Swifts no match as Pies chase per­fec­tion

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT -

MAG­PIES coach Kristy Kep­pich-Bir­rell says her team is not far off de­liv­er­ing the per­fect net­ball she’s craved all sea­son af­ter their charge to­wards the Su­per Net­ball fi­nals was bol­stered with a big win over the NSW Swifts last night.

In their last home game of the sea­son, the Mag­pies over­came a scratchy start and last week’s loss to the Sun­shine Coast Light­ning with a 62-50 vic­tory at Hisense Arena.

The win — one of the Mag- pies’ big­gest this sea­son — strength­ened their po­si­tion in fourth place with just two rounds left to play.

For the Swifts, Sam Wallace (33 from 36) was a dom­i­nant tar­get un­der the ring, while Paige Hadley im­pressed in the mid­court in her re­turn from in­jury af­ter miss­ing three weeks with a knee com­plaint.

Mag­pies goal shooter Caitlin Th­waites won her bat­tle with Swifts de­fender Sarah Klau to top score with 49 goals from 52 at­tempts at 94 per cent, while Kim Ravail­lion was MVP af­ter star­ring at cen­tre.

Kep­pich-Bir­rell said the win was con­fi­dence-boost­ing for her team and she was now cer­tain that her play­ers’ best net- ball was now not far away. “We’ve been work­ing re­ally hard to try to get more and more min­utes and tonight we saw more and more min­utes from all 10 play­ers, so I’m re­ally proud of them,’’ Kep­pichBir­rell said.

Kep­pich-Bir­rell said they were de­ter­mined to fin­ish off the reg­u­lar sea­son on a high.

“We are not think­ing about fi­nals,’’ she said. “Be­cause we haven’t re­ally started the way we wanted to ... we want to fin­ish the way we had wanted to build across the whole sea­son.’’

NSW Swift Sam Wal­lace.

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