Attacking duo Jo Harten and Susan Pettitt have hoisted the Giants to a come-from-behind 59-56 win over local rivals the Swifts to consolidate their place atop the Super Netball ladder.
In a gripping finale to Saturday night’s round seven derby at Sydney Olympic Park, the Giants turned a six-goal deficit nearing three-quarter-time into a 50-49 lead with seven minutes remaining.
The Swifts had rallied to pinch the lead in each of the opening two quarters but ran out of answers against the experienced Giants, who made the big moments count to earn a 17-10 deciding term.
Swifts mid-court dynamo Paige Hadley won player of the match but it was the superior attacking combination of England international Harten and veteran Pettitt, who scored the Giants’ 59 goals at above 95 per cent accuracy that proved the difference.
“I thought the shooters combined very well, possibly the best they have combined,” said Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald, who notched up her 200th overall win.
“They moved well, they looked for each other well, they weren’t on top of each other too often.”
Fitzgerald said it was pleasing to win for the first time since losing captain Kim Green for the season with a knee injury.
“I think last week, as much as we tried, we were a little bit flat. But we all know that one player cannot make a team and that everyone else has to do their job now,” she said.
The Swifts held a 31-30 halftime lead. They’d trailed by four goals early but rallied to a 16-13 lead, with Sam Wallace sinking 12 goals from 12 shots.
Wallace continued her perfect record in the second quarter, making it 19 from 19 but the Swifts fell behind amid a five-goal uninterrupted spree from Harten.
Harten scored 15 goals for the quarter but the Swifts’ desperation in mid-court lifted them to a narrow advantage.
The Swifts extended their lead to 39-35 early in the third period, prompting Fitzgerald to replace wing attack Taylah Davies with the experienced Sarah Wall.
The Swifts’ lead grew to six goals nearing the final rest before a late triple from Pettitt left the game delicately poised at 46-42 heading into the final period.
“Their experience probably won out in the end. In some really key moments they were able to stay really composed and get the job done,” Swifts coach Rob Wright said.