A well-drilled NSW Swifts consolidated their recent resurgent form with a dominating 68-49 win over the Mainland Tactix in Sydney on Sunday.
With their sixth win of the year, the Swifts cemented third place in the Australian Conference while keeping the Tactix winless for the season.
Building on a sizzling start, the Swifts dominated across all facets and with a view to the road ahead were able to give a number of players court time.
The Tactix never recovered from a slow start, left chasing the game and unable to make an impression against a slick and in-form home team in a match where nothing went right for them.
The Swifts, who have slipped into top gear in the last couple of weeks, stuck with the well-performing midcourt trio of Kim Green (Wing Attack), Paige Hadley (Centre) and Jade Clarke (Wing Defence).
The Tactix introduced a new starting combination with Erikana Pedersen slotting in at wing attack, Chloe Williamson (Wing Defence) and Zoe Walker picking up the goalkeeper’s bib.
Scoring the first five goals of the match set the tone for the home team, who quickly moved into a position of dominance. Rattled, the Tactix were on the back foot early as they struggled to contain the Swifts slick execution through court.
On song under the hoop, Caitlin Thwaites, with a steady flow of ball, continued her strong recent form while the combined efforts of Clarke, Julie Corletto and Sharni Layton suffocated the visitor’s attacking options.
Green was forced off court with an ankle injury late in the first stanza, resulting in a midcourt reshuffle with Abbey McCulloch coming off the bench and into Wing Defence. But the Swifts hardly missed a beat as they hit the first break with a 19-8 lead.
Corletto, safeguarding a niggly knee, was replaced by Micaela Wilson on the resumption with the Tactix introducing Hayley Saunders (Centre) and Jess Moulds (Goal Defence) but the visitors continued to live off crumbs.
Unable to crack the unrelenting pressure imposed on them, the Tactix continued to be let down by a flurry of basic errors and a mounting penalty count. Conversely, the Swifts were seamless on attack, Clarke and Hadley providing perfect driving play to the top of the circle.
The Swifts were almost spoilt for options on attack, the Tactix not enjoying the same luxury as they failed to get enough ball to danger shooter Mwai Kumwenda. Making full use of their dominant share of the possession, the well-drilled Swifts marched into the main break with a handsome 34-19 advantage.
There was no lessening of urgency from the Swifts during an equally dominant third stanza, shooters Thwaites and Susan Pettitt delivering an impressive outing under the hoop.
There was no easy avenue for the Tactix, their passage through court challenged at every turn, the visitors again faltering with a limited supply of ball. Shooters Kumwenda and Bailey Mes delivered a high accuracy return but lacked a regular service of possession.
With the Swifts not taking their foot off the pedal, the home were left in complete control when taking a 52-31 lead into the last break.Swifts shooting statistics:
Caitlin Thwaites 31/33 (94%)
Susan Pettitt 31/34 (91%)
Stephanie Wood 6/7 (86%)Tactix shooting statistics:
Mwai Kumwenda 33/35 (94%)
Bailey Mes 16/20 (80%)