BRAIN STORMING: The Sunshine Coast Lightning players converge during a recent game.
BRAIN STORMING: The Sunshine Coast Lightning players converge during a recent game. Murray Wilkinson

Lightning star undaunted by fourth straight trial loss

NETBALL: The Sunshine Coast Lightning slumped to its fourth straight loss in five trials with a 10-goal defeat to Queensland Firebirds in Brisbane on Saturday night, but experienced mid-courter Laura Langman is undaunted by the results.

"I've been in teams that have gone through pre-season and it's been happy days winning every game and then the season was a polar opposite,” she said.

"Then I've been in teams where it's been a bit start-stop, like ours has, and we've been much better for it.

"So although it's always nice to get a good feeling by coming out on the right side of the ledger, for me it's not really (an issue).”

The new national netball league team won its opening pre-season clash with the Swifts but has since suffered defeats to the Giants, Vixens (twice) and the Firebirds.

But the 30-year-old said the Lightning is showing promising signs and is improving with each outing.

"One hundred percent we've been taking steps forward,” she said.

"I think our attacking end is really starting, in glimpses, to show how threatening we can be.”

She also said the interchanges were "seamless” and most players appeared at their best when they were more relaxed.

The Lightning trailed the Firebirds by seven goals at quarter time and by eight goals at the main break.

The visitor mounted a comeback in the third term to draw within two, only to slip away again in the final stanza to finish 57-47.

The Lightning and Firebirds were under-strength, with key players away on national duties, and will meet again in the opening round of the Suncorp Super Netball on February 18.

Langman anticipates the two teams will be fierce rivals and said the well-established Queensland unit will be hard to beat.

"They've still got some really strong players coming back into the fold and they looked pretty good without them so it's going to be a really big contest first up,” she said.

Firebirds player Laura Clemesha was pleased with her team's performance.

"It was really exciting that we knuckled down and pushed on after a good first quarter,” she said.

"It's nice to get out there with a side as good as Lightning and know that it's still netball. As long as we stick to the game plan, the results will come.”

Firebirds assistant coach Jenny Brazel was also pleased.

"We were in every contest, working hard and had a lot of variety in attack,” she said.

"When our young players came on they fit right in and I was really pleased for them.”

THE Lightning will host New Zealand's top club, Southern Steel in trial matches on February 10 and 12.

Tickets to the club's first matches at the re-developed University of the Sunshine Coast Sports Stadium will go on sale to members on Monday from midday.

Meanwhile, non-members will have the chance to purchase tickets on Tuesday from midday.


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