• Stephanie Smarrelli

Swifts send a message with inspiring win


THE NSW Swifts have claimed the Carole Sykes Trophy against GIANTS Netball by seven goals in the Round 1 New South Wales Derby.

The Swifts went into the match as underdogs missing two key players in Nat Haythornwaiteand Kate Eddy. Replacing the two the Swifts brought in training partners Tayla Fraser and Sophie Halpin. Swifts captain Maddy Proud was gutsy putting her body on the line time and time again throughout the match leading her side to victory.

The Swifts started well against the GIANTS announcing themselves as real contenders, given their settled line-up. Sarah Klau was menacing in defence with four gains and two turnovers, while Sam Wallace was a strong target in attack. Her laid back nature and ability to hit the scoreboard put NSW in good stead allowing them to control the flow of the game. The GIANTS took a bit longer to fire despite some good work in defence by Sam Poolman who put pressure on the Swifts’ feeds. Jamie-Lee Price was sent off in the first quarter with the blood rule, giving Maddie Hay her debut. Hay was quick on her feet while on court, but she did not stay on for long with Price returning to the court a few minutes later.

Two goals down after the first quarter, the GIANTS lifted in the second. Poolman’s defensive efforts turned the ball over giving the GIANTS the lead. Price lifted delivering the ball spectacularly into the goal circle multiple times during the quarter with some bullet like passes piercing the defence. She seemed to relish the extra space in centre and showcased her attacking flair down the court. The Swifts fell behind, losing the second quarter credit to the pressure of the GIANTS however, Paige Hadley and Proud kept their team in it by making the most of their possessions with Wallace shooting at 100 percent for the quarter.

Having swapped positions with their opponents the Swifts sparked again in the third term. Goal-for-goal, a footwork call against the GIANTS and turnovers from, Proud, Klau and Turner helped the Swifts pull momentum back their way with the Swifts escaping out to a five-goal lead. However, the GIANTS stayed with them once again forcing their way back with a Jo Harten intercept only two-goals down at the end of the quarter thanks to a quick three goals from Caitlin Bassett. The two shooters took a while to gel on the court given their similar game styles but both were accurate under the post.

Under immense pressure from the GIANTS the Swifts weathered the storm well, staying calm and collected in the final quarter. Five goals in a row from Wallace early in the quarter pushed the GIANTS further behind as mistakes started to get the better of them. The Swifts continued to fire with the win within their grasp. Julie Fitzgerald brought Kiera Austin on midway through the last quarter for Bassett in an injury time after the Swifts extended their lead to six goals. Austin showcased her accuracy under the post shooting three from three at 100 percent. She offered plenty of movement in the goal circle which had been missing throughout the game given the tall timbers. But unfortunately it was all but too late with the Swifts outshining the GIANTS in the Sydney Derby.

The Swifts proved that they have what it takes to go up against one of the best in defeating last year’s minor premiers, while the GIANTS will be looking to piece everything together better next week against the Vixens who are coming off a big win.

STARTING LINE-UPS:

GIANTS Netball:

GS | Caitlin Bassett GA | Jo Harten WA | Kim Green C | Jamie-Lee Price WD | Amy Parmenter GD | Kristiana Manu’a GK | Sam Poolman

NSW Swifts:

GS | Sam Wallace GA | Helen Housby WA | Paige Hadley C | Maddy Proud WD | Lauren Moore GD | Maddy Turner GK | Sarah Klau

Originally published for Netball Draft Central

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