Round 10 of the ANZ Premiership was one of personal milestone, Silver Ferns’ shining and all important wins for the top three teams.
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Mystics 65 – 55 Steel
A slow start cost Steel in the opening match of Round 10.
Mystics came firing out the blocks in the opening quarter giving themselves an early 10 goal advantage that Steel were never quite able to recover from despite fighting back in the remaining 45-minutes.
It was clear just why Mystics were top of the table, as they saw out this game with composure and class as their captain and New Zealand Silver Fern Sulu Fitzpatrick celebrated her 150th national league match.
Fitzpatrick was part of the New Zealand team that won bronze at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and will be hoping a top season in the ANZ Premiership will be enough to get her selected for the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023.
Magic 49 – 50 Pulse
Pulse survived a second half come-back from Magic in the second clash of Round 10.
With the first half played, it looked as though Pulse were going to ease to their 7th successive victory, as they won the opening two quarters to take a 6-goal lead into the main break.
The visitors were persistent in defence, with New Zealand Silver Fern Kelly Jury giving her international teammate turned opponent for the day, Bailey Mes, no room to move under the post.
Magic used half time to re-group and came out looking like a new side, winning the third quarter 17-13 and bringing the score line back to 36-38 leaving it all still to play for in the final quarter.
The final 15 minutes then went goal-for-goal, with a Pulse interception helping them secure the bragging rights in a match-up that for the third time this season could only be separated by one goal.
Tactix 50 – 57 Stars
With only 2 more rounds of normal play to go following Round 10, it really is crunch time in the ANZ Premiership and for Stars this was a very important win to keep their hopes of a spot in the finals alive.
Nothing could separate the two sides at half-time with Tactix winning the first quarter by one and Stars the second by the same margin, leaving the score line at 24-24 going in half time.
Showing just how much was on the line it was then Stars that went on a second half resurgence lead by their shooters Amorangi Malesala and New Zealand Silver Fern Maia Wilson who shared the spoils between them.
Wilson ended the match with a 92% shooting percentage, as her team won 50-57 putting them 3rd in the table.
However, Wilson was not the only Silver Fern that deserved celebrating in this match, as Taxtic’s Te Paea Selby-Rickit made her 150th national league match and Karin Burger celebrated her 100th.
Magic 52 – 45 Steel
A final quarter come-back from Magic denied Steel their first win of the season in the final match of Round 10.
Steel were still very much in this match going into the final quarter, as they led by one and looked on task to secure their first win of the season with arguably their best performance so far.
However, as the last quarter got underway Magic’s Silver Fern shooters Bailey Mes and Ameliaranne Ekenasio showed their compsure and experience as they shot clinically under the post both finishing the match with identical shooting statistics of 26 goals from 28 shots (93%).
Their shooting accuracy, as well as Georgia Takarangi’s (2021/22 Silver Ferns Development Squad Player) persistent defence, was rewarded as Magic won the final quarter and the match.
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