Powerful Swifts down Lightning
NETBALL: The Swifts have been crowned Super Netball champions after toppling Sunshine Coast Lightning in dominant fashion in the decider.
Swifts success spoiled Lightning's shot at a third-straight title and what could have been a magic send off for coach Noeline Taurua.
They took their game up a gear each quarter to eventually defeat Lightning by 17-goals 64-47 at Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Sunday.
It was a nervous and shaky start from the Lightning, with the Swifts going 4-1 up quickly.
Lightning struggled to crack the Swifts defence and threw away some chances including intercepted passes and two missed shots by Steph Wood.
In an attempt to shake things up the goalless Wood was subbed for Peace Proscovia late in the quarter.
Proscovia shifted to goal shooter with Cara Koenen moving to goal attack.
Swifts struggled to adapt to the change with the Lightning fighting to reel in their six goal deficit.
They finished the quarter four goals down 16-12.
The Coast started the second stanza strong, scoring four of the opening five goals.
However, Swifts took their game up a level midway through the quarter to score 10 of the last 13 goals, including a five goal run, to be up eight-goals 31-23 at halftime.
Wood was brought back on for Koenen (14/16 goals) late in the quarter.
Third quarter was a fairly even battle but Swifts maintained a 10-goal lead 46-36 heading into the final quarter.
Koenen was put back on for Proscovia while Jacqui Russel replaced Maddy McAuliffe with less than two minutes left in the third period.
Lightning made a couple costly mistakes but Swifts were proving the stronger side heading into the final stanza.
Swifts were relentless in the final quarter, dominating play.
They surged to an 18-goal lead at one stage, going on three four-goal charges.
Annika Lee-Jones came on for Phumza Maweni late in the battle.
Despite Lightning's best efforts, Swifts were eventually crowned champions with a 64-47 win.