The NSW Swifts have capitalised on a strong second half to storm home 10-goal victors over the Magpies.
The NSW Swifts have capitalised on a strong second-half to storm home 10-goal victors over the Collingwood Magpies at Sydney's Quaycentre.
Both sides came into the clash desperate for a win, with the Swifts claiming two victories from the first four rounds while the Magpies had just one win to their campaign.
Collingwood started the stronger – claiming the bonus point for the first quarter – but from there they were swamped by a rampant Swifts midcourt and immaculate shooting from Sam Wallace (43/48) and Helen Housby (21/23).
The Magpies’ cause was not helped by the late withdrawal of Diamonds defender April Brandley, who suffered a knock in training and was replaced in the starting seven by Matilda Garrett.
Garrett recorded her first Super Netball start in her young career, and partnered Sharni Layton in the first three quarters. At the final change, coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell made a switch at the position, bringing on Collingwood training partner Mel Bragg into goal defence. Bragg had joined the team of 10 after Brandley was ruled out of the contest with concussion.
Collingwood had struggled at times this season to weave goal attack Erin Bell into their structures, but their star recruit saw plenty of ball early in the match, while the Magpies played a tight brand of defence and helped them take a 17-13 quarter time lead.
The Swifts needed to find a way to push the ball forward and English star Housby stepped up in the second quarter to feed Wallace, helping the home side reduce the margin to one goal.
Her efforts, including a desperate leap to reel in a ball sailing over the sideline, ignited the Swifts – who went on a 14-7 run to take a three-goal lead.
Wing attack Paige Hadley also came to life in the second quarter, routinely finding her mark in Wallace and helping the Swifts claim a bonus point and a 32-27 halftime lead.
The Swifts had 31 assists in the first half to the Magpies’ 14 – a telling statistic with both NSW shooters going at a clip of over 90 per cent as well.
That form translated to an 11-goal lead for the Swifts in the third quarter, the biggest margin NSW has held in any match to date in the Suncorp Super Netball season. Sharni Layton toiled hard under the net with three intercepts and two rebounds, but it was NSW who took a 51-40 lead into the final quarter.
Late changes for the Magpies saw Alice Teague-Neeld and Shae Brown come on for Bell and Kim Ravaillion with 10 minutes to play.
With a 54-64 defeat at the hands of the Swifts, the Magpies will now turn their attention to the Queensland Firebirds. The two sides meet in Launceston, Tasmania on Sunday 3 June.
Q1: Swifts 13 v Magpies 17
Q2: Swifts 19 v Magpies 10
Q3: Swifts 19 v Magpies 13
Q4: Swifts 13 v Magpies 14
Suncorp Super Netball premiership points
Swifts shooting statistics
Sam Wallace 43/48
Helen Housby 21/23
Magpies shooting statistics
Caitlin Thwaites 39/44
Erin Bell 14/21
Alice Teague-Neeld 1/2
Swifts starting seven
GS: Sam Wallace, GA: Helen Housby, WA: Paige Hadley, C: Maddy Proud, WD: Abbey McCulloch, GD: Maddy Turner, G: Sarah Klau
Magpies starting seven
GS: Caitlin Thwaites, GA: Erin Bell, WA: Madi Robinson, C: Kim Ravaillion, WD: Ash Brazill, GD: Matilda Garrett, GK: Sharni Layton
Nissan MVP: Sam Wallace