Kestrels prove premiership threat - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kestrels prove premiership threat

By Adrian Warren 24/08/2003 09:45:40 PM Comments (0)

Red hot Melbourne Kestrels emerged as a genuine threat to the National Netball League's three perennial contenders heading into this Friday's semi-finals.

Fourth placed Kestrels notched their sixth win from their last seven games and claimed their second big scalp in successive weeks with a 49-46 away win over Adelaide Thunderbirds.

The result knocked the South Australian team out of second spot.

Sydney Swifts, who the Kestrels upset last week, finished above Adelaide on percentage and secured the coveted finals double chance with a crushing 79-40 home win over Queensland Firebirds.

The only team this season to beat defending champion and minor premier Melbourne Phoenix, Swifts will play away to the Victorian side in the major semi-final.

Adelaide, which failed to make the major semi-final for the first time in the seven year history of the competition, will get a swift chance for revenge against Kestrels in the elimination semi at ETSA Park.

Phoenix completed its campaign with a 64-28 home win over AIS-Canberra Darters, who finished sixth in their first season with five victories from 14 games.

The first six National League titles were shared between the current top three teams, but Kestrels captain Nicole Richardson felt her surging team was capable of breaking their stranglehold.

"I think we've proven in the last two weeks that if we can play at our best we can beat those top three teams and we aren't here just to make up the numbers," Richardson said.

"We are here to give the finals campaign a really good shot, we've only played in two finals before and made an early exit in both of those games and we're hoping to have more of a say in this finals series."

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