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Sunshine Coast Lightning vs NSW Swifts
Super Netball Finals
|Sunshine Coast Lightning||NSW Swifts|
Minor premiers the Sunshine Coast Lightning are the first team into the 2019 Super Netball Grand Final.
The Swifts were up and about early, they worked into the game and took the lead at the first break. In the second, Sunshine Coast turned things around, led by Langman and finished in the goal circle by Koenen and Wood.
In the third things really lifted for the Coast, who attacked the play and dominated the run. The Swifts changed things up, brought Garbin into the goal circle, Fraser into centre and Haplin into WD, Rore into the defensive circle, but were unable to turn the tide.
Sunshine Coast Lightning 58
NSW Swifts 48
After 3,360 minutes of minor round netball, it’s time to get the finals party started with a major semi-final between the Sunshine Coast Lightning and New South Wales Swifts on Saturday afternoon. Join The Roar for all of the action, with first centre pass set for just after 3pm AEST.
The 2019 Suncorp Super Netball finals series gets underway with minor premiers the Sunshine Coast Lightning hosting the major semi-final at USC Stadium.
‘September’ action begins a day early with the top two teams this year set to go head-to-head; they’ve already played twice this season and on both occasions the Lightning came out on top by two goals.
The winner of this match-up will get a weekend rest, while the loser will take on the winner of the minor semi-final in a preliminary final next Sunday.
The NSW Swifts have been hit hard by injury in the 2019 season.
Not only losing captain Maddy Proud and defenders Kate Eddy and Lauren Moore to season-ending injuries, but also missing star English shooter Helen Housby for several weeks of the year.
No matter who took to the court though, the girls in blue and red found a way to get the job done on ten occasions and will be keen to do so again on Saturday.
After returning to the Diamonds’ side for the World Cup, Paige Hadley has taken the role of stand-in skipper in her stride and will be a force through the midcourt.
She will be closely matched though, by New Zealand’s Laura Langman, in the mid battle.
Both teams have great options in the ring; they have ‘post’ players Peace Proscovia (Lightning) and Sam Wallace (Swifts), plus mobile young shooters Cara Koenen and Sophie Garbin, and world-class goal-attack’s Steph Wood and Helen Housby.
Depending on the state of the game, the defensive combinations and the success the teams are having in the ring, will determine just who gets the nod to be on the court.
In the previous two years of Super Netball, the minor premiers – Melbourne Vixens in 2017 and GWS Giants in 2018 – have been knocked out in straight sets.
Sunshine Coast will be hoping to tackle this “voodoo” in 2019 and secure a grand final spot on Saturday.
The last time these teams played was in Round 11, on a Saturday night at USC Stadium.
It was a thrilling match, even at half-time before the Swifts pulled away in the third with Sam Wallace under the goal post, and them the Lightning swung it around in their favourite in the final term.
Noeline Taurua was not afraid to play with combinations she had at her disposal this one, and expect her to do so again if the Swifts get on a roll in this semi-final.
The Lightning are the team to beat this finals series, but don’t count out the fighting Swifts. It hasn’t been an easy run for NSW this year, though this is a tight-knit team who will no doubt run with the Sunshine Coast for most of the game.
With a home grand-final on the line – the Sunshine Coast have never won one in front of a home crowd – they’ll be keen to get the job done.
Sunshine Coast by 2 goals.
Venue: USC Stadium, Sippy Downs
Time: 3pm AEST
TV: Channel 9, 9Now, Netball Live app
Betting: Sunshine Coast $1.60, NSW Swifts $2.30