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Netball: Haier Pulse (53) defeat Northern Mystics (47)

16 March 2014

Official Result & Statistics: Haier Pulse (53) defeat Northern Mystics (47)

Pulse hold off late Mystics surge

The Central Pulse held off a late charging and much improved Northern Mystics to post a 53-47 win in Auckland on Sunday.

Mystics came to life with a stirring final quarter, their best of the season, as they drew to within three goals but the Pulse held their nerve to keep the northerners at bay. The experienced heads of Joline Henry and Donna Wilkins were immense fore Pulse, the evergreen Wilkins getting through a heavy workload to convert 28 goals form 31 attempts while Henry was often the architect of crucial turnover ball.

The Mystics showed promising signs of reversing their form slump with an increasingly positive outing, shooter Cathrine Latu having a strong game under the hoop in returning 30 goals from 31 attempts.

Mystics coach Debbie Fuller gave first starts to youngsters Nadia Loveday (wing attack) and Temalisi Fakahokotau (goalkeeper) against an unchanged Pulse, the home team showing a sense of urgency from the outset.

Defenders Julie Corletto and Fakahokotau were prominent figures for Mystics, the young goalkeeper, in particular, showing her aerial skills while Corletto contested relentlessly.

The veteran shooting duo of Irene van Dyk and Wilkins showed how it was done at the other end on the back of slick attacking play as the visitors went into a five-goal lead.

Mystics hit back with a four-goal streak of their own, the late surge clipping the deficit to just one as Pulse took a 12-11 lead into the first break.

With under-siege shooter Maria Tutaia finding some of her customary accuracy on the resumption and back in the scoring groove, Mystics hit the front mid-way through the quarter but consistency proved difficult for both teams.

The whistle dominated the second stanza, the Mystics in particular facing a growing penalty count as each side struggled to find any flow. Henry and Elias Shadrock swapped positions to centre and wing defence respectively as the Pulse looked to break the deadlock.

Defensively sound, the Mystics struggled to get their centre pass away cleanly while their options on attack were also limited. The Pulse weren’t seamless but proved better finishers and more effective attacking-wise.

The Mystics shooting percentages improved through the stanza but with more ball at their disposal, it was the visitors who headed into halftime with their noses in front at 26-22.

Pulse introduced Claire Kersten at wing defence for Shadrock for the second half where she combined expertly in a lift in tempo from fellow defenders Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit and Katrina Grant.

With the Pulse winning plenty of turnover ball and Henry leading the charge through the midcourt, the ever-reliable van Dyk and Wilkins made no mistake under the hoop to help the visitors jumped out to a 12-goal lead.

Jess Tuki (goalkeeper) and Erikana Pedersen (wing attack) came on for the Mystics late in the quarter, the home team repairing some of the damage to trail 42-34 at the last break.

Mystics shooting statistics:
Cathrine Latu 30/31 (97%)
Maria Tutaia 17/24 (71%)

Pulse shooting statistics:
Donna Wilkins 28/31 (90%)
Irene van Dyk 25/28 (89%)
Match MVP: Millie Lees (Haier Pulse)

ENDS

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