11 Jun 2018

Mystics end Pulse's unbeaten run

6:16 am on 11 June 2018

The Pulse have suffered their first loss of the Netball Premiership, going down to the Northern Mystics 52-51 in the last game of Super Sunday in Christchurch.

Northern Mystics captain Anna Harrison

Northern Mystics captain Anna Harrison Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2017 www.photosport.nz

A miracle goal on the stroke of fulltime by Bailey Mes provided the winner in a stunning turnaround for the Mystics who rebounded from a 22-goal loss to the same opponents just seven days ago.

It was a greatly improved effort from the Mystics who broke the Pulse's six-game winning streak.

Facing their most testing assignment to date, the Pulse clawed their way back to level the scores with under a minute to play but the Mystics, producing their best outing of the season, held their nerve to put their campaign back on track.

The Pulse retained their well-performed regular starting seven while the Mystics tinkered with their defensive line, a move which proved well-merited.

Having done their homework, the Mystics employed the long-limbed Anna Harrison at wing defence while Michaela Sokolich-Beatson and Phoenix Karaka filled the in-circle defensive positions.

Stung by last week's result, there was plenty of well-thought intent and purpose from the energetic Mystics who took the challenge to the Pulse from the outset.

The Mystics got off to a flyer, an unsettled Pulse eventually finding their feet to nudge into the lead midway through the quarter on the back of four straight goals. But the Mystics hung tough and continued to exert pressure.

Harrison's presence at wing defence paid dividends while Karaka was an inspiring figure at goalkeeper in providing a stern workout for high-flying Pulse shooter Aliyah Dunn.

The battle for possession was even during a tightly contested opening to leave the scores tied 15-all at the first break.

Kingpin shooter Maria Folau was injected on the resumption for the Mystics but it was three goals on the trot that nudged the Pulse into the lead.

Harrison and pocket rocket Pulse wing attack Whitney Souness provided one of many classic match-ups across the court.

Turning the screws defensively and finding their speed and fluency on attack, the Pulse forged a five-goal lead before the Mystics responded strongly.

The silky skills of Elisapeta Toeava got the Mystics attack line flowing as the challenge continued, the Pulse, however, keeping their opponents at bay when holding a 26-23 lead heading into the main break.

Ameliaranne Ekenasio was the only change across both teams when coming on at goal attack for the Pulse in the third quarter but it was the Mystics who turned the tables with a scorching 15 minutes of play.

Karaka and Harrison continued to apply the blowtorch defensively to effectively rattle the Pulse attack line. At the other end, Mes and Folau were clinical with their finishing under the hoop to give the Mystics a decisive 17-10 advantage during the third term.

That was enough to overhaul the lead and push the Mystics into a handy 40-36 lead at the last break.

In the other results from yesterday the Magic beat the Tactix 48-47 and the Steel beat the Stars 63-60.

The Pulse stil top the table with 13 points, The Steel have 10 and the Tactix and Mystics 8.