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Wallace’s Suncorp playoffs hopes fade
T&T’s Samantha Wallace and her New South Wales Swifts hopes of advancing to the Suncorp Netball League semifinals faded after a 57-57 with Magpies Netball at Hisense Arena, Australia on Saturday.
Coming off the back off four straight losses, 24-year-old Wallace and the Swifts were hungry for a win, but instead, they walked away with a tie and their path to the top four too far gone.
A second-year player with the Swifts, goal shoot Wallace started off well and scored 11 of her 12 attempts to hand her team an 18-14 first quarter lead.
As the second quarter commenced, the physicality in the Swifts goal circle increased, with both England international, goal attack Helen Housby and Wallace taking some hard knocks to the ground.
Towards the end of the quarter, the home to close the gap, at 26-28, winning the bonus point for taking the quarter, 12-10.
At the start of the third quarter, Wallace who added six goals to her tally from seven attempts was replaced by Sophie Garbin as the Swifts attack slowed down, with Magpies finishing off their passes a lot cleaner.
The home side took a one-goal lead but a call on Kim Ravaillion delaying the centre pass got them back 39-37.
Caitlin Thwaites took a shot on the buzzer but she missed, giving the bonus point to the Swifts (16-15) with the score 44-41.
The fourth quarter was a sea-saw tussle as the momentum was swinging for both sides. As the clock wound down and the scores were levelled and the pressure increased.
Housby and wing attack Paige Hadley both got an intercept each, and centre court Maddy Proud took a hard tumble that took her off the court, but Sharni Layton got the ball back to level the score 55 a-piece with one minute to play.
Right before the final buzzer, Magpies’ goal attack Erin Bell sunk a high-pressure shot to draw the game 57-57 and take home the bonus point.
Wallace ended with 17 goals from 19 attempts to take her season tally to 357 goals from 398 attempts while Housby added 19 from 22 attempts, and Garbin, 21 from 22.
Thwaites who was named the Nissan “Most Valuable Player of the match had a match-high 31 goals 34 attempts, and Bell, 21 from 27.
With the draw results, Swift's record improved to 5-1-6 from 12 matches, for 41 points, 14 out of joint fourth spot held by Queensland Firebirds and Sunshine Coast Lightning with two rounds of matches left.
West Coast Fever leads the eight-team table with a 9-0-3 record and 63 points, two ahead of Giants Netball (8-1-3) while Melbourne Vixens (8-0-4) and Queensland Firebirds (7-0-5) are next with 56 and 55 points, respectively.
Magpies Netball is seventh with a 3-1-8 mark and 38 points while winless Adelaide Thunderbird (0-0-12) occupies the last place with four points.
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