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Extraordinary Wallam performance steers Firebirds to first win of the season over Giants

Jarred Cross -

Donnell Wallam has kickstarted the Queensland Firebirds' Super Netball season with a dominant performance under the net as her side survived a late scare from the Giants at Brisbane's Nissan Arena.

The Noongar star scored a whopping 55 points in her side's 65-62 win in round two, fresh off a more evenly shared influence at goal with goal attack Tippah Dwan in a heartropping one-point loss to Adelaide to start their year.

On Saturday, Wallam shot at 89 per cent in regular time and nailed two from three super shot attempts at the close of quarters.

The 30-year-old showed fine form under the net and using her height over Giants defenders Jodi-Ann Ward and direct opponent Matilda McDonald with characteristic deep sits and snapping up back-hand feeds playing from behind.

After a poor start from the Giants, Wallam was clinical with 19 goals from as many attempts in the first term toward a ten point lead at the opening break.

After slotting her 18th goal, she capped off a huge start with a catch-and-shoot super shot on the buzzer with her side going from the centre pass to the net in six seconds to extend the margin into double figures, 21-11.

The Giants worked their way back into the fixture, and chipped the margin back to just one goal the difference at last as the final four minutes.

Wallam netted four of the games final five goals to secure a 65-62 win and the Firebirds' first win of the season in style.

The Firebirds will look to build past a disappointing campaign in 2023 where they finished second-last with four wins, only avoiding the wooden spoon with percentage over the outgoing Collingwood.

Despite the modest return, Wallam was named at goalshooter in the league's team of the year.

Wallam remains in the logjam for international honours after limited opportunity to impress in the Diamonds' Netball Nations Cup and Constellation Cup over summer.

She featured strongly in two of Australia's three-game series against South Africa in October.

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