Nifty Swifts on the board in 2023

ROMELDA Aiken-George had a milestone match to remember, after her NSW Swifts got the win 74-72 over her old side the Queensland Firebirds. The Firebirds were the better side for much of the game, but fell away in the last quarter to ultimately hand the Swifts the win, but staged a bit of a comeback thanks to some Mia Stower Super Shot prowess.

The Swifts were the first ones to build an early lead, skipping out to as much as three goals in front. However, thanks in part to Stower getting an easy second phase the Firebirds fought their way back into the match and levelled things up.

It went goal for goal for much of the quarter but both sides were going at a high scoring pace. The Swifts pulled ahead again late but the Firebirds pulled it back to level things up at quarter time. Both sides scored 20 goals in the first quarter, but remarkably there was only one Super Shot in the quarter.

It was the Firebirds who got the better start in the second term, and as such were the ones to take a narrow early lead, but as quickly as they built the lead they lost again as the Swifts levelled things up again.

The visitors then took the lead again in the back half before another successful Super Shot from Helen Housby levelled things back up again. Housby had really found her range from Super Shot which kept things tight, but a run of five goals in a row late from the Firebirds ensured the Queenslanders took a three goal lead into the main break.

The Firebirds maintained a three to four goal lead early in the third term which included some absolute acrobatics from Donnell Wallam in the circle. The home side did work their way back into the match, but could not quite level things up. NSW Swifts got within one on multiple occasions, but could not quite fully eliminate the deficit.

Housby remained on fire from Super Shot zone though and ensured the Swifts were never too far behind. Even though the Swifts won the quarter they were still down by one as the teams turned for home.

It went goal for goal to open the final term, but then the Swifts managed to score two in a row to take the lead about five minutes into the quarter. The Swifts scored five goals in a row to really establish a handy buffer, and up the other end they were really restricting Wallam’s influence, who up until that point had made a huge influence on the game for her team.

The Swifts were five goals ahead at the start of the Power Five, and the margin got out to as much as nine during the power five, but the Firebirds were not done there. Stower scored three consecutive Super Shots to close out the game, but it was not enough as the Swifts emerged victorious.

For the Swifts Sarah Klau (four gains, three deflections, two rebounds) was a star in defence, while Housby nailed six super shots in the match and Maddy Proud (39 feeds, 23 assists, two gains, three deflections and an intercept) was a workhorse through midcourt.

Meanwhile for the Firebirds Wallam was the star, finishing with a hopping 60 goals, and none of them were Super Shots. Lara Dunkley (34 feeds, 22 assists) had a busy game, as did Remi Kamo (six deflections, four gains, three rebounds).

NSW SWIFTS                                    20 | 17 | 20 | 17 (74)
QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS             20 | 20 | 18 | 13 (71)


NSW Swifts

GS: Romelda Aiken-George
GA: Helen Housby
WA: Paige Hadley
C: Maddy Proud
WD: Allie Smith
GD: Maddy Turner
GK: Sarah Klau

Queensland Firebirds

GS: Donnell Wallam
GA: Mia Stower
WA: Lara Dunkley
C: Kim Ravaillion
WD: Gabi Simpson
GD: Ruby Bakewell-Doran
GK: Remi Kamo

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