Swifts beat Thunderbirds in Super Netball

Feb 25, 2017 - 8:04 AM NSW Swifts have staved off a fourth-quarter challenge by Adelaide Thunderbirds to score a 54-44 win and secure their first victory in Super Netball.

It was the opening game of a double header at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney on Saturday and the Swifts were looking comfortable after extending their 27-20 halftime lead to 43-32 at three-quarter-time.

However, the introduction of 199cm tall 19-year-old goal shooter Jane Cook sparked a comeback for the Thunderbirds, suggesting they could repeat their late come-from-behind round one win over West Coast Fever.

Adelaide scored eight of the first nine goals in the final period to bring the deficit back to just four goals.

But the Swifts absorbed the pressure and responded with seven of the last nine goals to claim victory in front of a vocal crowd of about 8000.

"The start of the fourth is really what we've got to guard against," Swifts coach Rob Wright said.

"It's where we probably just lost composure completely and all of a sudden they went on a [5-0] run really quite quickly.

"But I'm pretty impressed to regain it at the end of the quarter. I feel like that's some growth."

Captain Abbey McCulloch's dominant effort over Chelsea Pitman, the tireless work of centres Maddy Proud and Paige Hadley, as well as the fine defensive efforts of Sarah Klau and Maddy Turner, were keys to the win.

Exciting goal shooter, Trinidad and Tobago international Sam Wallace shot 35 goals from 42 attempts and her partner up front, England international Helen Housby scored 19 from 22.

Thunderbirds goal shooter Karyn Bailey scored 19 from 21 before Cook was introduced and scored eight quick goals. Captain Erin Bell featured with 19 centre pass receives, seven goal assists and 17 goals.

The game was the opening encounter of a double header, with Giants Netball taking on West Coast Fever in game two.

Source: AAP

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