Swifts left ‘devastated’ after narrowly missing finals in last-gasp drama

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Magpies star Geva Mentor could barely believe her side had snuck in to the finals. “I looked at the results and I thought it was two [goals] and we were done, then I saw Kelsey [Browne’s] face as she was like, ‘No, we’ve done it’ and then that was it,” she said. “Emotions? Gone.”

The Magpies had endured a nightmarish preparation, with coach Nicole Richardson and players Ash Brazill and Jodi-Ann Ward ruled out with COVID-19. Veteran Renae Inglis, who retired from Super Netball in 2019, answered a late SOS from the Magpies to start for the first time in three years.

Inglis’s partnership with Magpies goal shooter Shimona Nelson played a huge part in the team’s comeback on Monday, and after the game Nelson said that the testing lead-up had galvanised the players’ resolve.

Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald said that a few weeks ago, she would not have believed that her side would be hosting a semi-final. “I didn’t care who we played,” said Fitzgerald, who was just relieved to be in the top four.

Fitzgerald said that the Giants’ focus would be on their own game and what they can do to win Sunday’s semi-final. “For us it’s about focusing on what we have built across the season … bringing out the consistency and composure.”

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