Fever squeeze out Lightning in Super Netball thriller

Fran Williams of the Fever intercepts the ball Albert Perez/Getty Images

West Coast Fever held their nerve down the stretch, with ace shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard leading the way in a thrilling 71-68 Super Netball away win over Sunshine Coast Lightning.

Neither side led by more than five goals at UNISC Arena in one of the most gripping contests of the season.

Coming off their first loss of the campaign, Fever entered the game in second spot after the Melbourne Vixens went four points clear with a victory over the Giants earlier on Saturday.

The hard-fought win lifted Fever (7-1) back to fop spot on percentage.

"The way they attacked training this week they were like possessed demons," Fever coach Dan Ryan told Fox.

Lightning (3-5) will drop out of the top four if the Swifts beat the Mavericks on Sunday.

The scores were locked at the first change, with Lightning leading by one at halftime and Fever up by three at the final break.

In the third quarter, young Fever shooter Olivia Wilkinson (6/6) made a couple of crucial Super Shots after replacing Shanice Beckford.

Jamaican great Fowler-Nembhard shut the home team out as she scored her team's last eight goals in a pressure-packed finale.

Fowler-Nembhard (54/58) shaded a great duel with Lightning's rising defender Ashleigh Irving, who tallied five gains, four deflections and two intercepts.

Down the stretch Fever never allowed their lead to drop below three in a tense final Power Five period.

They allowed Lightning only two Super Shots In that time, with noted long-range shooter Steph Fretwell (23/30) sometimes double-teamed and direct opponent Sunday Aryang giving her little space.

Fever wing attack Alice Teague-Neeld continued her impressive form with another strong performance in front of the Australian selectors.

"She was so measured and controlled for us in that attack end today while there's a lot happening around her," Ryan said.

"Just her ability to be the stable ship there was really important for us."

Lightning were boosted by strong efforts from midcourters Liz Watson and Leesa Mi Mi and goal shooter Cara Koenen (42/47).