Swifts rookie: 'She will be the next Australian shooter'
IT was the same under-pressure shot Sophie Garbin's teammate Helen Housby took to secure England gold over the Diamonds at the Commonwealth Games but this time it delivered victory for an Australian team hellbent on proving critics wrong.
With just seven seconds on the clock and Housby by her side, Super Netball debutant Garbin nailed the goal which gave the NSW Swifts their first ever win over the Queensland Firebirds in the top netball competition.
The 54-53 thriller in front of 9590 at Qudos Bank Arena was the first major upset of the competition and one which also delivered former Swifts player Briony Akle her first victory as a Super Netball coach.
"How good was that. She will be the next Australian shooter. She's rock solid," said Swifts captain Abbey McCulloch, whose intercept with just 33 seconds on the clock delivered Australian under 21 player Garbin, who had sat on the beach in the first half, the ball for her winning shot just seven seconds from time.
The Swifts produced a 7-0 run in the final quarter of the match at Qudos Bank Arena to transform a six goal deficit into a one goal win.
The shock loss spoiled former Australian captain and Firebirds defender Laura Gietz's Super Netball debut after a year off to start a family.
Garbin, 21, who moved from Perth to Sydney for her chance to play Super Netball in the off-season and scored the last nine goals of the match, later said she didn't even remember taking the match winner.
"I just shot, got the ball and shot," she laughed.
The thrilled Swifts jumped on each other in a victory pileup at the end of the game.
"Abbey says we have to play every game like it's a Grand Final, so we celebrated like it was one," Garbin said.
McCulloch said the victory over a team being touted as a final contender proves the Swifts have the arsenal to be major players in the competition after their disappointing sixth place finish last year.
Earlier Jhaniele Fowler smashed the record for the most goals scored in a match by an individual with her extraordinary display against the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
Fowler scored 66 goals from 68 attempts - more than a goal a minute - to drive the West Coast Fever to their 74-56 victory in round one.
Fowler, who also helped Jamaica to its recent bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games, scored all but five of her team's total in her first Super Netball outing for her new side.
Her haul bettered the previous Super Netball record of 50 goals held jointly by Sunshine Coast Lightning shooter Caitlin Bassett and her Diamonds teammate, Magpies shooter Caitlin Thwaites.