FORMER Calivil United and Sandhurst netballer Bec Bulley's Giants Netball will head into their preliminary final showdown against the Melbourne Vixens buoyed by an intangible quality every sporting team wishes they had.
Down by six goals with seven minutes remaining in the knock-out final against Bendigo's Caitlin Thwaites and the Magpies, the Giants found something extra to mow down the deficit and then, with 17 seconds remaining, score the clincher to win 52-51 in Sydney.
The win puts the Giants - who lost captain Kim Green to a season-ending ACL tear in round five - just one game away from the inaugural Super Netball grand final against Sunshine Coast Lightning, who qualified for the decider with a one-goal win over Melbourne Vixens.
"Sometimes in your career you get teams that are very special - and this is one of them," Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald said.
"And, it happened from the very first day we came together. We didn't even have to work on it at all."
As one of three expansion clubs in the new competition, the Giants started the season strongly.
But the week after Green was injured they lost heavily to the Vixens, suggesting the absence of their skipper would be too hard to cover.
However, they won five of eight games since then to finish third on the ladder before pulling off the great escape against the Magpies.
"There is definitely something special about this team," goal defence Bulley said.
"And I pay tribute to Julie Fitzgerald on that. She knows the players, she knows their personalities. She only picks the players that want to play well for the team.
"It's not necessarily the team with the best players, it's the team that plays the best that wins matches."
Bulley said her team's philosophy was to simply never give up.
"At the end of a game, whether you win or lose, you just want to know that you never gave up," she said.
"Anything happens in those pressure situations; it's a tough game.
"You just want to put it out there at the dying moments and we were lucky enough to get the winning goal."
Thwaites finished the night with 37 goals to be the highest individual goal scorer on the court.
It capped statistically her best season at the top domestic level, having topped the league’s goal scoring with 594, five goals ahead of perennial top goal scorer Caitlin Bassett.
Meanwhile, Vixens coach Simone McKinnis said playing another finals match would serve her side well after they suffered a 56-55 loss to the Sunshine Coach Lightning on Saturday afternoon.
The preliminary final will pit Bulley against former Sandhurst star and now Vixens defender Chloe Watson.