Steel 63 vs Stars 60
Magic 48 vs Tactix 47
Mystics 52 vs Pulse 51
The Central Pulse's seemingly unstoppable run has been halted by the Northern Mystics in stunning fashion in the final match of Super Sunday.
After a 22-goal thrashing from the Pulse last week, the Mystics made a whirlwind comeback that couldn't have been predicted, claiming a 52-51 victory.
A last-second goal from Silver Fern Bailey Mes brought the Pulse's franchise record six-match winning streak to an end, with the Mystics claiming a statement win.
The Pulse were slow to find their usual rhythm in the opening quarter of the match with sloppy and hesitant play seeing the Mystics latch onto an early advantage.
Mystics defender Phoenix Karaka seamlessly slotted into captain Anna Harrison's usual goal keep position to apply early pressure on the young Pulse shooters and capitalised off an uncharacteristically nervous start from the accurate Aliyah Dunn. Karaka snatched her side valuable turnovers to which the Mystics midcourters confidently fed into their circle.
The young Jamie Hume was on the court at goal attack in the first quarter, despite the rare availability of Silver Fern shooter Maria Folau. But by sinking seven of nine goals, Hume made sure to prove her worth while deputising in Folau's bib.
With the scoreboard locked at 12 apiece, Mystics coach Helene Wilson called Folau to the court, hoping that her international experience would inject a sense of level-headed calm over the Northern side.
And although the Pulse held a slim lead throughout the second quarter, the Mystics remained hot on their heels, refusing to give the Central side even a glimmer of an opportunity to extend their buffer.
As Folau re-settled in her combination with Mes, the Silver Ferns shooting duo proved their potential to threaten the Pulse's winning streak.
Also looking to add some international experience to her shooting line-up, Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie called Ameliaranne Ekenasio onto the court in the third quarter in place of Tiana Metuarau.
But Ekenasio's presence wasn't enough to settle the already shaken Pulse as the Mystics snuck their way to a four point lead.
For the first time in the season, the Pulse found themselves in uncharted territory and had no other choice than to give it their all. But the Mystics had a vendetta of their own in the final quarter, keeping their slender advantage, and although Dunn tied the game in the last minute, Mes stepped up, rebounding a miss from Folau and slotting the game-winning goal.
The Pulse will, however, remain at the top of the ANZ Premiership ladder with a two point buffer on the Steel.
Earlier, the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic banked another two points as they continue to claw themselves up the ANZ Premiership ladder.
Backing up their 55-48 victory over the Mainland Tactix earlier this week, the Magic continued to showcase their potential, narrowly defeating the Tactix again, 48-47.
The first few minutes of the opening quarter suggested another tightly-contested clash, but some early jitters from Tactix shooters Ellie Bird and Kate Beveridge saw the Magic sneak a three point lead.
Back to their all-too-familiar catch-up mode, the Tactix's low shooting percentage saw the Mainlanders struggle while Magic super shooter Lenize Potgieter was back in fine form.
Assisted by young up-and-coming shooter Monica Falkner, who maintained a 100 per cent hit rate, the Magic's goal percentage continued to outshine the Tactix.
Silver Ferns defender Temalisi Fakahokotau lived up to her tenacious standards to make the most of every rebound and intercept opportunity she could in combination with Tactix captain Jane Watson.
But the Mainland side's attacking force struggled to keep up with the standard set by their own defenders with an array of missed goals highlighting the Tactix's weaker links.
Falling out of the match at a concerningly fast pace in the first half of the second quarter, the Tactix were desperate to stay in the running.
Bird was back on the court in the third quarter with much-needed improvement to her shooting confidence against Magic captain and defender, Casey Kopua.
Meanwhile, Tactix center Kimiora Poi also found her rhythm in feeding the ball from the circle edge, but the Magic held tightly to their lead, determined to not let it slip.
Heading into the final quarter, behind by two points - despite having had six more goal attempts than the Magic – the Tactix needed to step up in order to snatch the win.
But once again, it was the Tactix shooters who failed to capitalise from their defenders' faultless efforts and even a few last-minute positional changes from coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek wasn't enough to see the Mainlanders claim a win.
In the first game on Super Sunday, the Southern Steel robbed the Northern Stars of a much-needed victory for the second time in one week.
Playing at Christchurch's Horncastle Arena, the Steel defeated the Stars 63-60 in the first clash of the round six Super Sunday special.
After narrowly losing three matches by less than two goals, Stars captain Grace Kara urged her team to hold their ground in the "critical moments" of the game. And although showcasing improvements, the Northern side were unable to follow through with a win.
Both sides were fast off the blocks in the opening quarter as goal-by-goal play suggested another close clash.
And after an impressive performance last week, Stars shooting duo Maia Wilson and Paula Griffin continued to carry their side with a strong goal percentage that outshone the Steel for the opening two quarters.
A few uncharacteristic errors from the usually well-polished Steel side handed the Stars valuable opportunities to extend a brief and narrow second quarter lead.
But quickly making back lost ground, the Steel came back to lead by three, proving that the tightly contested clash was far from over.
As the Steel confidently built on their buffer, inconsistent and impatient play began to reappear across the Northern side.
With two valuable competition points on the line and a five point lead to the Steel, the Stars had a lot to prove in an all-or-nothing final quarter.
And briefly stepping up to the plate, the Stars clawed their way back into the match, disrupting the Steel's new-found flow to get as close as two goals to their Southern rivals on the scoreboard.
But unable to hold the pressure yet again, the Stars saw another elusive win fall further out of reach to hand the Steel the victory.
The Steel will play the Tactix tomorrow night at Horncastle Arena.