Fever win historic premiership
The West Coast Fever has broken through for it's maiden premiership, defeating the Melbourne Vixens 70-59 in the Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final on Sunday night.
With star goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler in vintage form and well supported by Grand Final MVP Sasha Glasgow, the home side was never really headed in a game they controlled from almost start to finish, sparking wild scenes on the buzzer in front of 13,908 fans, a record at RAC Arena.
Dan Ryan's team headed in with confidence after a strong showing in the major semi-final, while the Vixens were hopeful of conquering the Fever on their home court just as they did in round 10 when they triumphed 70-64 at the same venue.
The opening quarter was an even affair before two Glasgow Super Shots saw the Fever enter the first break with an 18-14 edge.
The Vixens closed the gap to one goal approaching the midway point of the second quarter, but from there the Fever's frenetic defensive pressure took over.
Within the space of two minutes the Fever had extended the margin back out to five goals.
And even when Glasgow missed two Super Shots late in the first half, Fowler was there each time to grab the rebound and score.
The home side went to halftime with a 35-29 lead but Fowler wasn't satisfied, with the Jamaican star talking to the umpires at the break to express her anger at the physical treatment she was receiving.
Fever broke the game open in the third quarter with the margin ballooning to 11 goals as Fowler took control.
Fowler scored 16 goals for the quarter at 100 per cent accuracy as Fever entered the final break with a 54-45 advantage.
The Vixens had overcome a 10-goal deficit in the final term of their preliminary final win over the Giants but there was no such comeback this time around, the Fever winning their first premiership in 25 years having being originally formed as the Perth Orioles in 1997.
Having come so close in 2018 and 2020, it was a third time lucky for Dan Ryan's team, a golden night in Perth for a team that has overcome every obstacle in the past two seasons.
IMAGE: West Coast Fever Twitter.