The Adelaide Thunderbirds have been defeated by NSW Swifts 69 – 41 in their final game of the 2018 season.
The Swifts got out to a strong start with their lead extending to 10 goals in the first quarter when the Thunderbirds called the first time-out.
Thunderbirds Coach Dan Ryan made changes to his starting line-up, moving Hannah Petty into centre, Kaitlyn Bryce moving to wing attack, Abigail Latu-Meafou into goal attack and Cat Tuivaiti to shooter.
Petty added immediate spark – including an athletic intercept that lifted the crowd at Priceline Stadium – while Latu-Meafou was measured up front. The Thunderbirds got themselves back into the contest but still trailed 7 – 15 at quarter time.
The Swifts bolted clear again with a 5-1 run to start the second quarter and went into the main break with a 20-goal lead, 15 – 30.
The third quarter was a tight contest, and a Leana de Bruin intercept allowed Adelaide to lock up the score for the term at 16-16 denying the Swifts their third bonus point of the game.
In the final quarter the Swifts out-scored the home side 18 to 10.
Coaching his last game for the Thunderbirds Dan Ryan said the score-line tonight was not the way the team wanted to finish the season.
“Tonight was indicative of our season with costly mistakes that hurt us on the score board,” he said.
“It is what it is, we need to park it and hopefully the club can have a more successful year next year.”
Again, the Thunderbirds defence stood up with Kate Shimmin leading the away.
“I think our defence has been strong since about Round 4 when we found the combination and it switched into gear,” Ryan said.
“They’ve been the backbone of our team, the absolute anchors – full credit to Shimmo, de Bruin and Fowler – they’ve been rocks down there.”
In his final words as Adelaide Thunderbirds Coach Ryan said “It’s been a tough two years on the job in some tough circumstances. I am grateful for the opportunity, I am grateful that I could live my dream and head coach. I will take away so many life lessons and career lessons from this experience.”
With the 2018 SSN season now over for the Adelaide Thunderbirds, the club will look to 2019, announcing player movements starting next week.
Suncorp Super Netball premiership points
*No bonus point for drawn third quarter
Adelaide Thunderbirds shooting statistics
Shimona Nelson 20/26
Abigail Latu-Meafou 17/23
Cat Tuivaiti 4/4
Chelsea Pitman 0/2
NSW Swifts shooting statistics
Sam Wallace 42/49
Helen Housby 17/19
Sophie Garbin 10/12
Adelaide Thunderbirds starting seven
GS: Shimona Nelson, GA: Chelsea Pitman, WA: Bongi Msomi, C: Kaitlyn Bryce, WD: Fiona Fowler, GD: Leana de Bruin, GK: Kate Shimmin
NSW Swifts starting seven
GS: Sam Wallace, GA: Helen Housby, WA: Paige Hadley, C: Maddy Proud, WD: Abbey McCulloch, GD: Maddy Turner, GK: Sarah Klau