Tactix finish with another loss, but avoid spoon

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 23:30 24/06/2013

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Netball

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The Tactix trans-Tasman netball league season ended on a predictable note, with a 62-42 loss to the New South Wales Swifts in Sydney.

It was the perfect farewell present for Swifts' midcourter Vanessa Ware, who was retiring after 11 years with the team.

Australian Diamond veteran Mo'onia Gerrard had a mighty game in the defensive end, with Sonia Mkoloma, in what might have been Gerrard's last game in a Swifts dress.

Her future is uncertain, as she makes the switch across to women's seven's rugby.

There was some comfort in defeat for the Tactix, with the team avoiding a fourth consecutive wooden spoon.

The Northern Mystics secured that unwanted award after losing their 12th game for the season against the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic tonight.

The Tactix, entered the clash, having won just two games from 12 this season, and were always expected to be up against it.

They made an encouraging start to the contest, and were level with the Swifts after 10 minute, but that was as good as it would get for Tactix supporters.

The Swifts dominated the closing stages of the first quarter, scoring five unanswered goals to gain the ascendancy.

Any chance of a first ever Tactix win on Australian soil disappeared in the second quarter, with the Swifts blowing the visitors off the court. 

The Swifts went on a 9-2 burst to begin the term, and all of a sudden, the Tactix were down by 13 goals. 

Mkoloma and Gerrard caused the Tactix shooters grief with their ability to come out for intercepts, and their rugged man-on-man marking.

On attack, the Swifts were able to whip the ball into their shooting end far too easily, with goal shoot Susan Pratley having a field-day under the post. She finished with the accurate statistics of 39 goals from 42 attempts.

Down by 15 goals at the half, Tactix coach Leigh Gibbs cleared her bench at halftime, bringing Jane Watson on for Zoe Walker in the defensive end, and Kirsten Hurley replacing Keshia Grant in the midcourt.

Julianna Naoupu, who started the game at goal attack, was also brought back onto the court for Sophia Fenwick, who had a nightmare second quarter.

The changes seemed to reinvigorate the Tactix, who scored six goals on the trot, to fight their way back into the game. 

They won the third quarter 13-10 and were able to pressurise the re-jigged Swifts second half line-up into mistakes. 

Watson picked up some good defensive ball for the Tactix in the second half, while Jade Clarke's move from wing defence to centre allowed the team to function with more cohesion on attack. 

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The Swifts finished with a flourish, with the scoreline expanding out to 20 goals in the final minutes. Turnovers again plagued the Tactix's play tonight, committing 36 for the game.

Tactix 42 Swifts 62

Quarter time scores (Swifts first): 17-11, 34-19, 44-32, 62-42

- Fairfax Media

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