KEY PLAYER: Laura Scherian of the Lightning passes the ball.
KEY PLAYER: Laura Scherian of the Lightning passes the ball. Bradley Kanaris

Gritty Lightning midcourter praised for match-winning role

NETBALL: Laura Scherian has been lauded for her grit after she propelled the Sunshine Coast Lightning to a remarkable victory over Collingwood.

The 28-year-old played a commanding role for her side, in the absence of injured star midcourter Laura Langman, during a 51-50 triumph over the much-hyped Magpies in a round five Super Netball clash at Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

She had almost 150 possessions and came up with what was essentially the match-winning turnover in the dying moments.

Coach Noeline Taurua praised the performance.

"She fought really hard throughout ... her work-rate was really high," she said.

"That (turnover) is the stuff people dream of. In that pressure situation, she was able to pull it off."

Scherian started at centre, with the experienced Langman at wing defence to cover the dangerous Madi Robinson.

But when the New Zealand stalwart suffered a suspected dislocated finger and was forced from the court early in the second quarter, Scherian took on a more prominent role, particularly in defence.

Scherian is making the most of her opportunity at the Lightning after being released by the Queensland Firebirds at the end of 2010 and spending six years in the relative wilderness.

She starred against her former club in a season opener last month and has been a key member of the Lightning since.

"She's just an amazing girl on and off the court," shooter Caitlin Bassett said.

"She's just a workhorse. At training she's the one who is always pushing everyone to be harder.

"And having Laura Langman in the side, I think, has taken her to another level because they train against each other every day."

Bassett was judged most valuable player for her effort against renowned goalkeeper Sharni Layton while captain Geva Mentor and the Lightning defence paved the way for victory in a low-scoring affair.

Langman was expected to see a hand specialist on Monday but it's hoped the likely dislocation, which saw bone break through skin, is not serious.

Taurua told the Daily post-game that the midcourter may even appear against Fever on Friday.


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