Mystics 53
Tactix 49

The Northern Mystics secured a much-needed comeback at Christchurch's Horncastle Arena after losing three of their last four matches in the ANZ Premiership.

Robbing the Tactix of the chance to claim their first ever back-to-back home stadium victory, the Mystics defeated the Southern side 53-49.

In a fast-paced opening quarter, both teams proved evenly matched across defence and attacking sides in goal-by-goal play.

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While the Mystics were consistent across the board, it was wing attack Elisapeta Toeava who marshalled the visitors' assault and confounded the Tactix defence with her stunning feeding.

Elisapeta Toeava fed her shooters Bailey Mes and Jamie Hume with flair, speed and pinpoint accuracy. Photo / Getty Images
Elisapeta Toeava fed her shooters Bailey Mes and Jamie Hume with flair, speed and pinpoint accuracy. Photo / Getty Images

After tweaking her defence line in last week's loss to the Southern Steel, Mystics coach Helene Wilson returned her captain Anna Harrison to goal keep while moving Phoenix Karaka back into goal defence for the opening quarters.

Karaka's versatile and all-rounded skillset worked well with the ranging arms of Harrison to combat the tall timber in the Tactix shooting circle.

Without injured Tactix captain Jess Maclennan for the season, stand-in Jane Watson continued to lead by example at goal defence alongside the feisty Temalisi Fakahokotau.

Leading the league for the most rebounds, Fakahokotau was at her best halting Mystics shooter Bailey Mes' opportunities to score.

But the Silver Fern shooter, who was back to her confident best in round three shooting 31/31 at 100 per cent against the Steel, lead the Mystics to an early yet narrow five-point lead.

With a few defence changes and Samon Nathan taking to the court in center, the Mystics built on their new combinations with a seamless and confident transition in the final quarters.

But renowned for their thrilling comebacks, the Tactix desperately fought back in the final quarter diminishing the Mystics' promising lead.

The Mystics shuffled their defensive line again while Fakahokotau and Watson ramped up the pressure – successfully carrying out a Harrison Hoist on the team that first devised the move.

Temalisi Fakahokotau leads the league for rebounds and penalites. Photo / Getty Images
Temalisi Fakahokotau leads the league for rebounds and penalites. Photo / Getty Images

And with Tactix shooter Ellie Bird doing a mountain of work under the hoop, the game was back to level-pegging.

The Tactix slowly made up lost ground to close the gap within one goal with under 10 minutes remaining.

However, the Northerners didn't falter in the dying minutes, as they have often been found guilty of, to claim the match with style and bank their second set of points in the Premiership.

The Mystics will remain in fourth place on the ANZ Premiership ladder with equal points alongside the Southern Steel.

The Steel, however, will have the opportunity to pull ahead on the leaderboard when they face front-runners the Central Pulse on Wednesday night in a top-of-the-table clash.

If the defending champions can edge past the Pulse and put an end to the pre-season favourite's record win-streak, the Steel will be one step closer to reclaiming the top spot.

The highly-anticipated match will be held at Porirua's Te Rauparaha Arena.