PICTURES: Thwaites and Bulley face-off in ANZ Championships

BENDIGO netballers Caitlin Thwaites and Rebecca Bulley had the unusual task of lining-up on one another.

Thwaites’ NSW Swifts hosted Bulley’s Adelaide Thunderbirds in front of a record crowd at Allphones Arena on Sunday in Sydney.   

With the Thunderbirds out of the finals race and the Swifts looking to cement its spot in the ANZ Championship top four, the game was an intriguing battle between the two teams.  

Thwaites and the Swifts dominated the opening quarter keeping the Thunderbirds to just six goals at the first break.

However the reigning premiers led a spirited fight back with Bulley causing some crucial turnovers in the second quarter.

The momentum had swung with the margin cut down to just two goals at half time.

Thwaites and Susan Pratley managed to withstand the pressure in the goal ring, shooting 12 goals to 10 in the third quarter.

However the Thunderbirds again rallied in the last quarter in what was an exciting finish to the round 12 clash.

Despite some nervous moments by Thwaites in the final minutes of the game the Swifts managed to score its fourth-straight win.

The final score 45 to 42.

Thwaites finished the game with 24 goals at 80 per cent shooting efficiency while Bulley had two intercepts and three deflections.

The third-placed Swifts will next take on the second-placed Magic on Magic.

It will be the first time the two teams have played each other this season. 

While the Thunderbirds will host the Vixens on Sunday.

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