Swifts snap giant derby hoodoo
IT was third time lucky for the NSW Swifts, who finally broke their three-game losing streak against crosstown rivals the Giants with a nail-biting 55-54 derby victory.
More than 8000 fans packed into Qudos Bank Arena and for the majority of the game the Giants looked certain to continue their dominance over their Sydney rivals.
But in a tense final quarter the Swifts only just edged it to win their second game of the season, while the Giants tasted defeat for the first time this campaign.
There were just two goals in it by the start of the fourth and final quarter but it was the Swifts who snatched the lead midway through it. Suddenly the pressure was on the Giants, with the majority of the crowd cheering for the home side, to keep up.
With just four minutes remaining it was 51-all, setting up the nerviest of finishes. But with a crucial turnover the Swifts pulled away to win by a single goal.
It was a classic derby that brought the crowd to their feet by the end of it.
An even opening quarter had the scores locked at 14-14, but you just sensed it was the Swifts who were only just hanging on.
The home side fought back from being four goals down at one stage to levelling the scores by the end of the quarter, thanks to a few positional changes midway through the opening quarter.
By the second quarter the Giants began to edge ahead. Vital intercepts and dominant midcourt play saw them stretch to a four-goal lead by half-time with the score 26-29 to the away side.
There was a fierce battle brewing between captains Kim Green and Abbey McCulloch, with Green just edging it going into the break.
But a tremendous fightback from the Swifts at the start of the third quarter saw them claw back the Giants lead and in no time the game was going goal for goal.
The pressure the Swifts heaped on the Giants saw them create turnovers, but the quality and experience within the Giants was just too much for the Swifts to overcome.
They always managed to hold onto the lead and by the end of the third quarter the Giants led by two goals, with the score 42-44.
The fact that the Swifts actually won that quarter by a single goal was an indication of the Giants' resilience, though they ended up finishing agonisingly short.