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Swifts dominate Vixens in netball

NZN 10/07/2016 Pete Smith

Prolific goalscoring from Susan Pettitt and Caitlin Thwaites has lifted the NSW Swifts into the trans-Tasman netball championship Australian Conference final with an imperious 67-53 finals win over Melbourne Vixens in Sydney.

The Swifts dominated large swathes of a high-quality and sometimes physical encounter to set up a meeting with the Queensland Firebirds.

Pettit (23 goals from 24 attempts) coolly netted the opening goal from long-range and the Swifts never looked back, storming to a 37-25 advantage at the midway point on Sunday.

Defending a five-match unbeaten run against the third-placed Vixens, and looking to overcome the disappointment of missing top spot on the ladder by a point, the Swifts intensity was clear from the outset.

The Vixens, who finished five points behind their rivals, pulled back from an early deficit to draw level during the first quarter but the home side proved to be fast and decisive in possession.

Thwaites scored 40 goals from 44 attempts, while replacement Stephanie Wood contributed four from seven.

The Vixens also displayed solid form at the net with their trio of Emma Ryde, Alice Teague-Neeld and Kimberly Commane missing just a handful of attempts between them.

The Swifts will now have another opportunity to put last year's grand final heartbreak behind them when they visit the defending champions on Monday 18 July.

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