- Monday 22 May 2017
The Sunshine Coast Lightning kept alive their chances of a Suncorp Super Netball minor premiership with a crushing 63-49 win against the NSW Swifts at a sold out USC Stadium on Saturday.
With the GWS Giants losing to the Queensland Firebirds a night earlier, the Lightning jumped from third to second on the ladder heading into the final round of matches this weekend.
Sunshine Coast travels to Sydney to face the Giants on Saturday night (7pm), knowing a victory will guarantee a top-two finish and a place in the major semi-final.
Melbourne Vixens, who sit in the No.1 spot, will seal the minor premiership if they beat the West Coast Fever in Perth in the match that will directly follow the Lightning v Giants game.
The Lightning led the Swifts 31-24 at halftime but lost some of their fluency when playmaker Stephanie Wood stayed on the bench due illness.
At times the home side’s movement and pass placement looked ungainly yet the hosts still pushed the lead out to a commanding 11 goals at three-quarter time.
The gaping margin enabled the Lightning to leave Wood on the bench and plough some extra time into understudy goaler Cara Koenen.
Laura Langman also was given the last quarter to run the show from centre.