The Adelaide Thunderbirds claimed the outright lead in the transtasman netball championship, clinching a thrilling 54-53 win over the previously unbeaten Queensland Firebirds yesterday.
The top of the table clash was fittingly tight, with the Firebirds leading by one point at halftime and the scores level heading into the final quarter at the Brisbane Convention Centre. But a mammoth effort from the Thunderbirds' defence sealed victory in the final moments, extending their winning record over the Firebirds to 9-2.
The Firebirds had been the only undefeated team in the competition heading into the clash, the Thunderbirds having lost a tight battle against the Melbourne Vixens in round two.
But a bye for the Queenslanders in round five meant the Thunderbirds surpassed them on top of the ladder by two competition points with the win yesterday.
The major concern for the Firebirds was a right ankle injury for Australian Diamonds wing attack Chelsea Pitman midway through the last quarter.