Netball: Stars edge neighbours in Northern derby

Maia Wilson collects possession during the Stars' win over the Mystics. Photo / photosport.nz
Maia Wilson collects possession during the Stars' win over the Mystics. Photo / photosport.nz

The Northern Stars tonight recorded the biggest upset of the ANZ Premiership season, beating the Northern Mystics 59-53 in Kohimarama.

Their debut campaign in the national competition has been a difficult one but the Stars produced their best performance against their Auckland neighbours, denying the Mystics a bonus point while dealing a blow to their playoff hopes.

The victory was the home side's third of the season, having previously triumphed only over the winless Tactix, and saw the visitors slip further behind the pace-setters in the race for the top three.

There were encouraging signs early for the Stars, holding their own in a first half that saw the lead change hands six times and saw neither side manage to build an edge of greater than four goals.

It was more of the same in the third before the contest turned on a seven-goal Stars run on either side of the final break, building a seven-goal lead - the biggest of the match - with 12 minutes to play.

And just when the Mystics threatened to hit back with a six-goal run of their own, the Stars showed admirable composure to recover and build an assailable advantage in the final minutes.

Maia Wilson (37-from-41) edged the battle of the shooters against Bailey Mes (30/37) and the Stars as a team did well to limit their turnovers, after often proving their own worst enemy during the competition's early rounds.

The Stars (3-6) will now look to build on the victory with another home match against the third-placed Magic next Monday night, while the Mystics (4-5) will be confident of rebounding when they head to Nelson and face the last-placed Tactix.

- NZ Herald

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