Swift but not enough for win

☐ Swifts battling hard in their narrow loss to a Lightning fast foe.

THE NSW Swifts suffered their first defeat of the 2019 Suncorp Super Netball season, going down 59-57 to the reigning champion Sunshine Coast Lightning at Sydney Olympic Park’s Quaycentre on Saturday.

It was a game that ebbed and flowed from start to finish, however, a crazy third quarter – in which the Swifts led by nine at one stage, only for the Lightning to catch up with them – turned out to be the definitive period of play.
“We had control of the game and we let it go,” Swifts midcourter Paige Hadley said afterwards.
The Swifts did secure two championship points from the contest and will look to bounce back against the Melbourne Vixens next weekend.
A Karla Pretorius intercept gave the Lightning an early foothold in the game, and while the Swifts had chances to convert some turnovers of their own, it was the visitors who led by three goals midway through the first period.

A missed Helen Housby shot, from which the Lightning regained possession, allowed the Premiers to stretch their lead to five but the Swifts rallied late in the quarter to reduce the deficit to one goal at quarter time.
In an unrelenting end-to-end start to the second quarter, both teams looked to have the measure of each other with the scores tied 25-all midway through it.
The Swifts came out of the blocks firing early in the third quarter, disrupting the Lighting attack and taking a five-goal lead, forcing Sunshine Coast skipper Laura Langman into a timeout.
It did little to stifle the Swifts’ momentum as they raced out into a nine goal lead, but sloppy play in the midcourt and a missed Wallace shot saw the Lightning quickly back within six and and the home team calling a timeout of their own.
From there it was a game of cat and mouse with both sides looking like they could secure the vital turnover to win the game. In the end it was the two-time champions who showed a little more composure to see the game out.