01 Sep August Wrap
Suncorp Super Netball drew to a close in August, the second season proving to be even more exciting than the last with the introduction of bonus points making the ladder tight right up until the last round of the season. Fever held top spot for the majority of the season with Giants pinching it from them right at the end and thus taking home the minor premiership. Fever wanted redemption and they got it in week one of the Finals with a convincing 63-57 winner over Giants to see them win the right to host the Grand Final at Perth Arena. The same weekend Lightning caused an upset against fellow Queenslanders, the Firebirds winning by just 1 goal in a nailbiter at BEC. The following week Lightning went on the defeat Giants by 9 in Sydney which locked in the chance to defend their Premiership.
Lightning should have been the underdogs with an inconsistent start to the season, just scraping into finals in the last available place taking on the strong Fever in front of a packed out Perth Arena, but with the likes of Geva Mentor and Karla Pretorious in defence the experts were split with their predictions going in. Could Geva and Karla shut down arguably the league’s best GS in Fowler?
Max Events headed to Perth two days ahead of the Grand Final to keep an eye on the tight bump in, with an event at the Arena the night prior a great deal of planning went into the bump in schedule to ensure it could be pulled off in time for the 11am match. With a 4:30am call time on match day it was a good thing Perth Arena had the coffee machine pumping for the crew as we had a busy morning of rehearsals testing out the lighting, projection, activations and post match presentations ahead of opening doors to the public at 10am.
The Perth fans were incredible packing the stands before the teams were even on the court for warm up, the Pre Match show included a concert under black out featuring The Voice Australia’s Zoe Tsagalis, followed by team introductions and an on court projection show in which Nissan announced the winner of their $25,000 top shot competition. Zoe returned to perform a spine tingling rendition of the National Anthem before we were officially underway in the 2018 Grand Final. Fever came out strong in the second quarter as many thought they would run away with it when they got out to a 7 goal lead, however Lightning were determined to defend their title and clawed it back to 3 goals at Half Time.
Caitlin Bassett was incredible in attack for Lightning potting 45 goals and scoring MVP of the match as Lightning went on to win the Grand Final by three goals upsetting the record crowd of 13,722 the majority of which were decked out in their green for Fever. It’s a match that will live long in the memories of the 1 million plus viewers who tuned in for the Grand Final.
So Lightning took home the silverware as their sister club Melbourne Storm continued their charge to NRL Finals to defend their title. August 31 was Storm’s last game before Finals commenced and whilst Billy Slater wasn’t there on the night it was a night to pay our respects to Billy and Hoffy for their years of service at Melbourne Storm.
Die hard Storm fan, Molly Meldrum, pieced together a pre match entertainment spectacular with five acts performing on the pitch at AAMI Park. The final of which performed under darkness before we ran a tribute to the greats Hoffy and Billy with projection on the roof of AAMI Park featuring pivotal moments in their careers.
No Storm game is complete without a serious injection of pyrotechnics, flames and music pumping out as the team ran on. Unfortunately Storm couldn’t get the win on the evening but finished the season in second position, a strong spot to enter finals. Good luck to Melbourne Storm as they charge on in their quest for back to back Premierships!