Live: NSW Swifts v West Coast Fever
POSTGAME: Plenty of emotion out there at the end, hugs all round. Plenty of pats on the back for Hadley too, who had to replace Ware when she succumbed to an ankle injury. Pratley says: ''Other shooters really stepping up this year. Always going to be physical against Fever. Five in a row, we're happy with that but now we're on the road for three weeks.''
Pratley made 31/38; Wild 12/14 Bassett 43/48 (not bad on a losing side);Cox 4/9
Cox says: ''There was a bit extra on this game for me. We're getting closer to where we want to be. It was nice today, so many friends. I got a nice cheer not a boo when I ran out. That was nice.''
Read a full report in tomorrow's paper and check out the photo gallery at smh.com.au. You will also be able to access the photo gallery from your iphone via Airlink. Just scan the photo in the paper from your SMH app and voila!
Thank you for joining me today.
FULLTIME: Mkoloma saves the day, just too predictable the Fever trying to go over the top to Bassett. Mkoloma has worked hard despite Bassett's dominance.She fires up when it matters and with Gerrard on the bench that has been vital. Pratley holds it together at the other end (this feels like last week!). SWIFTS WIN 52-47
Q4 13 min: Beckford Chambers knocks Pratley down, passes to Wild, Swifts reasonably safe now. Swifts 51-46
Q4 12 min: Bassett just unstoppable today. Hits 40th goal. Swifts 50-45
Q4 10 min: May stepping up a bit now in midcourt. Pratley has her mojo back this quarter. Massive amount of work by Green to just get the bal in the circle. Swifts 48-42
Q4 8 min: Nice work Hadley to Pratley. But Swifts still a bit flat footed in the middle. Green working hard to rectify it but a turnover keeps the Fever in it. Swifts 46-41
Q4 6 min: Funnily enough the Swifts come to a standstill the minute Gerrard is off. It has really lifted the Fever. Pratley steadies and it's Swifts 44-40
Q4 5 min: Fever defenders continue to work hard, another turnover as Green tries to get to Pratley. This time Fever make no mistakes and here come the Fever. Swifts 42-39
Q4 3 min: May helps Mkoloma defend but C-Bass gets another She has 33/38. Swifts 42-37
THREE-QUARTER TIME: Gilmore twists her left ankle nearing the siren, replaced by Gomes. May switches to GD, first time I will have seen her there. Sutton on to WD. Unless she is injured, I hate Gerrard off the court. They need her on it - Catherine Cox is no lightweight. Though I'm sure it will be a good challenge for May. Beautiful hands Pratley to Wild and the Swifts go into the break up. Swifts 41-34
Q3 14 min: Nice intercept Mkoloma, they can only go over the top to Bassett so many times before Mkoloma was going to grab one. Hadley doing well - better than her last effort a couple of weeks ago. More confident this time, working nicely with Wild. Swifts 39-33
Q3 13 min: Cox gets a good offensive rebound after a Bassett miss. Cox seems a bit fired up now. But Green really in control of the middle now. Swifts 37-32
Q3 11 min: Janz gets a good rebound but Fever turn it over again. They just can't make the most of their great defensive work. Wild scores. Swifts 36-31
Q3 9 min/TIMEOUT: Gomes is off for Janz, so she is marking Wild, some good anticipation from Plummer there. Beehag and Hadley having a chat on the sideline. Ware to bench, ankle problem, bit of a blow there. Paige Hadley on at centre. Swifts 35-31
Q3 7 min: Mkoloma making Bassett work but work she does. Bassett has 26/30 but it's too much work for one person against a side like the Swifts. Brazill keeps working hard. Cox sinks a long shot and the gap is back to four. Swifts 33-29
Q3 5 min: Mkoloma cops a knock to the head. Beehag says this is a danger game for her side. On Wild: put her on because of her speed. Swifts 33-27
Q3 3 Min: Wild on for Dziwoki but Pratley gets another. May helps out in defence. Cox gets her second Swifts 31-26
HALFTIME: Massive intercept Kim Green, good thing Pratley was paying attention and the Swifts go into half-time with the advantage. Nice save from Gerrard near the bell. I think the Fever need to move Brazill to WD to slow Green, Gilmore may be out of her depth there. Pratley 18/22; Dziwoki 9/12 Bassett 23/26, Cox 1/5. Cox's stats might not be dazzling but she is doing a lot of work to support Bassett. Green says the Swifts need to improve their timing. She is happy with her teammates' defence. Swifts 27-24
Q2 14 min: C-Bass really on fire today when she gets her opportunities. Green outsmarts the defenders getting Dziwoki a shot. Swifts 23-21
