Shocks and revenge tasting very sweet in ANZ

ROUND 3 of the 2023 ANZ Premiership season saw it all. Upsets, Grand Final revenge, the whole lot.

In the game of the round, the WBOP Magic have caused an absolute upset, defeating the Northern Mystics 57 goals to 56.

The visitors dominated for much of the match, but the Magic never gave up and worked their way back to a dramatic win in extra time.

The Mystics were the first ones to jump ahead to a lead, but both sides were making errors in attack.

The Mystics’ lead was initially three, but then the Magic pegged it back to two. The last five minutes of the quarter came and went the Mystics really out their foot down and blew out their lead. So much so that at the first change the margin was 10 goals in favour of the Mystics.

Despite the Magic having the better start to the second term and shaving a few goals off the margin, the Mystics were the ones who were moving more freely in attack.

The Magic got the margin down to eight, but the Mystics got the margin back out to 10 and as such, felt comfortable enough to try something different in their midcourt which included giving Elisapeta Toeava a break.

The Magic had their swings of momentum in their favour, but could not get the margin down below eight goals.

That was until the final two minutes of the quarter where they went on a really good run to get the margin down to as low as six.

However, the Mystics pegged one back late to see the margin sit at seven at the main beak.

It was a very even third quarter from both sides. The teams went goal for goal and both teams were hard to split.

It was not until the final 90 seconds of the quarter that the Magic finally started to make their move.

They made the most of some opportunities and rare errors from their opponents to string several goals in a row, and as the teams turned for home that margin was down to a mere three goals.

The Mystics pinched a goal off the first centre pass of the final term then converted off their following centre pass to stretch the margin back out to five.

Then the Magic got on a roll, taking their opportunities off the back of some errors from the Mystics in attack to continually eat away at the margin.

It took them about half the quarter, but the Magic did finally level up the score and things got a bit more tense.

The Magic then went bang and scored five in a row to regain their lead, but the Mystics were not going to quit easily, and came right back in the final few minutes of the quarter. They got within one before the Mystics stopped the run with a goal of their own.

With 24 seconds left on the board, the Magic finally levelled the margin, and then defended harder than they had all game to ensure the Mystics could not score off their next centre pass.

With things all tied up, it was time to head to extra time.

The Mystics pinched a goal off the first centre pass of extra tine, but that was the only goal they scored for the first half of extra time as the Magic went on a run to take the lead.

The Mystics scored the opening two goals of the second half of extra time to retake the lead, but the Magic scored the last two goals, including with a shot after the siren, to win by the tightest of margins.

For the Magic, Simmon Wilbore (50 feeds, 22 assists, one deflection) was a general in midcourt, while Erna Mikaere (five gains, five intercepts, two deflections) had a stellar game in defence.

Meanwhile for the Mystics, Toeava (36 feeds, 24 assists, one gain, one intercept and a deflection) and Phoenix Karaka (five gains, two intercepts, three rebounds and a deflection) both had great games.

In other results:

  • The Stars have exacted some sweet revenge in the Grand Final rematch, defeating the Pulse by eight goals.

The Stars struck ahead in the first quarter before the Pulse were able to peg it back by a sole goal in the second term, and a similar pattern happened in the second half.

For the Stars, Gina Crampton (49 feeds, 33 assists) was a workhorse, while Maia Wilson shot plenty of goals at over 90%.

Meanwhile for the Pulse, Kelly Jury (six gains, six deflections, three rebounds and an intercept) had another stellar game, as did Maddy Gordon (36 feeds, 21 assists, three deflections and a gain).

  • The Tactix picked up their second win of the season, downing the Steel by 17 goals.

Although the Tactix’s scoring slowed dramatically in the final quarter, it did not matter as they had done the work earlier on the scoreboard to secure the win.

For the Tactix, it was their defenders Karin Burger (five gains, five intercepts, four deflections) and Jane Watson (four gains, one intercept, six deflections, two rebounds) who were the stars, while for the Steel Kate Heffernan (36 feeds, 18 assists, four gains, two intercepts, four deflections) was the true star in another tough loss.

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