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Firebirds continue netball winning streak

NZN 14/05/2016 Tristan Lavalette

The Queensland Firebirds have continued their unbeaten start to the trans-Tasman netball season outlasting a gallant West Coast Fever 61-52 on Saturday in Perth.

Romelda Aiken connected on 50 from 57 shots to lead the Firebirds to their seventh straight victory and 20th in a row dating back to round one last year.

The Firebirds were without injured goal attack Gretel Tippett, who did not make the trip to Perth after rolling her ankle against the Northern Mystics last round. But Chelsea Lemke filled the breach connecting on 11 from 16 shots.

After a gruelling two-week trip to New Zealand, and just four days after their win over the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, the Fever were brave and trailed by only four goals at three-quarter time but were outscored 16-11 in the final quarter.

The match pitted two of the most-prolific shooters with the Fever's Caitlin Bassett going head-to-head with Aiken. Bassett almost matched her counterpart connecting on 38 from 46 shots.

It was a tight affair throughout with the Fever not showing any signs of fatigue and matching the Firebirds in intensity during a highly competitive match.

The Firebirds threatened to break the match open in the second and third periods with slick ball movement but could not pull away as the Fever fought bravely and pressured the Firebirds into uncharacteristic turnovers.

But eventually, the Firebirds' class shone in the last quarter to again demonstrate why they are the red-hot title favourites.

The Fever (4-3) play the Melbourne Vixens next Saturday at Perth Arena, while the Firebirds return to face the Adelaide Thunderbirds the following day at home.

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