Samantha Wallace

Samantha Wallace

Trinidadian Samantha Wallace scored 18 goals as reigning Australian Super Netball champions NSW Swifts edged to a thrilling 73-72 victory over West Coast Fever yesterday.

In a high-scoring affair at the USC Stadium, the Swifts produced another stunning third-quarter turnaround as they maintained a two-match unbeaten start to the new season. Helen Housby scored a goal with five seconds left, as the Swifts recovered from eight goals down at half-time (41-33) against the Fever with Nissan Player of The Match Sophie Garbin triggering a 27-11 third-quarter charge.

With prolific Jamaican shooter Jhaniele Fowler (53/58) in fine form, the Fever led by as many as 12 goals in the second quarter and appeared on track to open the season with back-to-back wins. Fowler, last season’s top-scorer was unstoppable. But it was the combination of potent scorers which saw the Swift rally for the last gasp victory.

But Swifts coach Briony Akle’s decision to start Garbin in the second half proved a masterstroke, the 23-year-old making 21 of 23 shots as the defending champions swung the match in their favour. Gabin ended up with 28 goals and was well supported by 19 from Housby and Wallace’s 18.

Housby also played a key role in her side’s comeback while the Swifts took better care of the ball after halftime while forcing six Fever turnovers in the decisive third quarter. The Swifts now prepare to face an improved Adelaide Thunderbirds outfit on Wednesday.

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