PERTH, Australia (CMC) — Sunshine Girl Jhaniele Fowler featured in a historic win as West Coast Fever crushed Queensland Firebirds on Sunday, to close in on the top spot in the Australian Super Netball Championship.
Playing at the RAC Arena, Fever stormed to a dominant 97-63 win — the largest margin of victory for the campaign and the highest-ever goal tally in the history of the league — eclipsing their own record of 86 goals in a single game.
At the centre of the fireworks was Fowler, the 33-year-old six-footer pouring in 52 goals from 56 attempts.
Goal attack Sasha Glasgow, who missed last week's outing due to COVID-19 protocols, supported with a perfect 15-from-15 and afterwards praised Fowler's input.
"We've just been working so hard for our super-shot attack and just connecting the ends together," Glasgow said.
"I can't do my job without [Jhaniele] and she really looked for me today and made my job easy."
The first quarter was also a record blow out, Fever out-scoring Firebirds 27-17 to tally the most goals in a quarter this season, before going on to lead 50-30 at the half-time break.
Fever relaxed a little in the third quarter but still out-scored the visitors 21-18, but picked up the intensity again in the final quarter in a 26-15 romp.
For the losers, Donnell Wallam led with 37 goals from 40 attempts.
At the Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney, New South Wales Swifts had also flirted with Fever's 86-goal game record when they hammered Collingwood Magpies 85-56, another Jamaica Sunshine Girl Romelda Aiken-George playing a key role.
She scored 26 from 32 attempts while Sophie Fawns supported with 17 from 22 and Helen Housby, 14 from 17.
The opening quarter was a close one and Swifts led by only two, 17-15, but dominated the visitors in the second quarter with a 26-11 crushing, to come away with a 43-26 lead at the half.
Swifts cruised in the second half and not even Jamaican Shimona Nelson's game effort of 35 goals from 37 attempts could halt their progress.
In Melbourne on Saturday, leaders Adelaide Thunderbirds suffered a setback when they slumped to a heavy 39-60 defeat to Melbourne Vixens at John Cain Arena.
Jamaican defenders Latanya Wilson and Shamera Sterling were both powerless to stop the rout, Thunderbirds finding themselves ahead 14-11 at the end of the first quarter but then falling away badly to be out-scored 8-19 and 7-16 over the next two quarters.
Kiera Austin led the winners with 23 goals from 30 attempts while for the losers, Eleanor Cardwell was at the forefront with 21 from 24 attempts.
In the other game played at the Ken Rosewall Arena on Saturday, Sunshine Coast Lightning with Jamaican defender Kadie-Ann Dehaney in their ranks suffered a 64-70 defeat to Giants Netball.
Thunderbirds lead the standings with 30 points but are now only ahead of Swifts courtesy of a superior goal difference, while Fever lie third on 28 points alongside Vixens in fourth on the same number of points.