Netball: Mystics go top with win over Tactix

By Dana Johannsen

The Northern Mystics have taken the lead of the ANZ Championship with a 64-55 victory over the Canterbury Tactix in Christchurch. Photo / Getty Images.
The Northern Mystics have taken the lead of the ANZ Championship with a 64-55 victory over the Canterbury Tactix in Christchurch. Photo / Getty Images.

Mystics 64
Tactix 55

The Northern Mystics are back on top of the transtasman league ladder, but are still looking shaky on the top rung after a patchy 64-55 win against the Canterbury Tactix.

Although the scoreline was convincing, the Mystics' form was not always so.

The nine-goal win continued a weekend of one-sided scorelines with the Magic leapfrogging into second place with a big win over the Thunderbirds, setting New Zealand teams up for a potential one-two finish in the league.

The Central Pulse could do their fellow North Island sides a favour tonight by getting over the Melbourne Vixens.

A Pulse win would ensure that for the first time in five years of the competition Kiwi teams occupy the top two spots on the ANZ Championship ladder heading in to the final round.

It wasn't all smiles in the Mystics camp after tonight's comprehensive win. There is concern over the fitness of leading defender Anna Harrison after the Silver Fern star was forced from the court just seven minutes into the match with a calf injury.

The Mystics coaching staff will also be unhappy with the consistency shown from the team, with a couple of lacklustre patches in the second half taking the gleam off their win.

Down 52-37 heading into the final turn, the Tactix were always going to fight back hard after the break in what was an emotional night for the Canterbury team.

The match marked the last home games for captain Maree Bowden and Anna Galvan, with the two Canterbury stalwarts retiring at the end of the season.

The Harrison Hoist made an appearance last night, with the Silver Fern star pulling off a spectacular assisted goal tend in the opening quarter. When Harrison limped off midway through the opening quarter, replaced by Rachel Ramussen, it was thought that would be the last we'd see of it in the match.

But just a few minutes later, Kayla Cullen successfully blocked Ellen Halpenny's shot after being lifted by Rasmussen, proving it isn't just a Harrison specialty after all.

The NSW Swifts rebounded from last week's mauling to deal the Steel further misery, outclassing the Southern side 55-42. The Steel competed well in stages, drawing level with the Swifts during the second and third quarters. But they let the home side off the hook with some poor execution at crucial times. The Queensland Firebirds are back in with a sniff of a play-offs spot after a convincing 63-43 win over the Fever in Brisbane.

- APNZ

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