Netball: Magic reverse opening round loss

By Dana Johannsen

Irene van Dyk gets the ball under pressure from Storm Purvis.  Photo / Christine Cornege
Irene van Dyk gets the ball under pressure from Storm Purvis. Photo / Christine Cornege

Magic 66
Steel 47

They sent the Magic in to a downward spiral in round one, but last night it was the Southern Steel that crashed to new depths.

After a horror opening to the competition, the Waikato/Bay of Plenty side continued to gather momentum in their charge to the transtasman league play-offs, recording a 19-goal win over the Steel.

The loss - the Steel's sixth in a row - consigned them to ninth place on the ANZ Championship and puts them on track for their worst finish in the five seasons of the competition.

Meanwhile, the Magic's fortunes are on the rise having rebounded strongly from the 0-4 start to the season.

They now have more wins than losses, with all of their five wins by double figures. Despite being sixth on the table, the Magic have the best goal percentage, which could be crucial to determining the make-up of the top four.

After being upstaged by the Steel in the opening round, the Magic insisted revenge wasn't on their minds heading in to last night's return match in Hamilton.

The knowledge that another loss would spell the end of their bid for a fifth straight play-offs appearance was motivation enough.

But they will likely take plenty of satisfaction from the comprehensive manner in which they dispatched the Steel, who boast some seasoned campaigners.

In what is almost symbolic of their season, the Magic had a shaky opening to the match, but steadily gained momentum as the game wore on, overturning a one-goal deficit at the first break, to lead by seven at halftime and 13 heading in to the final period.

Coming off a bye round, the Magic had highlighted the need to ensure they did not lose the momentum they had built up through the middle part of the season.

Magic captain Laura Langman said she was delighted with the way her side responded.

"We're in a position where every game is going to be important and I think every player is stepping up the intensity," she said.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n3 at 22 Oct 2014 06:41:46 Processing Time: 381ms