Suncorp Super Netball

Dominant Swifts beat Lightning ahead of finals

NSW Swifts are gearing up for a tilt at its seventh club premiership after a hard fought five-goal victory over Sunshine Coast Lightning in front of an empty Nissan Arena in Brisbane.

Swifts, donning its heritage dress for the second time to stay undefeated in the strip, remained in control of the match for virtually the entire time, despite a flurry of super shots from Lightning at the end of the fourth quarter to end 69-64.

Swifts hit the court fast and put immense pressure on the Lightning’s front end – who were missing goal attack and sharp-shooter Steph Wood through injury – racing out to a 9-2 lead early on.

Swifts’ shooter Sam Wallace was back to her dominant best with 50 goals from 51 attempts, helping her side to 20-goals in both the first and second half.

Lightning shooter Cara Koenen tried hard with 10 centre pass receives, eight rebounds, 33 goals from 37 shots and three super shots from four attempts, however, some misfeeds and some tough defence saw her combo with Binnian Hunt struggle.

The game was won in the mid-court as Best On Maddy Proud led Swifts perfectly with 30 goal assists and a whopping 41 feeds.

She was backed up by a strong Nat Haythornthwaite (29 feeds, 20 centre pass recieves) and young gun Tayla Fraser.

Swifts coach Briony Akle, back courtside after a COVID-19 enforced break, decided to rest Paige Hadley for the match.

Despite a better second half, Lightning could not work its way back into match even after some inspiring words during a timeout from coach Kylee Byrne.

A scary moment in the match saw Maddy Turner exit with a suspected concussion. No updates on her condition have been provided but she did not return to court.

Swifts now sit on top of the ladder ahead of the final game of the regular season when GIANTS Netball takes on the barnstorming Fever.

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