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Powerhouse Swifts end Thunderbirds' run

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/05/2016 Pete Smith

NSW Swifts did it the hard way but they finally earned a dose of redemption for last season's heartbreaking grand final defeat with a 58-54 comeback win over leaders Queensland Firebirds in front of a trans-Tasman netball record crowd in Sydney.

The Swifts overturned a four-point margin at the break to triumph as the Firebirds slumped to a first loss in 21 outings in front of 13,314 spectators on Sunday.

With numerous internationals on either side, the competition's top two teams played out a high-quality and tense contest befitting of the occasion.

The Firebirds, who won the 2015 title thanks to a late one-goal win over the Swifts seemed set for victory after taking the lead midway through the first quarter.

The Swifts fought back to lead with the final play of the third quarter, and an increasingly raucous crowd seemed to play a role in lifting the home side.

The result sees the Swifts, who lost to the Firebirds last month, end a six-match winless run against the Queenslanders.

The difference seemed set to be former Swift Gretel Tippett, and in particular Jamaican superstar Romelda Aiken (46 goals from 51 attempts), with the pair combining physical presence with accurate shooting.

At the other end, Susan Pettitt was impressive scoring 33 from 39, and while Caitlin Thwaites was relatively subdued scoring 10 from 14, Stephanie Wood came on at the midway point contributing 15 from 19.

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