The NSW Swifts have moved to the top of the Super Netball ladder on percentage following a 64-52 win over the Queensland Firebirds.
- The Swifts are on top of the ladder, with the Lightning, Fever and Giants having a game in hand
- Sam Wallace scored 49 goals and two super shots for the Swifts
- Firebirds star Romelda Aiken managed 38 goals and one super shot
The Swifts’ home victory at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena on Saturday took them above the Giants, the Sunshine Coast Lightning and the West Coast Fever, with all those teams having a game in hand.
The loss left Firebirds eight points outside the top four and with a lot of work to do to make the finals.
Romelda Aiken missed eight first-half shots, with the Firebirds shooting just 61 per cent in the first quarter and 67 for the half.
Prior to the game, Aiken had a success rate of almost 89 per cent for the 2021 campaign.
At one stage in the second quarter, the Jamaican international missed three straight shots in a few seconds, rebounding all of those off-target attempts and scoring at the fourth try.
Aiken’s accuracy improved significantly in the second half, missing just twice and she finished with 38 goals and one super shot at 79 per cent, though she was subbed for just under the last six minutes of the third quarter.
At the other end, the Swifts’ Sam Wallace was more reliable, making 51 of her 57 attempts (including two super shots) to finish with a total of 53 points.
The Trinidadian nailed successive super shots in the latter stages of the second quarter as a 5-1 run in the Swifts’ favour in the last three minutes gave them a 30-25 half-time advantage.
Unfortunately for Firebirds, the Swifts’ accuracy did not decline in the third quarter, as they missed just two shots in the term.
The Firebirds’ concerning turnover count continued to mount and they were outscored 18-9 In the quarter to trail 48-34 going into the fourth.
They got within 10 points in the last quarter but never seriously threatened a full-scale comeback.
Midcourter Paige Hadley fed Wallace well, while veteran Firebirds centre Kim Ravaillion tried hard in a beaten side.