NSW Swifts 68 (Caitlin Thwaites 34/39 (87%)Susan Pettitt 19/23 (83%)Stephanie Wood 11/15 (73%)Amy Sommerville 4/5 (90%)
Adelaide Thunderbirds 44 (Carla Borrego 28/32 (88%)Erin Bell 13/19 (68%)Kristina Brice 3/3 (100%)
Slow out of the blocks, the NSW Swifts finished with a flourish to register a comprehensive 68-44 win over the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Sydney on Sunday.
In their third straight match at home, the Swifts continued their unbeaten run after building throughout the match with a powerful showing through the middle quarters.
In a sign of their riches, the Swifts ended the match with their starting line-up on the bench but through the decisive stages their big-name players were prominent contributors.
Taking the sting out of a gutsy opening by the visitors, internationals Sharni Layton, Laura Langman, Kimberlee Green and Caitlin Thwaites helped the Swifts lift their intent and finishing prowess to leave the Thunderbirds exposed.
More purposeful through the middle stages, the Swifts got their hands on plenty of extra ball with Layton proving a disruptive influence in the Thunderbirds shooting circle, the precision-like feeding of Green finding her shooters in prime position and Thwaites and Susan Pettitt providing the finishing touches.
Moving into a position of dominance, the home team did not miss a beat when multiple changes ensued during the final quarter, the Swift’s youngsters bringing the team home in decisive fashion.
Decimated by illness and injury in recent weeks, a purposeful Thunderbirds reduced the home team to a scratchy start. Patience on attack, with captain Erin Bell playing a key role, and hustle on defence knocked the Swifts off stride.
With goalkeeper Samantha Poolman keeping Swifts sharp shooter Thwaites under wraps, the home team went to the first break with a slim 12-11 lead.
Changes to their line-up on the resumption helped the Swifts seize the momentum during the second stanza. With Langman taking over from Paige Hadley at centre and Abbey McCulloch coming off the bench to wing defence, the Swifts exploded into life, several passages of slick transition and a flurry of goals giving the home team the upper hand.
Enjoying a higher volume of possession and increased accuracy under the hoop pushed the Swifts out to a handy 31-22 margin at the main break.
MVP: Laura Langman (Swifts)
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