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Mentor masterclass in Magpies netball win

3 minute read

There is life back in the Collingwood Magpies' Super Netball finals bid after downing the NSW Swifts 66-58 in Melbourne.

GEVA MENTOR. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Geva Mentor has turned back the clock to reignite the Collingwood Magpies' Super Netball finals hopes in a 66-58 victory against the NSW Swifts at Melbourne's John Cain Arena.

Sophie Fawns, one of Mentor's two opponents on the night, was five when Mentor moved to Australia from England in 2008 to play in the national league but the veteran defender has shown no signs of fading as her Magpies dealt the Swifts' top-four chances a blow.

With two rounds remaining after this weekend, the Magpies joined the Swifts just outside the top four on five wins, with percentage looming as a decisive factor in settling the finals race.

"I'm so proud. We needed to go up a couple of levels," Mentor told Fox Sports after the second-half comeback.

"Everyone played their role whether it was attack or defence."

Magpies shooter Shimona Nelson landed a perfect 52 goals from 52 attempts but this was a win for the defence.

In the opening game of the league's First Nations Round, imports Mentor (seven gains) and Jodi-Ann Ward (eight) sparked Collingwood's comeback and goalers Nelson and Gabby Sinclair did the rest.

They were the prime movers behind a 22-point third quarter that ruined Swifts defender Maddy Turner's 100th national league game.

It was a credit to the Magpies they were not further behind after trailing by five points at halftime.

A masterful midcourt performance from Maddy Proud and Paige Hadley cut Collingwood to ribbons.

Their quick-release passing gave the Magpies defenders no chance to disrupt the Swifts attack, and by halftime Collingwood's Commonwealth Games aspirant Sophie Garbin was benched after failing to make a significant impact on the scoreboard.

Magpies wing defence Ash Brazill launched herself at everything but could not get her hands to the ball as the Swifts' attack advanced with precision.

Ward and Mentor willed their side back in the contest in the third term.

Between them, they snaffled 10 gains for the quarter to bulldoze their way to a decisive lead at the final change.

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