Queensland secure place in ANZ Championship final
Last Updated: 16/06/14 3:24pm
Kimberley Ravaillion of the Firebirds and Courtney Tairi of the Magic compete for the ball during the ANZ Championship Prelim Final
The ANZ Championship final will be an all-Australian affair for the fourth time after Queensland beat Waikato Bay of Plenty.
The Firebirds defeated Magic 54-50 in Brisbane in the preliminary final to set up a showdown with Melbourne Vixens, who will have home advantage when the teams meet on June 22.
The grand final will be the fourth all-Australian decider in the league’s history and the Firebirds’ third Championship final appearance after winning in 2011 and a narrow defeat last year.
The victory that takes them there was a hard-fought one, with Romelda Aiken the standout performer with 36 goals.
A capacity crowd of almost 3200 anxiously watched as Queensland took a three-goal lead into the final term.
Firebirds goal attack Amorette Wild admitted suffering from butterflies in last week’s major semi-final loss in Melbourne but she was strong and deliberate when it mattered against the Magic.
Her perfect five-from-five goals at the start of the deciding quarter eased the pressure on her partner Aiken and gave the Firebirds match-sealing momentum.
The ANZ Championship, also known as the Trans-Tasman Netball League, was launched in 2008 and features five teams each from Australia and New Zealand.