Swifts shade Firebirds in extra-time thriller

Adrian Warren |

Paige Hadley was inspirational as the Swifts beat the gallant Firebirds in extra time.
Paige Hadley was inspirational as the Swifts beat the gallant Firebirds in extra time.

NSW Swifts have overcome some early issues and an eight goal final quarter deficit to score a dramatic 77-73 Super Netball victory in extra time over the Queensland Firebirds in Brisbane.

The less experienced home team led for much of the game at Nissan Arena, but the Swifts fought back from 55-47 down just over two minutes into the final quarter.

Queensland won each of the first three quarters of a physical, error-strewn but exciting game to lead by margins of three, five and eight at the breaks.

The Firebirds’ energetic defensive trio of Ruby Bakewell-Doran, Remi Kamo and Hulita Veve made life uncomfortable for the star-studded Swifts for much of the match.

But in the final quarter and extra time the Swifts ratcheted up the pressure and it was the Firebirds who lost composure.

Sam Wallace-Joseph.
Sam Wallace-Joseph played her usual damaging role, with shooting 41 goals for the Swifts (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS)

Queensland coach Bec Bulley made only one change to her starting seven and that was halfway through the final quarter.

Conversely Swifts coach Briony Akle made multiple changes throughout the game, with goalkeeper Sarah Klau the only starter to stay in her position for the whole match.

The Swifts outscored the home team 17-9 in the fourth quarter and 15-11 in extra-time.

‘It was really tough. We knew Firebirds were going to bring it,” Swifts mid-courter Paige Hadley told Fox.

“At halftime, Briony told us we were not doing good enough; in that first half we were lacklustre in attack.

“I thought we really brought that defence in the second half and that was all over the court,” added Hadley, who notched a game-high 26 goal assists.

Sam Wallace-Joseph, who surprisingly started on the bench behind Sophie Fawns, shot 41 of 46 for the Swifts.

Helen Housby, who struggled to shrug off Bakewell-Doran early on, became stronger as the match developed, nailing seven of eight Super Shots and missing just two of 21 overall in her 100th Super Netball match.

For the Firebirds, Donnell Wallam made 51 of 60 and Tippah Dwan 15 of 20.