Swift action to top of ladder

The NSW Swifts discuss tactics during their 60-50 win over Melbourne Vixens, sending them to the top of the ladder. Photo: Narelle Spangher, Netball NSW

THE NSW Swifts are top of the 2019 Suncorp Super Netball ladder after a 60-50 win over the Melbourne Vixens at Margaret Court Arena on Sunday.

Bouncing back after first loss

Swifts vice-captain Paige Hadley was MVP as Briony Akle’s troops bounced back after being chased down by the Sunshine Coast Lightning in Sydney last week to improve their record to four wins and one loss for the campaign so far.

Next up for the Swifts is a clash with former coach Rob Wright, who will bring the Collingwood Magpies to Sydney next Sunday.

NSW claimed all eight competition points (four for the win, and four for winning each quarter) but it wasn’t all one-way traffic in Melbourne.

Confusion in the Swifts attack, when Helen Housby overthrew to Sam Wallace on their first centre pass, gave the Vixens an early advantage before intercepts by Kate Eddy and a good conversion rate put the visitors 8-6 up midway through the first period.

The Swifts looked more composed for the rest of the opening quarter, and while both sides made errors, it was NSW who headed to the first break with a three-goal lead.

A rip-roaring start to the second quarter quickly put the Swifts six up but then things got a little messy. Good pressure from the home team allowed the likes of Kate Moloney and Liz Watson feed Caitlin Thwaites a good flow of possession and the ex-Swift, and current Diamonds shooter, put her side back within two.

The tables would turn again before halftime, however, and it was the Swifts, whose midcourt dynamos Hadley and captain Maddy Proud were making the best of the possession their defence was providing.

That gave Wallace and Housby plenty of chances and they rewarded the endeavour displayed further down the court.

The Swifts led by six at the big break and it stayed like that for most of third quarter as the teams tried to work each other out. Again both teams were guilty of turnovers but it was NSW who were smarter and won the period 14-12 to take an eight-goal advantage to the final break.

From their all they had to do was keep their composure and while the Vixens had chances to get back within striking distance, they couldn’t capitalise.