The Northern Stars and Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic played out the first draw in ANZ Premiership history on Monday.

They nearly produced a second on Sunday.

On Monday, the Magic came from seven goals down in the final quarter to secure a stunning draw, and today a similar comeback had them poised to go one better, and claim their second victory of the season.

Down 23-18 at halftime, after earlier falling into a 13-7 hole, the Magic pulled out a fantastic third quarter, winning it 18-10 to take a 36-33 lead going into the final period.
They stretched that lead to five to open the fourth quarter, but this time it was the Stars to play spoiler, pegging it back to a tie game with six minutes remaining.


Both teams saw their scoring slow as goals were traded and leads exchanged, and with 44 seconds remaining, Magic shooter Abigail Latu-Meafou had the opportunity to once again level the scores, with the Magic having the next centre pass. However, she missed, and the Stars capitalised, scoring off the turnover to seal a 45-43 win – their second win in two days after a victory over the Southern Steel on Saturday.

The Stars used their bench to their benefit, with five players being rotated around the three defensive positions. Maia Wilson was reliable at goal shoot for the Stars as usual, shooting at 91 per cent, and while goal attack Jamie Hume struggled with her accuracy, shooting 6/11, she played a fine supporting role, with excellent feeds to Wilson and a few defensive pickups.

The victories vault Kiri Wills' side into third, on 16 points from seven games, while the Mainland Tactix sit three points behind, from six matches, after tipping over the Northern Mystics 41-40.

Mystics coach Helene Wilson made the baffling call to start inexperienced shooters Saviour Tui and Asher Grapes, with Grace Nweke spending the first quarter on the bench. Tui was strong under the hoop, scoring all six of her attempts in her first-quarter, but Grapes mustered just one missed attempt as the Mystics only produced seven attempts in the period.

Nweke's inclusion at quarter-time saw the Mystics double their volume, and they briefly hit the front, before a 6-1 third-quarter run put the Tactix in command. Leading 41-35 with four minutes left, a win looked secure, but the Mystics reeled off five straight goals, and a late turnover gave Saviour Tui a chance to give the Premiership the second draw that the Stars and Magic had earlier been threatening.

However, her attempt was milliseconds late, and the Tactix breathed a mighty sigh of relief.

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