Swift and sure path in quest for glory

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Danielle Jarvis

THE NSW Swifts have se­cured a place in the ANZ Cham­pi­onship grand fi­nal af­ter de­feat­ing the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in an ex­cit­ing semi-fi­nal on Sun­day.

The Swifts led dur­ing the first half but by the end of the third quar­ter, there was only two points in it.

A fierce come­back in the fourth quar­ter lead to a seven-point win at the fi­nal buzzer.

De­spite the mount­ing pres­sure, Swifts mid­courter Paige Hadley said the team main­tained their game plan and played the game to the fi­nal minute. “We had to stick to our game plan,” Hadley said.

“We knew it was go­ing to be a 60-minute game and that’s what it was.”

Hadley said the Swifts had im­proved with ev­ery game, but the girls had kept a level head through­out the sea­son.

“We wanted to win but you don’t ex­pect any­thing. We were just fo­cus­ing on the game plan,” Hadley said.

Cap­tain Kim Green took the court in the fi­nal quar­ter af­ter miss­ing the last two matches due to a calf in­jury.

The Swifts will now travel to meet the Fire­birds at their home court on Sun­day.

Hadley said they were fo­cused on the task at hand.

“We have been build­ing ev­ery round and we’ve just got one more job to do,” she said.

In a state­ment, Swifts coach Rob Wright said the re­al­ity of mak­ing the grand fi­nal was still sink­ing in.

“Prob­a­bly seven weeks ago we would have thought we could do it ( make the grand fi­nal), but it’s only just sink­ing it now that we have made it,” Wright said.

The Swifts and Fire­birds will face off at 12.10pm on Sun­day at the Bris­bane En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre.

Pic­ture: MICHAEL BRADLEY

NSW Swifts’ Paige Hadley fights the Magic's Grace Ras­mussen for the ball dur­ing the semi fi­nal.

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