Q2 13 min: Gerrard helping out now with Bassett, allowing Cox more influence but they're just not finishing. Green had gone to WA. Another turnover for Fever and they lose it again. Swifts 22-20
Q2 11 min:Bassett goes down, gets up and scores. Fever using their height now. Swifts having to work very hard to get a shot. Nice hands from Dziwoki, Prats gets her 16th. Swifts 22-20
Q2 9 min: Fever really not making the most of their hard work.Getting good rebounds and turnovers but it doesn't quite come off the other end. May, gerrard penalised and Bassett gets her 18th. Swifts 20-19
Q2 7 min: Bolton doing well at WA, recovering from a blinding pass from Brazill. Bassett does the rest. Green and Pratley quick hands but Pratley misses. Swifts 20-17
Q2 5 min: Swifts trying to go over Gomes to Dziwoki, not really working. Wouldn't be surprised to see Beehag try Amorette Wild in second half - though she is shorter than Dziwoki she is very fast. Plummer says she has pointed out a few areas ''we were slack''. A really good effort today she says. Re Cox: did not mention the issue of her playing against old side. Swifts 19-16
Q2 3 min: Bassett and Pratley continue to shoot well, Swifts 17-15
QUARTER TIME: Good work Swifts defence getting the held call and they go into the break up 13-12. Mkoloma is definitely the best option for the big C-Bass but those long arms keep plucking the ball out of the sky. Bassett has 11/12; Pratley 8/10. Swifts 13-12
Q1 14 min: Gerrard had her ankle restrapped in the timeout. She's hit the deck a couple of times today. It helped.. big intercept straight after the resumption. Dziwoki gets another and Swifts 11-10
Q1 12 min/ TIMEOUT: Bassett very aggressive today and keeping Mkoloma very busy. She has 8/9 and is doing well to keep her body in front and take those high lobs from Cox and Bolton. Fever 10-9
Q1 10 min: Coxy on the board now. Gerrard runs straight into Brazill. They can compare bruises with their chardies later. Swifts 8-7
Q1 9 min: Good tight game here. Like to see the Swifts use their pace a bit more against the taller Fever. Pratley again and Swifts hit the front Swifts 7-6
Q1 7 min: Gerrard and Bassett collide and swifts get the turnover. Swifts settling better now and getting themselves more chances. Dziwoki on the board, 4-4
Q1 5 min: Pratley gets her first. Hard work down that end. Gomes goes too hard and Pratley gets her second from a free. Fever 3-2
Q1 3 min: Fever defence working hard, Beckford Chambers bigger body than Pratley. Bassett gets her third. Fever 3-0
Q1 1min: Big cheer for Cox from the Newcastle crowd in the intros. She has a big smile for Jo Sutton at the handshakes. Green gets us underway. Pratley takes too long, good defence from Beckford-Chambers. Cox misses but Bassett gets the first. Fever 1-0
PREMATCH: Starting sides:
Swifts: GS Pratley GA Dziwoki; WA Ware; C Green; WD May; GD Gerrard; GK Mkoloma.
Fever: GS Bassett; GA Cox; WA Bolton; C Brazill; WD Gilmore; GD Gomes; GK Beckford-Chambers
No shenanigans there. Beehag means business today.
We'll be underway shortly.
In the early game today the Mystics have toppled the Vixens 49-45.
Join Kathryn Wicks from 2.15pm as the Swifts host the Fever in the ANZ championship.
PREVIEW: I’ll start by saying what everyone is thinking: it is weird to see Catherine Cox playing against the NSW Swifts having been the face of the club for so many years. She must have some very mixed emotions today.
Yet as Swifts GD Mo’onia Gerrard put it early in the season: ‘‘She’s just another player on another team.’’
But that was on our side of the white line.
Welcome to Fairfax’s live blog of today’s big grudge match between the Swifts and West Coast Fever at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre. The Swifts are looking to make it five straight and stay in the top four. The Fever haven’t had a good season - just two wins - despite being a very good side on paper.
Besides the duel between Cox and Gerrard, which will be a cracker, watch the master-and-apprentice battle in the middle between Kimberlee Green and Ash Brazill. Brazill also left the Swifts for the Fever over summer and has been very impressive in Norma Plummer’s side this year.
It will be interesting to see if Swifts coach Lisa Beehag goes back to her rotational shenanigans today - playing her best seven was magic to watch last week against the Vixens.
Good contests also at both ends - Susan Pratley, who was unstoppable last week, against Fever keeper Eboni Beckford Chambers; and Swifts and England defender Sonia Mkoloma against Australian world championships hero Caitlin Bassett. It's a match I'm sure Australian coach Lisa Alexander will be watching with much interest.
I’ll have the starting sevens shortly.