The Northern Mystics have held off a second half charge from the Magic to record back-to-back ANZ Premiership wins for the first time.
Fresh off a 14-goal win over the Stars on Wednesday night, the Mystics looked to be heading for another convincing win at The Trusts Arena when they raced out to a handy 36-27 lead at halftime. But the Magic surged back into contention over the second half, closing the gap to just two goals mid-way through the final spell.
A typically nerveless long-range shooting display from Mystics co-captain Maria Tutaia down the stretch helped her side pull away over the final minutes to claim a five-goal win.
The Magic's revival ensured the Waikato-Bay of Plenty side least took home a bonus point for their efforts.
Despite collecting another much-needed two points from the encounter, Tutaia's co-leader, Anna Harrison, could not shake the disappointment of allowing the Magic back in the match in the second half.
"We can't let a 10-goal lead get that close," said Harrison.
"We had a really strong second quarter, but then we dropped our intensity. It's kind of the same story - not moving enough on attack, and defensively we did not get enough ball."
The Magic, who set the early pace in the competition after opening the season with three straight wins, have now dropped two games on the trot after coming off second-best in the top of the table clash against the Southern Steel last weekend.
The Mystics v Magic contest has traditionally delivered some thrilling contests, and the first quarter suggested today would be the same, with the scores locked at 15-all headed into the first break.
It was a different story on the resumption, as the Mystics delivering a cracking 15 minutes to move into a position of control.
Harrison set the platform for the 21-12 blitz, with her disruptive presence winning a succession of intercepts and deflections. Turning the ball over at regular intervals injected renewed confidence as the Mystics showcased their flair and speed on attack.
Wing attack Elisapeta Toeava was a dangerous influence with her creativity and speed, handing the ball on a plate to shooters Tutaia and Bailey Mes as the fast-scoring home team potted seven unanswered goals to build a healthy nine-goal lead at the long break.
The Magic ensured the scoreline did not blow out any further, emerging from the break with a more cohesive attacking side. The introduction of Ariana Cable-Dixon at centre helped inject more pace into the visitors' attack, with the youngster showing confidence to let the ball go into the shooting circle.
The visitors made steady progress to eat into the deficit, reducing the margin to just four but were unable to maintain their consistent run. The overall strength and firepower in the Mystics ranks took its toll on Magic, who were made to pay for too many turnovers at critical times.
The Magic had the better of the stanza, winning it by three but the Mystics had done enough to maintain their grip when leading 52-46 at the last break.