Swifts storm into Australian Conference Final

2016 ANZC Competition Australian Conference Elimination Final NSW Swifts v Melbourne Vixens

The NSW Swifts stamped their authority on the ANZ Championship Finals Series with a convincing 14-goal win at home over the Melbourne Vixens.

It was a close start to the game with scores locked at 17-13 at the end of the first quarter. The Swifts put the pedal to the metal in the second term, outscoring the visitors 20-12 with Susan Pettitt leading the charge with 12 goals from 12 attempts.

A dominant final term wasn’t enough for the Vixens to regain control of the game, with the Swifts setting a tough lead to chase with the margin getting out to 21 goals at one point in the third term.

Vixens’ coach Simone McKinnis experimented with her youngsters, with Emily Mannix stepping up into goal keeper for three quarters of the match. Kelsey Browne and Chloe Watson also featured in the match.

Similarly, Rob Wright put his youngsters on court and alternated his defensive circle late in the game, injecting rookie Lauren Moore into the goal keeper position and surprising spectators with Abbey McCulloch in goal defence.

Utility player Stephanie Wood provided adequate cover for captain Kimberlee Green in wing attack as Green sat out the third term, before transitioning into goal attack and shooting four goals in the final term.

The turnovers told the story of a fast-paced, hard-fought match, with the Vixens’ producing 23 turnovers compared to the Swifts’ 15 for the game.

Swifts and Australian Diamonds’ shooter Caitlin Thwaites was named MVP for the match, shooting 40 goals from 44 attempts for the match.

Diamonds’ defender Sharni Layton was also a standout, racking up six intercepts and three deflections for the match.

The Swifts will now progress to the Conference Final in Brisbane, hosted by reigning premiers the Queensland Firebirds, with the winner earning the right to host a Semi-Final.

Purchase tickets for the Australian Conference Final, to be held at Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Monday Jul 18, via Ticketek.