NSW SWIFTS SCORE A RECORD 6TH WIN
The battle for the finals is alive in the ANZ Championship after the NSW Swifts defeated the Melbourne Vixens in an epic battle at Vodafone Arena, 62-49; their sixth win in a row – a record for the ANZ Championship.
With ladder leaders, the Waikato BOP Magic, falling at the hands on the Southern Steel in tonight’s earlier game, both the Vixens and NSW Swifts went into the match knowing that the winner of the battle would find themselves in equal first place.
The opening stanzas saw a torrid battle with Vixens playmaker, Natasha Chokljat going down with a knee injury in the opening minutes. Though forced to make an early change, the Vixens steadied and went goal for goal with the gutsy Swifts, ending the first quarter on equal terms, 13-13.
The second quarter saw NSW Swifts’ defender, Rebecca Bulley, stamp her authority on the match with some crucial intercepts and rebounds. Their hard work defensively was rewarded with the Swifts getting out to a ten goal lead during the quarter. The Vixens, however, were not done, mounting a comeback in the final minutes to finish the quarter trailing by six.
The third quarter, known as the championship quarter, saw the NSW Swifts extend their half time lead to as many as twelve. Sparked into action, Sharelle McMahon, started to find some space in the circle, netting some crucial goals for the Vixens as the clock ticked down. This late flurry saw the Vixens go to break down by six.
The Vixens had first use of the ball in the final quarter, but were unable to make an impression on the scoreboard. With the pressure mounting, both teams were struggling to find any attacking space. Some uncharacteristic misses in front of goal by the NSW Swifts kept the door ajar for the Vixens.
With the clock against the Vixens, the NSW Swifts put their foot on the pedal taking the match by 13 goals.
Quarter by Quarter scores
Melbourne Vixens 13 24 41 49
NSW Swifts 13 30 47 62
Cox 32/41 @ 78%
Pratley 30/33 @ 91%
Team 62/74 @ 84%
McMahon 16/23 @ 70%
Thwaites 33/38 @ 87%
Team 49/61 @ 80%
West Coast Fever v NSW Swifts
Monday 7 July @ 6pm
Challenge Stadium, Perth.