Deja vu has hit the NSW Swifts, as they fought back to tie the match against the West Coast Fever 57–57.
In their second home game of the championship, the NSW Swifts have repeated the events of last week’s game against the Queensland Firebirds, clawing back from a five goal deficit to create history in drawing two weeks in a row against the West Coast Fever at Sydney Olympic Park.
The Swifts had a rough start to the game with captain Kim Green taking an elbow to the head in the fourth minute from Fever’s captain Ashleigh Brazil. Even though the Swifts won the toss, nothing could save them in the first quarter trailing Fever 19–14.
Swifts Goal Keeper Sharni Layton received a similar challenge to last week’s game, defending towering Australian shooter Caitlin Bassett. However it was not enough with Bassett shooting at an impressive 85 per cent at the end of the second quarter finishing 33–28.
“I had to keep mixing it up and had to keep my combo going with Jules [Julie Corletto] and keep the talk up,” Layton said. “We were just too slow to start off.”
Half time brought some worry to the Swifts side with captain Kim Green benched after worries of a concussion following a head injury sustained in the first quarter.
“The doctor felt like it was probably best to taker her off,” said Swifts coach Rob Wright. “She was feeling a bit sick and her health comes first. We need her for next week so we really erred on the side of caution.”
Without the help of their captain, the Swifts remained focused closing the gap to just a three goal deficit at 46–43 at three quarter time.
In the fourth quarter the Swifts had the audience on their feet only trailing the Fever by one goal in the third minute. The Swifts were able to turnover a Fever centre pass with just five minutes left to tie the game. It was a tug of war from then on with each team scoring on every centre pass.
It was the Swifts strong defence that helped them lead the game with just 30 seconds on the clock. However ball possession fell into the Fever’s hands with just 10 seconds to go with Bassett converting a goal to tie the game.
Even though they came from behind, Wright was still disappointed with the Swifts performance stating it as frustrating.
“I’m probably a bit frustrated we got ourselves into a situation again where we were really in some strife,” he said. “I think this is the fourth week in a row where we have had to rely on the fourth quarter to get ourselves back in the game. You just can’t do that. You’re going to run out of luck”.
Swifts sharp shooter Caitlin Thwaites was named MVP after her impressive performance in the goal circle, nailing 36 of her 41 shots.
The Swifts will verse the Queensland Firebirds again next week in Brisbane. – Kayla Burke
Top photo by Kayla Burke.