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It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win as the LG Mystics beat the Central Pulse 61-60 in Wellington in the ANZ Championship on Monday night.
The performance of the Mystics was a significant backwards step from their four-goal loss to the New South Wales Swifts in Sydney last week.
They trailed 10-12 after the first quarter but enjoyed their best period to lead 26-22 at halftime. By three-quarter time the scores were level at 35-35 and remained that way at 50-50 by fulltime.
A heroine of the night for the Mystics was shooter Jade Topia who came off the bench in the final quarter to sink 17 of 19 shots and looked poised and composed when the pressure was on.
It wasn’t a glamorous start by either side, with both teams standoffish and several passes going astray. The Mystics struggled initially to get clean ball through the court to their shoots and found themselves down early as the home team put up a solid defensive effort.
Rachel Rasmussen was introduced early at goal keep replacing Vili Davu while Temepara George and Pam Cookey upped the tempo in the second quarter. However at the three-quarter time the scores were locked again as the Pulse showed plenty of resolve
As the game came to a thrilling conclusion and the Pulse looked certain to have their first win ever in the competition, former Mystics player, Paul Griffin gained a vital rebound to score off a turnover and make the score 46-46. Another goal to the home team had victory within their grasp, but a Cookey goal forced the match into 14 minutes of extra time.
One of the key players for the Pulse, Althea Byfield knocked her head badly on the court in extra time which delayed the game further, yet the home side didn’t let it slow them down as the moved to a three-goal lead. Eventually the Mystics sorted themselves out and pulled the score back to 56-56.
With all looking lost again the Mystics somehow managed to grab the last goal and the victory and avoid the title of ‘the first team to lose to the Pulse’.
The LG Mystics have a home game against the Southern Steel this Monday 11 May at 7.15pm at the Trusts Stadium. The Steel feature former Silver Ferns Adine Wilson and Donna Wilkins as well as Sheryl Scanlan and Daneka Wipiiti.
go the mistics although they win they still get criticism i say good on you girls and hope you can put a few wins together i dont see how a win can be a significant step backwards. go the mistics put your best foot forward.