Magic dominate extra time to secure win

IN the second extra time game of the day, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic secured a six-goal win over Mainland Tactix in what was effectively a dead rubber ANZ Premiership match. Both sides will round out the bottom two spots on the 2022 ladder this season, but the Magic picked up good win to continue their better form late in the season. After the Tactix lead at the first break, the Magic took control and got out to a six-goal lead at the final change, before the Tactix reeled them in with a stunning final term. It all proved to be in vain though, as the Magic scored the only six goals of extra time to win 57-51.

MAINLAND TACTIX 13 | 12 | 12 | 14 | 0 (51)
WBOP MAGIC 11 | 16 | 8 | 6 (57)

It was a fast start from the Magic pairing of Bailey Mes and Ameliaranne Ekenasio early, racing to a 4-1 lead, and maintained the three-goal buffer until the midway point of the term. A couple of misses from both sides kept the scores low, before Ellie Bird shot three consecutive goals to level the scores. After the Magic came again to go out to a 10-7 advantage, the Tactix shot six of the last seven goals to head into the first break with a 13-11 lead. Bird had six goals from nine attempts, while Te Paea Selby-Rickit nailed all seven attempts, and rising talent Parris Petera (six goal assists) was busy in wing attack. Claire Kersten (six goal assists) was impressive in centre for the Magic.

As Kersten continued her dominance in centre in the second term, the Magic moved around the magnets with captain Kimiora Poi heading to wing attack, and Charlotte Elley moving into the centre, while Georgia Tong came on for Erena Mikaere for the Magic. Kersten headed into half-time with 13 goal assists to her name, as Ekenasio slotted 10 goals from 11 attempts moving into the goal shooter bib, and the Magic took a two-goal lead themselves at the main break. Bird (10 goals from 11 attempts) was busy for the Tactix, but the Magic were now in control.

That dominance rolled into the third term, with the Tactix able to draw it back to within two goals at the nine-minute mark of the term, only for the Magic to score seven of the next nine goals. The final break score read 43-37 in favour of the visitors and it looked like the Magic were going to run away with the win. Mes was inaccurate shooting at 50 per cent, but had enough chances with seven from 14, while Ekenasio shot all nine of her attempts, with Kersten picking up another seven goal assists. Selby-Rickit (seven goal assts and two goals at 100 per cent efficiency) was impressive, as Bird (10 from 10) made the most of her chances too.

Both sides backed their lineups into the final term, and the lead looked comfortable enough at six goals five and a half minutes into the term. Then the Tactix found their groove. They piled on eight of the next nine goals to remarkably take the lead with just over a minute on the clock. Luckily for the Magic, Ekenasio was able to put away the last second goal to level the scores at 51 goals apiece and head into extra time. The Magic made one move for extra time with Kersten and wing defence Samantha Winders switching bibs, and it seemed to work. Remarkably, the Magic had eight shots to one in the extra time period as they completely shut down the Tactix attacking movement. They scored six from eight to run out 57-51 winners.

Unsurprisingly, Kersten took out the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for her sensational 24 goal assists from 44 feeds, while also picking up two intercepts, including one in extra time. Ekenasio (33 goals from 36 attempts, five goal assists and one rebound) was strong under the post, while Mes had a terrible inaccuracy of 24 goals from 40 attempts, but picked up three intercepts and seven goal assists, while Leana de Bruin was steadfast in defence. Fro the Tactix, Bird scored 34 goals from 39 attempts, with Selby-Rickit (17 from 19 and 17 goal assist) and Poi (17 goal assists, one intercept) working hard.

Mainland Tactix play this afternoon against Central Pulse in Christchurch, while the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic take on Northern Stars on Wednesday.

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