Fire seize game one in Townsville

January 4, 2018 | Townsville Fire news

The JCU Townsville Fire are one win away from their fifth Grand Final in six seasons after triumphing 78-49 over the Sydney Uni Flames tonight.

During an imposing victory, the Fire shrugged off a slow start to snatch the lead at quarter-time and never looked back as they issued a statement against the defending champions.

Having endured a similar fate last season, the Fire will be hoping to complete the series when they travel to Sydney for game two from 2pm on Saturday.

Fire members and fans are encouraged to watch the match – live on Fox Sports 503 – at Townsville RSL.

“I thought our defensive intensity was where it needed to be tonight,” Fire coach Claudia Brassard said.

“Everything stems from our defence. When we do a good job at that end of the court, our offence flows.

“We’re happy with that result, but it’s a three-game series, so we’ve got to move on to game two and being able to repeat it on Saturday.”

Trailing 6-14 midway through the opening term, the injection of super sub Darcee Garbin (15 points and six rebounds) was telling as the World Uni Games gold medallist rattled off seven quick points to lead the Fire on a 15-5 run to out the first quarter.

Suzy Batkovic (19 points and 15 rebounds) and Cayla George (14 points and 10 rebounds) then went to work at the start of the second before a sickening head clash between the Fire skipper and Flames star Asia Taylor.

With Batkovic whistled for a block, the head clash resulted in a nasty welt on the five-time WNBL MVP’s cheek, while Taylor was split open and required stitches post-game.

Despite the incident, the Fire were able to carry their momentum into the main change as they led 43-27.

The Fire then iced the game in the third term as Kelly Wilson, Laurin Mincy and Mikhaela Donnelly continued their suffocating defence.

With a 23-point cushion at three-quarter-time, Brassard was able to empty her bench as the Fire went some of the way to erasing last year’s embarrassing semi-final loss in Sydney.

Click here to see full box scores between the Fire and the Flames.