MAGIC v SWIFTS. Court 1, 9am

STARTING LINE-UPS

MAGIC: Paskea (GS), Halpenny (GA), Rasmussen (WA), Sinclair (C), Manu (WD), Trip (GD), de Bruin (GK). 
SWIFTS: Dziwoki (GS), Pratley (GA), Davies (WA), Hadley (C), McCulloch (WD), Letton (GD), Layton (GK).

The Swifts opened the Summer Shootout with a dominating performance against last year’s Finalists on the Showcase Court, winning 29-13.

The Swifts rested captain Kimberlee Green, defender Sonia Mkoloma and recruit Caitlin Thwaites while Magic skipper Casey Kopua sat out the game.

Tayliah Davies, who is part of the Swifts development squad, started at wing attack and looked sharp and composed. The 19-year-old combined nicely with Paige Hadley, recruit Abbey McCulloch and their shooters Susan Pratley and Carla Dziwoki as the Swifts led by 14 goals at half-time.

Magic coach Julie Fitzgerald swung the changes at the break, introducing recruits Jo Harten into goal attack and Courtney Tairi into the centre while youngster Jamie-Lee Price came into wing defence.

It gave them a little spark as they scored the first three goals of the second half before recruit Gretel Tippett, who replaced Pratley at goal attack, got the Swifts on the board for the period.

Recruit Grace Rasmussen worked hard all game at wing attack for the Magic while Swifts new signing Sharni Layton combined well with April Letton to cover their opponents. 

HALF-TIME: NSW Swifts 19, Kia Magic 5.

FULL TIME: NSW Swifts 29 (Dziwoki 18/20, Pratley 8/9, Tippett 3/7), Kia Magic 13 (Paseka 6/13, Harten 5/6, Halpenny 2/3).

 

THUNDERBIRDS v STEEL, Court 2, 9am

STARTING LINE-UPS

THUNDERBIRDS: GS Carla Borrego, GA Laura Packard, WA Leigh Waddington, C Emily Beaton, WD Renae Hallinan, GD Andrea Gilmore, GK Kate Shimmin
STEEL: GS Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, GA Olivia Bates, WA Shannon Francois, C Philippa Finch, WD Stacey Peeters, GD Rachel Rasmussen, GK Storm Purvis

A morale boosting win for the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel over reigning ANZ Championship premiers started the action in the opening game on court two.

Steel coach Janine Southby used the match to give the bulk of her players a run, making five changes at halftime. Thunderbirds coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson put faith in her starting line-up, making just one change at the break, injecting Samantha Poolman into the goal keeper position.

Steel started strongly out to a 5-1 lead, however a run of goals midway through the opening stanza by the Thunderbirds closed the gap, the Steel taking a 12-11 lead into halftime.

Thunderbirds edged ahead early in the second spell helped by the reliable Emily Beaton anchoring the centre court but a reliable shooting effort from Te Paea Selby-Rickit sinking 13 goals from 17 attempts kept the Steel in touch, edging ahead in the final minutes of the match to record a 25-24 win.

HALF-TIME: Southern Steel 12, Adelaide Thunderbirds 11

FULL-TIME: Southern Steel 25, Adelaide Thunderbirds 24

 

TACTIX v MYSTICS, Court 1, 10am

STARTING LINE-UPS

TACTIX: Kumwenda (GS), Naoupu (GA), Thompson (WA), Clarke (C), Saunders (WD), Walker (GD), Watson (GK). 
MYSTICS: Latu (GS), Tutaia (GA), Loveday (WA), Langman (C), Hurley (WD), Corletto (GD), Tuki (GK).

Northern Mystics claimed a 34-29 win in an entertaining contest against the EasiYo Tactix in both teams opening game of the Summer Shoot-out.

These two sides finished ninth and 10th in the ANZ Championship last season, but the early signs are encouraging that both will be improved line-ups in 2014.

The Mystics led for the majority of the game and withstood a determined late rally by the Tactix, who closed to within a goal late in the game.

Tactix coach Leigh Gibbs would have been pleased by the performances of Malawi goal shooter Mwai Kumwenda, fellow recruit Hayley Saunders and her young defenders Jane Watson and Zoe Walker against the Mystics combination of Cathrine Latu and Maria Tutaia.

Latu finished the game with 23 goals at 100 per cent accuracy.

Silver Ferns star Laura Langman showed why the Mystics are already a better side with her addition into the midcourt. The only downside from the match for the Auckland franchise came when key defender Julie Corletto was forced to leave the court late in the game for treatment after copping an accidental blow to her face in a contest for the ball with Kumwenda.

HALF-TIME: Mystics 15, Tactix 11.

FULL TIME: Mystics 34 (Latu 23/23, Tutaia 11/15), Tactix 29 (Kumwenda 24/26, Fenwick 3/6, Naoupu 2/4).

 

FEVER v FIREBIRDS, Court 2, 10am

STARTING LINE-UPS

FEVER: Bassett (GS), Medhurst (GA), Pitman (WA), Brazill (C), Watts (WD), Gomes (GD), Beckford-Chambers (GK)
FIREBIRDS: Wells (GS), Wild (GA), Gray (WA), Ravaillion (C), Simpson (WD), Geitz (GD), McCloud (GK)

An intense hard-fought match between some of the world’s top Netballers excited spectators in the days’ second match on court two.

Norma Plummer’s West Coast Fever underlined their ANZ Championship winning credentials against the Queensland Firebirds with 12 of the 13-strong squad taking the court and coming out victors 24-19 in the closely contested match.

