Following Minor Premier NSW Swifts’ shock defeat by a resurgent Adelaide Thunderbirds in this afternoon’s first Semi-Final, the Thunderbirds will at last host the ANZ Championship Grand Final in front of their home crowd.
The 2010 Grand Final will be held at Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Sunday 11th July.
This year is the Thunderbirds’ third consecutive Finals Series campaign. In 2008, they were eliminated by New Zealand powerhouse, the First Windows Waikato / Bay of Plenty Magic, by just two goals in the Preliminary Final. Last year, they were runners-up to the Melbourne Vixens in the Grand Final.
After their stunning performance in Sydney today, it could well be “third time lucky” for one of the competition’s most tenacious teams.
Meanwhile, the Swifts have one last chance to make the Grand Final, when they play the winner of tomorrow night’s second Semi-Final in the sudden-death Preliminary Final.
The Preliminary Final will be held at Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Sunday 4th July. The last time the Swifts played in Newcastle was Round 5 of this year’s home and away series, when they beat the West Coast Fever 55-43 in front of a capacity crowd.
As well as being the first time the Swifts have been beaten all year, today’s tally of just 38 goals was their lowest score in ANZ Championship history.
And to top off their woes, captain Catherine Cox suffered a broken nose after a head-clash with Thunderbirds defender Geva Mentor in the first quarter.
Until today, the Swifts had not dropped a match all year. They will now be watching Monday night’s Semi-Final between the First Windows Waikato / Bay of Plenty Magic and Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel with keen eyes. That match will be shown live in Australia on ONE (5pm AEST), and in New Zealand on SKY Sport (6.45pm NZT).
Full match report and statistics from today’s match are now available on anz-championship.com.
Official Results – SEMI-FINAL 1
Adelaide Thunderbirds (52) defeated NSW Swifts (38)
Thunderbirds shooting statistics
Carla Borrego 37/43 (86%)
Erin Bell 12/15 (80%)
Kate Beveridge 2/2 (100%)
Jasmine Keene 1/1 (100%)
Swifts shooting statistics
Catherine Cox 9/15 (60%)
Susan Pratley 22/31 (71%)
Amorette Wild 7/8 (87%)
Remaining Finals Series matches
Monday 28th June – SEMI-FINAL 2
Vector Arena, Auckland, 7.20pm
First Windows Waikato / Bay of Plenty Magic v Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
Tickets on-sale now through Ticketmaster
Sunday 4th July – PRELIMINARY FINAL
Newcastle Entertainment Centre, 2.50pm
NSW Swifts v winner Semi-Final 2
Tickets on-sale through Ticketek from 9am AEST, Wednesday 30th June
Sunday 11th July – GRAND FINAL
Adelaide Entertainment Centre, match time TBC
Adelaide Thunderbirds v winner Preliminary Final
Tickets on-sale through Ticketek from 9am SA time, Friday 2nd July
2010 Finals Series
Get up close and personal with the hottest game in town – to buy tickets and for all the latest on the ANZ Championship Finals Series, visit anz-championship.com.
If you can’t get to a match, catch all the action on Network Ten (TEN and ONE) in Australia and SKY Sport in New Zealand.