A brilliant second-half cameo from Cara Koenen enabled the Sunshine Coast Lightning to pull off a stunning Super Netball comeback to topple the NSW Swifts 59-57 in Sydney.
Koenen took the court midway through the third quarter and completely changed the dynamic of Saturday's contest, scoring 18 goals and helping her side overcome an eight-goal deficit against the previously unbeaten Swifts at Quaycentre.
Swifts coach Briony Akle conceded the decision of counterpart Noeline Taurua to bring on Koenen at goal shoot for Peace Proscovia (27/29) was crucial as her side failed to adapt to the move.
"I thought it was interesting they took their starting shooter off but Cara did a great job for them when she came on," she said.
"She really made our defenders work hard and we probably didn't adjust to what she was doing.
Sam Wallace (33/36) and Helen Housby (24/26) were both strong again as their combination up front continues to flourish, however Wallace did come up with an uncharacteristic miss late in the game that proved costly.
Akle was disappointed but was confident the Swifts would bounce back for next weekend's clash with the ladder-leading Melbourne Vixens.
"We went on a 7-1 run at one stage so it is very disappointing to let that go and allow the momentum to shift the way it did but there is plenty to learn from today," she said.
"I think we didn't handle the pressure in attack towards the end of the game which we will certainly have to work on."
While the Swifts prepare for a trip to Melbourne, the back-to-back premiers host the Giants on the Sunshine Coast.