24 Aug Jets overwhelm defending champions
In a display that clearly signalled their intentions for the season, the Ipswich Jets have defeated defending HART Sapphire Series champions the Wildcats by 11 points.
Both the Jets and Wildcats entered the game with victories in Round 1 over the Bull Sharks and Thunder respectively, but it was the Jets that left Nissan Arena with their record intact.
Goal Shooter Charlie Bell was in magnificent form in the goal circle, amassing 41 goals from 47 attempts (87%) and linking well with Lucinda Benjamin and Rosie Baker to present a constant menace to the Wildcats defence.
The opening quarter of the contest began competitively as the two sides who met in last year’s preliminary final attempted to gain an early upper hand in 2020. However, the Jets quickly opened up an 8-point lead as a result of some ill-discipline from the Wildcats.
Wildcats coach Danielle Edwards introduced several changes in an attempt to chase the lead, replacing Briony Payne (3/7) with Jemmason Power (23/32) and moving the experienced Beryl Friday (19/23) to Goal Attack. The new line-up was successful in preventing the Jets from adding to their advantage in a drawn second quarter.
Former Australian Diamond Chanel Gomes was effective in containing Bell and maintaining her team’s hopes of winning the match. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, those dreams were short-lived as the Jets once again capitalised upon their opponents’ errors in the third quarter.
Stephanie O’Brien demonstrated her ability to assist both offensively and defensively, while Bridey Condren covered her goal circle with ease, refusing to permit the Wildcats many scoring opportunities.
A late surge from the Wildcats in the final quarter closed the margin by 4 goals but it was in vain as a dominant Jets side sealed their second victory from as many outings in 2020.
Fans of the Wildcats will hope for better in the coming weeks as they look to defend their title. The Jets, meanwhile, will hope for more of the same after two impressive performances to open their campaign.
QUT Wildcats 45 Ipswich Jets 56