National

Magpies deny Thunderbirds in Super Netball

By AAP Newswire

Collingwood Magpies have kept their slim Super Netball finals hopes alive by rallying to beat the winless Adelaide Thunderbirds 58-48.

The Thunderbirds (0-10) claimed rare bonus points by winning the first and second quarters by one point at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Sunday before the Magpies (3-7) won the third by a point then surged away to claim the last by 11 points.

Sitting seventh in the eight-team competition the Magpies moved within 10 points of the all-important top four but face a huge task against higher-ranked teams over the remaining four rounds.

Both teams made changes for the match with the Thunderbirds opting to start Bongi Msomi over Chelsea Pitman, while the Magpies restored Sharni Layton to goalkeeper and started Alice Teague-Neeld at goal attack in place of Erin Bell.

Former Thunderbirds captain Bell subbed on for the Magpies in the second quarter and did much of the leg work through the mid-court, while shooter Caitlin Thwaites netted an impressive 50 goals from 54 attempts and Layton made some key intercepts.

Magpies coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell was pleased with her team's ability to adapt.

"We didn't make all the best choices in attack but once we got used to it we were able to figure out how to work ourselves through it," she said.

"We did build across the game in regards to our ability to stay on plan and to build pressure and it just culminated in that last bit where we made some better decisions."

In their second game since announcing they will part with coach Dan Ryan at season's end, the Thunderbirds' attack crumbled late as they gave away their first three centre passes of the fourth quarter.

"I guess (we were) just lacking a little bit of poise and composure at the start of that fourth and the experience of the players in that Magpies line made us pay," Ryan said. "That was the difference in the end".

"I think the first three quarters was really inspired netball.

"They were gutsy, they stuck to task beautifully, they were fearless in their approach and, as a result, we put ourselves in a winning position."