Light­ning earn their chance to strike three times

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACING - GREG DAVIS

THE Sun­shine Coast are into their third suc­ces­sive Su­per Net­ball grand fi­nal after blow­ing the NSW Swifts off the court with a crush­ing 58-48 vic­tory in the ma­jor semi-fi­nal at USC Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

The Light­ning will be gunning for a hat-trick of premier­ships when they host the 2019 de­cider at the Bris­bane En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre in a fort­night.

The only club to ever cap­ture three-straight grand fi­nal wins in na­tional league his­tory was the Swifts in 2006-08, and the Light­ning will be at short odds to join them as an all­time great net­ball dy­nasty after they found an im­pos­ing ex­tra gear un­der pres­sure.

The Light­ning en­joyed the early mo­men­tum after a Laura Lang­man in­ter­cept just 12 sec­onds into the con­test set the tone for the home side’s swarm­ing de­fen­sive in­ten­sity.

But the Swifts led by five goals, two min­utes into the sec­ond quar­ter be­fore the Sun­shine Coast went into over­drive to win their sixth fi­nal from six at­tempts and con­tinue the club’s short but spec­tac­u­lar his­tory.

The Light­ning dom­i­nated the mid­dle two quar­ters, with Cara Koe­nen (30/32) and Steph Wood (22/29) ruth­lessly fin­ish­ing off the work of their stingy de­fence and clever mid­court, while all three Swifts shoot­ers hit 16 goals apiece.

As their sell­out home crowd of 3003 found voice, a two-goal half-time lead turned into a seven-goal gap just four min­utes into the third term for the Light­ning, who left the Swifts in their dust.

Cara Koe­nen avoids the Swifts’ Sarah Klau.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.