Lightning down Giants in Super Netball, firm up fourth

Steph Fretwell's clutch shooting and Ash Ervin's defensive impact has helped Sunshine Coast Lightning move closer to cementing fourth spot on the Super Netball ladder, as the Queensland team scraped out a 71-66 home win over the Giants.

Lightning (5-6) were down by four early in the second quarter and won just one of the four periods, but they outscored the Giants 23-12 in the second.

The Giants (3-8) were nine down just before three-quarter time, but the got back to within two inside the last two-and-a-half minutes to raise the tension levels of a capacity home crowd.

Goal attack Fretwell shut the Giants out by nailing three straight shots, two of them Super Shots.

Fretwell (29/33) made eight out of 11 Super Shots, missing just one of her 22 one-point attempts.

Diamonds squad goal keeper Ervin was a big factor, especially in the Lightning's second-quarter surge and finished with five intercepts, nine gains, six deflections and three rebounds.

Steph Fretwell.
Steph Fretwell has played a starring role in the Lightning's win over the Giants. (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

Wing attack and Diamonds captain Liz Watson was another big contributor to the Lightning's victory, with her strong and accurate passing and feeding, racking up a game-high 27 goal assists.

The Lightning's win in their final home game put them outright fourth, four points ahead of Melbourne Mavericks, who they play in a big match in Tasmania next Saturday.

"The great thing is it is in our control, we're not reliant on other teams," Watson told Fox Sports.

"If we put out great performances, hopefully we're in the finals.

"We are looking for that four-quarter performance, but you've got to take the wins where you get them, that was a grind.

"That awesome defensive pressure and our shooters, especially Steph today backed herself and went for those twos which was real impressive."

The Giants memorably won an emotional first clash between the clubs this season, when they scored an extra-time victory after a lengthy delay following confusion over the fulltime score.

They have only added two wins since and Sunday was another frustrating afternoon for the Giants, who are last on percentage.

They had only three intercepts to the Lightning's ten and slumped to another loss despite shooters Jo Harten (25/28) and Sophie Dwyer (29/36) each making six Super Shots.

"We had three pretty solid competitive quarters, but the brain farts in the second just really let us," wing attack Sam Winders said.