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Swifts too strong for tenacious Mystics

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/06/2016

The NSW Swifts have shaken off a tenacious Northern Mystics to edge home 59-53 in their trans-Tasman netball league clash in Auckland.

But the win was hard-earned, with the Mystics producing their best game of the season in pushing the Swifts right until the final whistle.

The return of skipper Kim Green from knee injury for the second half provided a real boost for the visitors, who led 14-12 at the first break and 28-27 at halftime.

But with the Mystics battling back in the third quarter, the scores were tied 41-41 with 15 minutes remaining.

Swifts coach Rob Wright's decision to replace Susan Pettit (24 from 29) with Caitlin Thwaites for the final quarter proved key.

Thwaites' extra height provided a real target for her feeders, and her accuracy was impressive as she sunk 13 from 13 to bring home the win.

For the Mystics, circle defender Anna Harrison was in outstanding form, picking up five intercepts and seven deflections in providing a steady supply of turnover ball.

Maria Tutaia's long-range shooting was on target, and she sunk 22 from 26 while fellow Silver Fern Cathrine Tuivaiti missed only two of her 33 shots on goal.

The Swifts top the Australian conference with 20 points, although second-placed Queensland Firebirds still have a game in hand against the Magic in Hamilton on Monday.

The Mystics remain locked in a three-way battle with Mainland Tactix and Central Pulse for third in the New Zealand conference.

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