Big sister beats little sister in battle for Sydney
THE NSW Swifts have gone to the top of the Suncorp Super Netball table with a 68 goal to 63 win over crosstown rivals the GIANTS.
In an affair that was bruising at times, the Swifts were pushed hard by the GIANTS but held strong.
After a few jitters from both sides early in the first term, it was the GIANTS who took the early lead.
There was a fierce intensity to the contest from the get go, which is no surprise in a Sydney Derby.
The Swifts then wrestled back control of the match from the opposition about five minutes into the term and suddenly the deficit was gone, and the lead was theirs.
The Swifts were just starting to craft control of the game and establish a bit of a lead, but the GIANTS were not going to let things blow out easily.
English pair Helen Housby and Jo Harten then got the Super Shot fest going for their respective sides and neither side could afford to rest on their laurels. Sophie Fawns also joined in on the Super Shot fun, which helped her side take a six goal lead into the first change.
The Swifts came out of the block stronger in the second term, but then the GIANTS took momentum back and shaved a bit off the lead.
However as quickly as the GIANTS took momentum back, it was returned to the Swifts. As the quarter progressed the Swifts’ lead progressed northwards towards double digits.
However, Sophie Dwyer finally found her range from distance, and the GIANTS came right back at their rivals.
They got within four, before a late Fawns Super Shot saw the margin sit at six goals in the Swifts’ favour again at the main break.
The physical intensity of the match continued in the third term, as did the Swifts’ dominance on the game.
The margin again almost hit double figures but it did not quite make it there.
Kelea Iongi had come onto the court at the start of the quarter and brought in a new element of liveliness to the Swifts’ defence end, but once the Power Five period hit, the GIANTS shooters really found their range from distance, and the margin dropped dramatically.
The GIANTS took the lead briefly in the final minute of the term with their fifth Super Shot for the quarter, but then one final late Super Shot from Housby saw the scores dead even at the final change.
After the fourth quarter initially started as a goal for goal affair, the Swifts eventually did take control of the quarter and quickly established a lead.
The GIANTS kept missing crucial shots late in the piece, but did score one last Super Shot late to bring the margin back to four.
But, with one last goal to the Swifts and most unlucky of missed shots to the GIANTS, the GIANTS ran out of time to keep the fightback going.
For the Swifts, Maddy Proud may have been down on her usual figures in the stats department, but that was more than made up for by how much she was willing to put her body on the line for her team. Someone who was not down on their usual figures was fellow skipper Paige Hadley, who finished with 33 feeds and 22 assists.
Meanwhile for the GIANTS Matilda McDonell (four gains, two deflections, two rebounds) was out to prove why she should be the starting goalkeeper again with a really solid performance, while it was a true Super Shot display from their shooters, with Harten, Dwyer and Matisse Letherbarrow combining for 13 successful Super Shots.
NSW SWIFTS 25 | 12 | 14 | 17 (68)
GIANTS NETBALL 19 | 12 | 20 | 12 (63)
GS: Romelda Aiken-George
GA: Helen Housby
WA: Paige Hadley
C: Maddy Proud
WD: Tayla Fraser
GD: Maddy Turner
GK: Sarah Klau
GS: Jo Harten
GA: Sophie Dwyer
WA: Maddie Hay
C: Jamie-Lee Price
WD: Amy Parmenter
GD: April Brandley
GK: Lauren Moore