The NSW Swifts put in a huge effort against the West Coast Fever in round five of Suncorp Super Netball in Perth on Friday night.
A strong last quarter from the hosts was enough to condemn the visitors to their third defeat of the season, 50-45.
The Fever edged the early moments of the first quarter with strong defence which cost the Swifts their chances to convert.
Despite this, the Swifts were patient with Maddy Proud and Paige Hadley probing well outside circle to help break the Fever defensive setup.
But the Western Australian outfit took a 13-10 lead to quarter-time.
The Fever pushed that advantage out to six goals early in the second quarter, managing to disrupt the Swifts’ attack, however, some fast work from the NSW team brought the deficit back to two goals midway through the period.
The Swifts worked hard and managed to level the score in the final five minutes of the second quarter. But the Fever regrouped to score two quick goals and retake the lead.
There was two goals between the sides at halftime (26-24) and the game was nicely poised to be a thriller.
The opening exchanges of the third quarter didn’t disappoint as the physicality of the game went up a notch.
The Swifts, skippered by Highlander Abbey McCulloch, were impressive in their attacking, taking passes under immense pressure and converting, but the Fever started to gain the upper hand in the midcourt.
The Swifts again made a comeback midway through the third quarter and levelled the terms at 42-42.
But the Fever upped-the-ante again to regain a five-goal lead with five minutes remaining.
The Swifts were forced to battle hard to stay in the game. That they did, but in the end big plays from the experienced Perth side kept the Swifts at bay.
The Swifts next match will be played at home, Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, on March 26 against the Magpies.