NSW Swifts have kept their unbeaten start to the Super Netball season intact with an 80-66 victory over struggling West Coast Fever.
The Swifts overcame a slow start at Quaycentre on Sunday to ease to their third-straight win, joining Melbourne Vixens as the only sides yet to taste defeat this season.
Sam Wallace backed up last week’s perfect 31-goal effort with 62 goals from 66 attempts, while Helen Housby (18 goals, 14 assists) was pivotal in the Swifts’ strong finish as they outscored West Coast 43-29 after half-time.
Hard-working duo Maddy Proud and Paige Hadley wore down Fever in midcourt as they combined for 58 goal assists.
“It feels really good. I know that Fever is a great team,” Wallace said after the Swifts equalled the single-game goal scoring record in the win.
“It’s really kudos to us for actually pushing on to get that score.”
Prolific shooter Jhaniele Fowler tallied her 1000th Super Netball goal late in the first quarter, the 198cm Jamaican reaching the milestone in just her second season with Fever.
The Swifts will look to keep their unbeaten start going against the defending champion Sunshine Coast Lightning on Saturday while Fever hosts the in-form Vixens.
Meanwhile, Lightning’s Super Netball title defence has taken a ruthless turn in a 71-56 derby demolition of Queensland Firebirds.
An understrength Firebirds needed everything to go right at Boondall Entertainment Centre, but they remain winless after Lightning’s Laura Scherian and Peace Proscovia (53 goals) exposed some lopsided match-ups.
The speed and court craft of wing attack Scherian was peerless, feeding a landslide of goal-shooting opportunities to Proscovia.
Firebirds shooter Gretel Tippett (40 goals from 40 attempts) fought all the way in front of 3561 fans but couldn’t do enough to turn the tide against an opposition which has won its past two games by an average of 20 goals.
In the other game,the Giants stormed to their first win of the Super Netball season, grinding out a 58-50 victory over Collingwood.
With Caitlin Bassett (40 goals from 42 attempts) leading the attack, the Giants secured the Sunday win and two bonus points at Sydney’s Quaycentre to inflict a first defeat on the Magpies for 2019.
Last season’s minor premiers found themselves bottom of the ladder on a single bonus point after two rounds but ended their drought thanks to a smothering defensive effort, resulting in a massive 81-58 advantage in circle feeds.
The home side led by three goals after a physical opening half that featured strong defensive pressure and a combined 39 turnovers before pulling away with a 17-12 third term.
First-year midcourter Amy Parmenter and keeper Sam Poolman were standouts at the defensive end while Kim Green and Jamie-Lee Price added plenty of drive through the midcourt.
Parmenter credited a focus on attacking the ball as the key to breaking their duck for the season.
“I think just having a crack at the ball,” she said. “I know we’ve got a lot of players on our team who like to have a hunt and really love to be tenacious out there.”