in Dunedin.

Both sides gave their all in the goal for goal contest as they scramble for conference final berths.

Jhaniele Fowler-Reid of the Steel.

Jhaniele Fowler-Reid of the Steel. Photo: Photosport

The Thunderbirds goal keep Eboni Beckford-Chambers and Steel goal shoot Jhaniele Fowler-Reid both left the court in pain, though their injuries should not be season-ending.

Both sides scored from turnovers after the opening whistle, but it was not a sign of things to come, in what would be a remarkably low-error game.

The defensive pressure would always be tuned to high pitch in an effort by both teams to quell two outstanding Jamaican goal shooting compatriots.

The Steel trailed by one, 27-26, going into the second half and as was the pattern in the preceding quarters, the Thunderbirds would make a spurt, and the Steel would soon close it up again.

With 20 seconds to go, a well-timed tip from the Steel's Storm Purvis sent the ball down-court to Fowler-Reid, who landed awkwardly on her right ankle and was carried off court, after a contribution of 40 goals from 45 attempts.

With the Dunedin crowd holding its collective breath, replacement Brooke Leaver's shot was successful, and Te Paea Selby-Rickit - back in the fray for a third time after leaving the court with injuries- scored the dramatic equaliser.

In the trans-tasman clashes in the round, no New Zealand team was able to beat their Australian counter-part, although there were two draws with the Pulse finishing 47-all with the NSW Swifts.

The West Coast Fever top the Australian Conference from the Firebirds and Vixens, with in the New Zealand Conference, the Mystics have 10 points, the Magic 7, the Steel and Pulse 5 and the Tactix none.

Steel shooting statistics:

Jhaniele Fowler-Reid 40/45 (89%)

Brooke Leaver 8/11 (73%)

Te Paea Selby-Rickit 5/7 (71%)

Thunderbirds shooting statistics:

Erin Bell 15/21 (71%)

Carla Borrego 38/45 (84%)

MVP: Storm Purvis (Steel)