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Stars stun Mystics in Auckland derby

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/05/2017

The Northern Stars have come of age in the national netball premiership with a 59-53 upset of the Northern Mystics.

In a roller-coaster Auckland derby, the newly formed Stars on Wednesday produced the best performance of their maiden campaign.

The fifth-placed outfit, whose two previous wins came against the hapless Mainland Tactix, improved their record to 3-6.

They are within sight of the 4-5 Mystics, who have paid for a laboured performance at both ends of the court.

Unlike their 58-44 win when the teams met in round three, the Mystics struggled to shut down a vibrant Stars attacking display.

Goal shoot Maia Wilson (37 goals from 41 shots) led the way up front for the winners, with support from unheralded goal attack Afa Rusivakula (12/13) and Malia Vaka (10/11).

Their combined attempts were less than Mystics Test pair Bailey Mes (30/37) and Maria Tutaia (23/29), who were off-key.

The Mystics also paid for over-physicality in defence. Goal keep Anna Harrison and wing defence Brooke Watt both conceded 13 penalties in a whopping team tally of 57.

Despite their struggles, the Mystics turned a 15-13 first-quarter deficit into a 29-28 halftime lead.

They reduced a seven-goal deficit early in the final quarter to two goals before falling away again as the Stars tightened their efforts with possession.

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