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Swifts score big netball win

NZN 3/04/2016 Pete Smith

Last season's grand final heartbreak already seems a distant memory for NSW Swifts who opened their trans-Tasman netball season with a dominant 57-42 win over Melbourne Vixens in Sydney.

The Swifts started with verve and energy in front of an expectant near-capacity crowd at the State Sports Centre, and they never looked like being headed after racing to a 16-9 lead at the first break.

The home side extended their lead to an unlikely 13 goals (31-18) at halftime, and there was only ever going to be one winner.

The experienced core of the Swifts' team was in strong form, led by goalkeeper Shari Layton who constantly thwarted the Vixens' attempts to build momentum.

Experienced New Zealand international Laura Langman made her presence felt in the centre of the court on her Swifts debut, and proved a welcome addition to an already strong side.

Goal attack Susan Pettitt led the way, scoring 33 goals from 40 attempts for the Swifts, while Caitlin Thwaites netted 21 from 27.

For the Vixens Karyn Bailey scored 20 from 24, while Alice Teague-Neeld contributed 17 from 22.

The Swifts lead by 17 goals at the final break (44-27), and while their intensity dropped marginally in the latter stages, the match as a contest had long been over.

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