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Tippett injured in big Firebirds win

NZN 7/05/2016 By Matt Harris

An injury scare to Queensland Firebirds goal attack Gretel Tippett has overshadowed another clinical display by the defending trans-Tasman netball champions as they swept aside the Northern Mystics 70-42 in Brisbane on Saturday night.

It marked the sixth-straight win of the season and 19th consecutive victory overall for the Firebirds, who continued their perfect head-to-head record over the Mystics.

Romelda Aiken dominated the scoresheet for the home team with 52 goals, although the main concern surrounded her attacking partner Tippett who fell heavily late in the second quarter.

Tippett rolled her right ankle with only seconds remaining in the half, bringing a hush to the crowd of 3000 at the Brisbane Convention Centre.

The 22-year-old emerged from the change rooms after halftime and took part in the warm-up, but was replaced by debutant Chelsea Lemke for the remainder of the match.

Lemke slotted seamlessly into Tippett's role and finished with 10 goals, much to the delight of Firebirds captain Laura Geitz.

"Chelsea had an awesome debut - one of the best debuts I've ever seen she was phenomenal," Geitz said.

"It was a really good performance from her tonight."

Geitz expects Tippett to recover in time to face the West Coast Fever in Perth next Saturday.

"That's the first ankle I've seen her roll... it was obviously a stinger and she was in a bit of shock," she said.

"You don't like to see those things but she's fine now and up and about."

The Firebirds hit the ground running in the opening quarter and raced out to an eight-point lead built predominantly on the back of some solid defence led by Geitz and Gabi Simpson.

Turnovers began to hurt the Mystics after the first break as the Firebirds opened up a 35-19 half-time advantage.

Tippett's injury wasn't the only worry for the defending champions prior to the main break with centre Kim Ravaillion replaced by Mahalia Cassidy midway through the second stanza to rest a minor foot problem.

Ravaillion returned in the third as the home side doubled the score of their New Zealand opposition to lead 56-28 with one quarter remaining.

Megan Craig provided 10 second-half goals for the visitors, but the Firebirds continued the demolition job until the final whistle to remain on top of the Australian Conference ladder.

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