Quarter by Quarter scores
NSW Swifts 12 - 29(17) - 46(17) - 60 (14)
West Coast Fever 19 - 31 (12) - 53 (22) - 63(20)
Catherine Cox 43/50 @ 86%
Susan Pratley 17/19 @ 89%
Team 60/69 @ 87%
West Cost Fever
Caitlin Bassett 51/54 @ 94%
Nikala Smith 4/5 @ 65%
Bianca Franklin 9/10@90%
Team 63/69 @ 91%
The NSW Swifts have fallen agonisingly short once again, going down by three goals in a physical encounter with the West Coast Fever in front of a sell-out (4200) crowd at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, 63-60.
In the NSW Swifts’ final home game of the 2009 ANZ Championship, it was the West Coast Fever that got out to an early lead with shooter Caitlin Bassett continuing her good form with a near flawless opening quarter, giving her team a seven goal lead at the first break.
A change at the defensive end in the second quarter saw Rebecca Bulley and Kimberley Smith switch positions in an attempt to unsettle a rampant Fever. The move paid off as Bulley increased her presence in the game while keeping Fever GA Nikala Smith to just one attempt for the quarter. After bringing the margin back to just three, the Swifts lifted to force several mistakes from the Fever and finish the quarter well two goals down, 31-29.
There were more changes to the NSW Swifts’ defensive end in the third quarter with Emma Koster given the task of curbing the dominant Bassett. Making several changes of their own the Fever was re-energised and looking to return to their first quarter form. Despite Koster’s early impact, Bassett’s dominance in the goal circle continued as she continued her near flawless performance pushing the margin back out to seven at the final break.
In a final effort to shut down Bassett, Mansell came on for the Swifts at GK. While the Fever looked set to run away with the match at ten ahead, the momentum shifted to the NSW Swifts who staged a last ditch comeback.
An impressive seven goal run had the capacity crowd roaring for more as the NSW Swifts managed to bring the margin back to two with just over five minutes remaining. Both teams lifted their intensity but despite several opportunities in the closing minutes, the Swifts just couldn’t bring the match home, narrowly succumbing to the Fever by three goals, 63-60.
With two away games remaining, NSW Swifts captain Catherine Cox stressed the importance of finishing the season on a positive.
“We want to finish on a good note. We have not been down this whole season, purely because we know we’re just a step away from a win. Every week we’re expecting to win, it’s not like we’re going into these games thinking we’re going to lose again,” Cox said.
“We have a star-studded line up. Minus Selina it’s the same team that won the competition last year. Everyone is upbeat and trying to keep themselves up beat and talking to each other about staying positive.”
The NSW Swifts will now cross the Tasman to take on the winless Central Pulse next Sunday afternoon in Porirua.
Image: SMP Images