Swifts breathe sigh of relief after tough tussle

THE NSW Swifts can breathe a sigh of relief after escaping with a 67 to 63 win over the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

It was a tight tussle all afternoon but ultimately the Swifts emerged with their noses in front and victorious.

It was as tight as they came early as both teams went goal for goal, but thanks to some defensive pressure the Lightning were the ones to first break centre pass and go two up.

They got out to as much as three ahead, but it never felt like a comfortable lead.

The Swifts later proved that to be accurate, briefly drawing level before the Lightning snuck ahead late to take a two goal lead into the first change.

However things did not all go to plan for the Lightning in the opening term with Mahalia Cassidy having to come from the court after a head knock.

Things stayed even early in the second term as teams traded blows and the teams were tough to split. The Swifts never gave up trying to get back in the game, and were rewarded in the shadows of the Power Five by drawing level.

Neither team really used the Power Five to be able to pull away from the other side, and just as things were looking like the Lightning would keep their lead into the main break, the Swifts pinched a Super Shot goal late to take a one goal lead into the main break.

The Swifts started the second half with a bit of a kick in their step, before the Lightning quickly reminded them that they were not going anywhere.

Although the lead remained no more than three or four goals for the vast majority of the quarter, the Swifts managed to keep their noses in front throughout the term.

Their lead sat at four goals in the final change, but it really was still all to play for in the final 15 minutes.

The front half of the final term belonged to the Swifts.

Eight goals to four inside the opening six minutes really started to open things up for the home side, and their lead got out to as much as eight goals.

However, the Lightning had other plans and began to claw their way back into the game.

Six normal and two super shots in the final seven or so minutes from the Lightning really tightened things up.

When the Lightning slotted their second Super Shot, the margin was back at four goals.

However, that was only 30 seconds or so before the buzzer, so ultimately the Lightning ran out of time to complete the comeback.

Teigan O’Shannassy (five gains, four deflections, two intercepts and a rebound) played a really solid game for the Swifts despite not getting to play the whole game. Fellow defenders Sarah Klau (seven deflections, four gains, two intercepts) and Maddy Turner (five deflections, three gains) as well as Maddy Proud (44 feeds, 26 assists, two deflections, an intercept and a gain) also had really solid games.

Meanwhile for the Lightning, Steph Wood shot a whopping nine successful Super Shots, while Kadie-Ann Dehaney finished with a whopping 11 deflections, as well as four gains, two intercepts and a rebound.

NSW SWIFTS                                    15 | 20 | 18 | 14 (67)
SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING     17 | 17 | 15 | 14 (63)


NSW Swifts

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

Sunshine Coast Lightning

GS: Cara Koenen
GA: Steph Wood
WA: Annie Miller
C: Laura Scherian
WD: Mahalia Cassidy
GD: Karla Pretorius
GK: Kadie-Ann Dehaney

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