Stacey Francis’ West Coast Fever came back from nine points down to pull off one of the wins of the season and with it sending Helen Housby’s and Natalie Haythornthwaite’s NSW Swifts out of the title race.
The Fever’s 67-62 Minor Semi-Final triumph at Sunshine Coast’s USC Stadium kept alive the Perth outfit’s dream of a maiden premiership after a stunning fightback from nine goals down at the end of the third quarter.
It was a thrilling match up and had elements of a sudden death final.
Vitality Roses, Housby and Francis both appeared in their teams starting 7 and it was a tight first quarter with Swifts edging it 15-17.
The Fever were staying close in the second quarter but the Swifts grabbed the upper hand when Housby and her shooting partner, Sam Wallace (Trinidad and Tobago) sank a trio of Super Shots in the final throes of the quarter, pushing the score out to 29-36.
After a series of changes by Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich that saw Francis move to WD from GD the momentum shifted and Fever found themselves drawing 48-48 by the end of the third quarter.
It was a frantic final quarter but Fever held onto their third quarter momentum, finishing the game out in front and giving themselves a shot at the championship.
The West Coast Fever will now face Sunshine Coast Lightning in the Preliminary Final next weekend, fighting for a spot in the 2020 Grand Final.
The Melbourne Vixens and Sunshine Coast Lightning, who placed 1st and 2nd respectively in the ladder, met yesterday (Saturday 3 October) in the Major Semi-Final. The Vixens dominated and recorded a comprehensive 16-point victory over their Sunshine Coast rivals with the game finishing 63-47. The Vixens will head straight into the Grand Final.
The Preliminary Final will take place on Sunday 11 October and the Grand Final will take place on Sunday 18 October.
Watch the Minor Semi-Final match highlights here: