A whirlwind weekend has seen the Magpies travel to Sydney for a last-minute clash with the NSW Swifts, going down 68-59 at Netball Central on Monday afternoon.
Preseason is heating up as the Suncorp Super Netball season edges closer, with the Magpies' first official practice match of the season getting off to an intriguing start.
With last-minute changes to plans last week, the squad experienced a whirlwind 36 hours in Sydney with a clash against the reigning premiers, NSW Swifts, showcasing just what the side has to offer in 2022.
Despite the Swifts getting off to a quick start, it did not take long for the Magpies to reel in the Swifts' quick ball movement as a well-timed tactical time out from Nicole Richardson saw the defensive unit spring into action.
The ever-consistent combination of Geva Mentor, Jodi-Ann Ward and Ash Brazill worked in overdrive to pull the Magpies ahead at the quarter break, leading 20-17.
A huge second quarter saw the Pies retain the lead throughout, with drives from Kelsey Browne and the long reach of both Shimona Nelson and Sophie Garbin reeling the ball in.
Gabby Sinclair provided a spark with accuracy from range while birthday girl Jacqui Newton rotated through the defence and provided plenty of moments for the highlights reel.
With a three-goal half-time lead (35-32), the Pies headed into a short break with plenty of talking points. A tight third quarter ensued, as the Magpies and Swifts traded blows to be neck-and-neck as the quarter whittled down.
However, a clutch super shot from Swifts goal attack Helen Housby saw the Swifts take the lead by the final break, seeing the Pies trail 49-51 with 15 minutes to play and two down on the bench with Browne rested for the remainder of the match.
A tough final quarter saw the Swifts blast ahead, though the Pies did not give up. Molly Jovic was relentless out the front while Brazill showcased her attacking flair in centre, as combinations continued to be tested across the court.
It was a tight clash despite the eventual 68-59 scoreline, with plenty to take from not only the result, but also the individual quarters and performances.
Hear from Richo post-match: