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Kia Magic claim hard-fought win over Mystics

Media Release
Sunday 20 April 2014

Official Result & Statistics

Official Result: Kia Magic (56) defeated Northern Mystics (50)

Kia Magic claim hard-fought win over Mystics

Kia Magic were forced to repel a spirited Northern Mystics challenge before posting a 56-50 win to retain second place on the points table, in Hamilton on Sunday.

Stung by their first loss of the season in round six and having to sit out the bye round which followed, Magic got back to the winner’s circle after a slow start in the face of a staunch effort from their northern neighbours.

Better ball security and accuracy with their finishing helped Magic grind the spirit out of Mystics who put in a wholehearted effort which proved threatening at times. Shooter Jo Harten was a standout for Magic with 44 goals from 46 attempts, ably supported by the slick service from the rejuvenated Grace Rasmussen while Maria Tutaia with 33 from 37 was an influential presence for the visitors.

Magic presented with their unchanged line-up of recent weeks in sticking with a successful formula while Mystics had plenty to play for in their line-up.

Midcourt legend Laura Langman added to her illustrious career by becoming the first player to reach the significant milestone of 100 games in the trans-Tasman league, ironically, against the team she played for 92 times and in her home city, while the equally influential Temepara Bailey was back for her second game out of retirement and starting at wing attack.

The potent defence line of Temalisi Fakahokotau, Anna Harrison and Julie Corletto gave the visitors the best of starts, the trio being a constant threat whenever the ball was put in the air.
A willing contest from the outset, Mystics enjoyed a greater turnover return while the Bailey, Tutaia, Catherine Latu link provided some slick interplay.

Magic, wisely, kept the ball low with greater success to spring out to a four-goal lead before a late Mystics surge of five unanswered goals helped the visitors forge a 13-12 lead at the first break.

Again it was the Mystics who made the better start on the resumption in an absorbing and riveting second stanza. The action was fast and furious with a growing penalty count in the physical contest as the Mystics pulled out to a three-goal lead with Tutaia back to her best on the long range shot.

Fortunes ebbed and flowed, Magic captain Casey Kopua getting through a huge workload in carting the ball through court. Despite the best defensive efforts of the Mystics, patience eventually paid off for the home team.

Strong driving play from wing attack Rasmussen combined with deft movement and accuracy from impressive shooter Harten, who continued to show an unflappable temperament in the heat of battle, helped Magic push out to a handy buffer.

Making the most of turnover ball and enjoying the greater share of possession Magic hit the main break with a 29-23 lead.

With no changes for either team, the Mystics produced a series of furious assaults on their opposites in the third stanza, Tutaia potting goals from all points of the circle to draw the visitors within two on several occasions.

However, Magic were able to pull out the big plays when required, feeding off Mystics turnovers while executing intercepts an opportune times to keep their opposites at bay.

Rasmussen continued to be a key attacking weapon for Magic with her expertly timed drives while Harten remained a potent force under the hoop. Mystics couldn’t get enough ball to Latu and it told in their overall attempts as Magic went to the last break with a 42-37 lead.
Magic shooting statistics:
Ellen Halpenny 12/20 (60%)
Jo Harten 44/46 (96%)

Mystics shooting statistics:
Cathrine Latu 17/20 (85%)
Maria Tutaia 33/37 (89%)

Match MVP: Harten (Magic)

© Scoop Media

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