ANZ Premiership: Central Pulse remain on target for perfect season

Pulse’s Aliyah Dunn.
Pulse’s Aliyah Dunn. Photo credit: Photosport

The Central Pulse have maintained their perfect record in the ANZ Premiership, with a 53-45 victory over the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic in Invercargill.

The match was one of three played at Stadium Southland, during one of the three 'Super Sunday' tripleheaders this season.

The unbeaten Pulse have now won 12 straight matches and remain on target for the perfect season, with just three regular-season games left before the playoffs.

The game was close for the first three quarters, with the Pulse holding a slender two-goal lead, but a 12-5 run in the final quarter propelled them to victory.

Shooter Aliyah Dunn landed 20 of her 24 shots, while Silver Fern Ameliaranne Ekenasio scored 28 goals.

While the Pulse are guaranteed to reach the playoffs, the Mainland Tactix have kept their ultra-slim post-season hopes alive with a 53-48 victory over the Northern Stars.

A win for the Stars would have assured them a spot in the next round, but the loss keeps things interesting.

The result was a great way to celebrate captain Jane Watson's 100th game in style.

The Tactix trailed the Stars 13-12 after the first quarter, before turning up the pace to lead 26-21 at halftime.

They didn't look back, as Ellie Bird landed 47 from 53 attempts at goal.

For the Tactix to claim the third and final playoff spot, they would have to win all three of their remaining games -  against Mystics, Steel and Magic - while the Stars would have to lose their remaining two games - Steel, Pulse - by five goals or more, which would put both teams level on 21 points.

The task has been made even tougher by the fact the Tactix would also need an incredible turnaround on goal percentage (98 to 85).

In the day's other match, the Southern Steel dominated the Northern Mystics 69-58 to remain second on the standings.

The Pulse will aim for their 13th straight win against the Steel on Monday night, while the Tactix look to keep their season alive against the Mystics on Wednesday.