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Magic steal late win over Tactix

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/05/2016

Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic have ended a six-match winless streak with a last-gasp 58-57 trans-Tasman netball league win over Mainland Tactix in Nelson on Sunday.

Trailing by two with less than four minutes remaining, the Magic pounced on a Tactix turnover and shooter Jo Harten sunk three quick goals to grab the lead and secure the win.

Silver Ferns midcourter Grace Rasmussen, returning from six weeks sidelined with a calf injury, was key in organising the Magic midcourt.

She worked well with centre Sam Sinclair in shifting the ball quickly into shooters Harten and Malia Paseka, and also made a difference defensively in slowing down the Tactix through-court drive.

The Magic finished the opening quarter strongly after a slow start, but their 17-15 lead at the first break quickly evaporated as the Tactix went on a five-goal scoring spree and opened out to an eight-goal lead four minutes from halftime.

The Magic regathered to haul back the margin, but the Tactix still took a 32-27 lead into the main break.

After a sub-par performance in last week's 69-48 thumping by the Melbourne Vixens, the Tactix rediscovered their timing and rhythm on attack.

A big part of that came from a more assured delivery into shooters Mwai Kumwenda (31 from 35) and Bailey Mes (21 from 27), who worked well in splitting the circle and providing plenty of options for their midcourt.

Malawi international Kumwenda and Silver Ferns shooter Mes combined quick feet and hands with superb elevation and strong rebounding, and the Tactix looked well in control in opening out to a seven-goal lead early in the third quarter.

But the Magic, with Harten (35 from 43) at goal attack and Paula Griffin replacing Paseka (15 from 21), battled back to take the quarter 16-14 and trail by three with 15 minutes remaining.

Strong work from young circle defenders Kelly Jury and Kristiana Manu'a sparked a series of key deflections in the closing quarter, and Harten was calm in converting the turnover ball when it counted.

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