Game Detail // ANZ Championship 2009 

Round Name:  Round 1     Starting Date:  4/4/2009  
Team v Team Location Date/Time
  » Swifts 62 v. » Tactix 45 Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, Sydney 06/04/2009  7:00PM
   SKYTime:   21:00
   ONE Time:   20:30
   Umpire 1:   Sharon Kelly
   Umpire 2:   Helen George
   Reserve Umpire:   Peta Quinn

Game Report:

Captain Catherine Cox led by fine example in the NSW Swifts’ comprehensive 62-45 opening victory over their bogey team, Mercury Energy Tactix, tonight.

Tactix were the only New Zealand team to beat the Swifts, the inaugural Transtasman champions, in last year’s ANZ Championship, with a six-goal victory at home, but there was to be no away-game repeat at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre.

Prolific goal shooter Cox was in stunning form tonight - her return from the ankle injury which benched her during Australian Diamond duties at the end of last season – scoring 34 from 37 attempts (92%). 

The Swifts took control from the first pass-off, quickly establishing a four-goal advantage over the Tactix, who took their time to find the most effective attacking lines. Tactix shooters Jodi Brown and Angela Mitchell were both returning to the game after maternity leave and eased themselves back into the rhythm of top-level netball. 

The Swifts defence, on the other hand, looked as if they had never been on summer holiday – in particular goal defence Rebecca Bulley who was quick and keen from the start, snatching intercept after rebound.

Cox and her Australian shooting partner Susan Pratley were on-song from the outset for the New South Wales side, physically stretching the defensive efforts of Tactix goal defence Sonia Mkoloma and goal keeper Victoria Smith to their limits.

Cox bagged 11 from 12 attempts in the opening spell making the biggest contribution to the 19-10 first quarter scoreline. It would be this decisive quarter from the defending champions that would essentially cement the outcome of the match.

Despite two positional changes by Tactix coach Helen Mahon-Stroud (Charlotte Kight for Smith at goal keep, and Larrissa Willcox on at wing defence) and the efforts of veteran captain Julie Seymour to rally the Canterbury team, the Swifts flew further out of reach in the second spell - out to 17 goals at one point - with some polished flat-and-fast play through court. Just before the half-time break, Tactix got a boost from a run of five straight goals to close the deficit to 13, with the score 36-23.

Swifts coach Julie Fitzgerald was feeling confident enough to rest Pratley, who had been feeling off-colour during the week, and introduce young shooter Erin Bell at goal attack. She also gave Sam May a chance to impress at wing defence – the spot left vacant with the retirement of Selina Gilsenan, one of the netball world’s great modern-day players.

Bell did not flinch even up against Mkoloma, the rangy English captain, and helped Cox to keep the scoreboard ticking over in the Swifts’ favour.

The third quarter was the Tactix’s best, keeping in touch 11-12, but in the final spell, the Swifts smoothly slipped into a higher gear and pulled further away.

The Tactix still managed to produce some sweet segments of play during the night, giving coach Mahon-Stroud something positive to build on before their next match against the West Coast Fever. Former Silver Ferns shooter Brown had a solid return to the game, with 25 successes from 28 shots, in the face of the hard-toiling efforts of the Swifts’ goal keep Emma Koster and Bulley.

The Swifts players wore black arm bands in memory of Brumbies rugby player Shawn Mackay who died earlier today.

Game Sheet | 1st Qtr| 2nd Qtr| 3rd Qtr| 4th Qtr

Home Team Game sheet: Swifts
 Scores  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4 
   19  17  12  14 
 Player  Goals  %Avg
 Catherine Cox  34/37  92%
 Susan Pratley  17/19  89%
 Erin Bell  11/13  85%
 BELL, Erin  -  -  GA  GA
 BULLEY, Rebecca  GD  GD  GD  GD
 COX, Catherine  GS  GS  GS  GS
 GREEN, Kimberlee  C  C  C  C
 MANN, Ashlee  -  -  -  -
 MANSELL, Jessica  -  -  -  -
 MAY, Samantha  -  -  WD  WD
 PRATLEY, Susan  GA  GA  -  -
 SMITH, Kimberley  WD  WD  -  -
 WARE, Vanessa  WA  WA  WA  WA
 WILD, Amy  -  -  -  -

Away Team Game sheet: Tactix
 Scores  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4 
   10  13  11  8 
 Player  Goals  %Avg
 Jodi Brown  25/28  89%
 Angela Mitchell  20/26  77%
 BOWDEN, Maree  WA  WA  WA  WA
 BROWN, Jodi  GS  GS  GS  GS
 FINCH, Phillipa  WD  -  -  -
 HALPENNY, Ellen  -  -  -  -
 KIGHT, Charlotte  -  GK  GK  GK
 MITCHELL, Angela  GA  GA  GA  -
 SEYMOUR, Julie  C  C  C  C
 SMITH, Victoria  GK  -  -  -
 THOMPSON, Anna  -  -  -  GA
 WAITITI, Kahurangi  -  -  -  -
 WILLCOX, Larrissa  -  WD  WD  WD


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