SSN R3: Swifts Vs Magpies
Swifts celebrate history with big win.
The NSW Swifts celebrated the club’s proud history with a 75-64 win over the Collingwood Magpies at Ken Rosewall Arena, the Swifts first win of the 2022 season.
NSW Swifts have opened their account for the Super Netball season with a 75-64 victory over the Magpies as Helen Housby celebrated her 100th national league appearance in style.
Both teams were 0-2 entering Saturday’s contest at Ken Rosewall Arena but English international Housby ensured her milestone game would be a happy occasion with 43 goals for the defending champions.
Trailing by two goals after one quarter, coach Briony Akle shuffled her lineup to great effect as the Swifts outscored the Magpies 20-11 to lead 37-30 by halftime then built an unassailable lead thanks to a 23-17 third-quarter win.
“I certainly had a big smile on my face at the end of the game, to say that you’re on the board. I think once you’re on that board, now the nerves can relax and I think we’ll settle into a really nice season,” Akle said.
Akle heaped praise on star import Housby after she shook off a recent bout of COVID and the loss of regular attacking partner Sam Wallace to produce her best form.
“I sort of gave her a rev up there and I think she went missing in the past but I certainly think that was probably the best game I’ve seen her play in a long time,” Akle said about Housby.
“And I think she just came to play – she had that game face on, ready to rock and kudos to her.”
Maddy Proud worked tirelessly in midcourt to compile 52 feeds and 37 goal assists while 18-year-old Sophie Fawns backed up from her impressive debut performance against the Vixens with 24 goals after entering the game in the second quarter.
Housby came out firing with 10 of the Swifts’ opening 11 goals, but Shimona Nelson steered Collingwood to a 19-17 lead after one quarter with a perfect 18-of-18 start.
Akle made a raft of changes in the second term, bringing in Fawns and defender Teigan O’Shannassy while shifting Housby to goal attack, and Collingwood responded with four of the first five goals.
But with Proud and Paige Hadley controlling the midcourt, the Swifts eventually found their groove to edge ahead by seven goals at halftime.
The Magpies threw everything at the home side in a high-scoring third period but the Housby-Fawns combination continued to click, Housby sinking a two-point goal on the siren as NSW surged to a 60-47 advantage.
Kelsey Browne (43 feeds, 27 goal assists) battled hard to keep Collingwood in the hunt and former Swifts goaler Sophie Garbin finished with 20-of-21 shooting but it was not enough.