National player Daystar Swift had not seen competitive action for most of the ANZ Netball Premiership season until yesterday morning when she lined up for her New Zealand club, Robinhood Northern Stars, in Christchurch. Her comeback, however, came in her team’s 52-42 loss to home team The Good Oil Tactix.
Signed this season to her first professional contract, Swift, 29, has played just one hour in total this season, having suffered a leg injury which left her side-lined early in the campaign.
Relishing their one and only game at home this season, The Good Oil Tactix made the most of it with a classy display yesterday. The excited buzz around the streets of Christchurch had been building all week and spilled into Horncastle Arena where a crowd of 5,000, the largest in ANZ Premiership history, gave their enthusiastic and vocal support in what was a crucial match in the race to make the top two.
In what has been a tough year for them, the Tactix responded in the first of the games returning to the regions in style, showcasing their resilience by dominating for all but the third quarter of the match. Rebounding after losing the third quarter, the Tactix delivered a rollicking final 12 minutes as they went on to post their highest score of the competition.
To help combat the height of Tactix’s Ellie Bird, the Stars introduced Trinidad and Tobago import, the six-foot, two-inch inner-court defender Swift at goalkeeper on the resumption, with immediate effect at the start of the third quarter.
Her disruption of the Tactix shooters helped the visitors draw level but it didn’t last long. After drawing to within the three, the Stars could not sustain their momentum, the Tactix recovering their poise to take a 37-31 lead at the end of three quarters and never relinquishing it.