Historic minor premiership first step to top Jets glory
HAVING secured their first minor premiership in only their second season, the USQ Jets are one victory away from a shot at grand final glory.
Locking up the top spot for the Sapphire Series finals was especially pleasing for the Ipswich-based netball side. The Jets beat the Wildcats 59-51 and major rivals Cougars 55-51 in a testing double-header.
"I think everyone pulled up really well,'' delighted captain Stephanie O'Brien said.
After learning from a tight first-round loss to the Cougars, the Jets tackled their latest challenge with trademark faith in their ability.
"Our team knows when we are on the court we can win the game,'' O'Brien said.
"We just have the knowledge how to win this year.''
The Jets will face the Cougars again in Saturday's 7pm semi-final at Caboolture.
The winner advances directly to the grand final with the loser receiving a second chance to qualify via a preliminary final.
"It's really exciting,'' O'Brien said.
"Hopefully by being on top of the table gives us the confidence to go out and win our semi and go straight through.''
O'Brien was encouraged by the Jets' spirited third quarter performance against the Cougars. The Jets won that period by 10 goals before completing a four-goal victory.
It was the Jets first win this season over the previous competition leaders.
Former Rubies captain Monique French rested a sore ankle in yesterday's match after playing in Saturday's eight-goal win over the Wildcats.
In another powerful team effort over the weekend, O'Brien praised goal shooter Charlie Bell for her efforts.
"It was a very physical game and I think we held up really well against the physicality,'' she said.
The Jets will have a conditioning session on Tuesday night before finetuning their semi-final tactics at Thursday night's training.