The match was always going to thrill with two former Firebirds stalwarts Nat Medhurst and Chelsea Pitman changing allegiance to the West Australian team in the off season.

The Fever attacking end in the opening stanza boasted a good portion of the Australian Diamonds squad with shooter Caitlin Bassett pitted against Demelza MCloud, Medhurst on Laura Geitz, Pitman marking Gabi Simpson and two of the most talented mid-courters in the ANZ Championship competition Ashleigh Brazill and Kim Ravaillion squaring off.

The Firebirds more than held their own for most of the match, but the skill and experience of Fever players across all positions on court eventually wore them down despite the wholesale changes made by Plummer at the break.

The Fever held a two-goal buffer at the halftime break 10-8, extending it to record the win and bragging rights until the two teams meet again in the ANZ Championship in Round seven at Challenge Stadium in Perth.

Half-time West Coast Fever 10, Queensland Firebirds 8
Fulltime West Coast Fever 24, Queensland Firebirds 19

 

VIXENS v PULSE, Court 1, 11am (no game on Court 2)

STARTING LINE-UPS

VIXENS: Cox (GS), Caldwell (GA), Strachan (WA), Moloney (C), Steel (WD), Chatfield (GD), Mentor (GK).
 PULSE: Griffin (GS), Wilkins (GA), Lees (WA), Henry (C), Kersten (WD), Grant (GD), Agbeze (GK).

The Melbourne Vixens powered away in the second half to open their Summer Shootout campaign with a 25-16 win over the Haier Pulse.

Star recruit Catherine Cox made an impressive debut for the Vixens, combining well with Tegan Caldwell in the Vixens goal circle while Caitlin Strachan showed she’ll be a valuable addition to their midcourt in 2014.

The Vixens rested Karyn Bailey and Madison Browne for the match while Pulse coach Robyn Broughton ran most of the key players in her squad throughout.

The Vixens led all game in what was high-quality match between last year’s Preliminary Finalists and a side many are tipping to seriously challenge for a top four spot in 2014.

A highlight was a rare toss up just before half-time between Pulse star Donna Wilkins and Vixens wing defence Amy Steel when the umpire couldn’t decide which of the pair had first possession of the ball.

Irene van Dyk came on for the second half in the Pulse goal circle, but she and Wilkins weren’t allowed easy passes by the Vixens defensive duo of Geva Mentor and Bianca Chatfield.

The Vixens also gave court time to Liz Watson, who was called into their 2014 squad during the week to replace Elissa Kent (nee Macleod), and she settled nicely into centre.

HALF-TIME: Vixens 11, Pulse 9.

FULL TIME: Vixens25(Cox 13/17, Caldwell 12/13), Pulse 16 (Griffin 7/10, Wilkins 5/9, van Dyk 4/5).

 

MYSTICS v STEEL, Court 1, 12pm

STARTING LINE-UPS

MYSTICS: Latu (GS), Tutaia (GA), Pedersen (WA), Langman (C), Hurley (WD), Corletto (GD), Tuki (GK).
STEEL: Fowler-Reid (GS), Selby-Rickit (GA), Crampton (WA), Francois (C), Frew (WD), Karaka (GD), Mikaere (GK).

Defender Jess Tuki gave an impressive audition to Mystics coach Debbie Fuller in their 34-26 victory over the Steel as they made it two wins from as many starts in the Summer Shootout.

Tuki was released by the Kia Magic after the 2013 season, but was not offered a contract by another franchise.

However, she has travelled to Melbourne this weekend with the Mystics as cover with a number of key players from their roster not making the trip across the Tasman.

Tuki impressed with her role on Steel shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, who did not play the second half of the game and had treatment on her left leg. Olivia Bates, who has travelled with the Steel squad to Melbourne as cover, came on in the second half as Fowler-Reid’s replacement.

Steel wing defence Wendy Frew was also forced from the court early in the game after hurting her ankle.

The Steel’s young defenders Phoenix Karaka and Storm Purvis had their hands full nullifying in-form Mystics dup of Cathrine Latu and Maria Tutaia.  

HALF-TIME: Mystics 17, Steel 12.

FULL TIME: Mystics34(Latu 20/24, Tutaia14/18), Steel 26 (Selbey-Rickit 15/17, Fowler-Reid 10/13, Bates 1/3).

 

TACTIX v MAGIC, Court 2, 12pm

STARTING LINE-UPS

MAGIC: GS: Halpenny, GA: Harten, WA: Rasmussen, C: Tairi, WD: Trip, GD: Kopua, GK: de Bruin
TACTIX: GS: Naoupu, GA: Fenwick, WA: Grant, C: Thompson, WD: Clarke, GD: Thayer, GK: Moulds

Off-season fitness and team work is starting to reap rewards for the EasiYo Tactix, continuing their impressive pre-season form with a solid 26-20 win over Kia Magic.

The Tactix played as a team who have enjoyed two months of consistent build-up with no players required for international duty in the off season.  Midcourt ball speed from the likes of Jade Clarke, Keshia Grant and Anna Thompson into the shooters left the Magic playing catch-up.

There was a familiar look at the Kia Magic defensive end with captain Casey Kopua playing her first competitive Netball match since recovering from ankle surgery two months ago. Kopua lasted 15 minutes in the goal defence position before being subbed off.

Half-time and the Tactix eased out to a four-goal lead, extending that margin to six at the final whistle despite Magic’s best efforts.

English import Jo Harten showed why she is going to be a valuable asset to the Magic team this season, strong under the high ball and reliably slotting the ball through the hoop.

Half-time - Tactix 13, Magic 9

Fulltime: Tactix 26, Magic 20

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