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Mavs beat Lightning, notch maiden Super Netball win

The Melbourne Mavericks have notched the historic first-ever Super Netball win in franchise history with a stunning last-gasp 65-64 triumph over Sunshine Coast Lightning at UniSC Arena.

The first-year Mavericks were behind every change on Saturday and still trailed by four within the last minute before stealing victory at the death.

Gabby Sinclair’s super shot with 49 seconds remaining trimmed the deficit to two, but the Lightning had the next center pass.

On that subsequent possession, Sunshine Coast wing defense Mahalia Cassidy was called for a footwork violation, while simultaneously hurting her left ankle which resulted in her hopping to the bench.

It was the third injury in a chaotic fourth quarter, with gun Lightning stopper Courtney Bruce earlier limping off to receive treatment on her lower right leg, before Mavericks shooter Eleanor Cardwell, only moments later, hobbled off in the hands of trainers after rolling her right ankle.

The Mavs capitalized on Cassidy’s turnover when Sinclair, with 13 seconds left, buried another two-pointer to tie the game.

The visitors had the next center pass and best-on-court center Molly Jovic rushed the ball forward to Shimona Jok, who swished the go-ahead goal with four seconds on the clock.

“Amazing,” Jolly said after the expansion Mavericks, founded last September, greeted for the first time.

“I’m not a crier but there were nearly tears in the end there.

“I’m so proud of the girls, we’ve worked so hard.

“It’s been building the last few weeks and to see it come through at the last second… incredible.”

The Lightning and Mavericks have played out a thriller on the Sunshine Coast. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

Jovic was unstoppable from the outset but the Lightning had the best of the first half with their frontcourt on top of the Mavs’ defense.

The home side’s three-point halftime buffer stretched to eight in the third term with Cara Koenen on target.

Long-range specialist Sinclair subbed in for the Mavericks and buried five straight shots, including two two-pointers, to trim Sunshine Coast’s advantage to 49-46 at three-quarter time.

The Lightning swung Diamonds captain Liz Watson into the center in an attempt to quell Jovic’s heavy influence at the start of a chaotic fourth quarter but the Mavs, for the first time, had the final say.