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Magic come from behind to beat Mystics

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/06/2016
Jo Harten of Magic. © Getty Images Jo Harten of Magic.

The Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic have won a trans-Tasman netball league thriller against the Northern Mystics 54-51 to consolidate second spot in the New Zealand conference.

The come-from-behind victory in Auckland on Monday night kicked the Magic three points clear of the Mystics in a conference dominated by runaway leaders the Southern Steel.

The Magic had trailed for much of the contest, but sneaked ahead five minutes from time, when a Jo Harten goal made the score 51-50.

In a tense finish, Maria Tutaia levelled at the end other end, but Harten then rattled in the last three goals of the match.

The result extended the Magic's winning streak to four, a run that includes a four-goal victory over the Mystics a fortnight ago.

It was the Mystics who made the first big move at Trusts Arena, with an eight-goal run that helped them a 19-12 advantage at quarter-time.

With Tutaia and fellow shooter Cathrine Tuivaiti not missing an attempt in the opening half, the home side went into the main break 30-25 in front.

Magic coach Julie Fitzgerald introduced the extra height of Paula Griffin into the shooting circle at the start of the third quarter and it had an impact as the visitors draw level with a five-goal run before hitting the front 34-32.

However, the Mystics kicked on again with seven successive goals to lead 42-38 at the last break.

But, aided by a solid defensive effort by their back three of Jamie-Lee Price, Leana de Bruin and Kristiana Manu'a, the Magic came home with a big finish.

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