ANZ Premiership: Northern Stars claim extra-time win over improved Mainland Tactix


The Northern Stars regained their winning form, but needed extra time to beat the Tactix 57-56 in their ANZ netball Premiership game in Auckland on Monday.

The Tactix had the upperhand over the Stars for most of the match,  leading by as much as eight goals.

But the Premiership leaders found their groove again in the second half, forcing the match into six minutes of extra time when the game was locked at 51-all.

The dramatic one-goal won has given the Stars a three-point lead at the top of the league table after seven rounds.

It was also a welcome return of shooting form for Stars goal shoot Maia Wilson, who went to see her old school shooting coach Te Aroha Keenan mid-week and sunk 95 percent of her attempts - 38 from 40 - to be named MVP.

Tactix goal shoot Ellie Bird gave a commendable performance as well, under pressure from Elle Temu, to miss just two of her 47 attempts (96 percent).

The Tactix began the match as they intended to continue, putting massive pressure on the Stars' attack. Leaving very few options for the Stars to thread the ball through to their shooters, the Tactix grabbed an early three-goal advantage.

Tactix circle defenders Jane Watson and Karin Burger were especially destructive to the Stars' game plan, but as they attempted to shut down Wilson, goal attack Jamie Hume again stepped up to the mark.

A run of four in a row going into the break had the Stars back to within four, 18-14, but the Stars' fortunes waxed and waned in the second quarter, too.

The Tactix started the third quarter up 29-24, but a reinvigorated Stars returned to the court; their defence putting the Tactix shooters under increasing pressure and they clawed back to within one.

But the pendulum swung back the Tactix way in the final moments of the quarter, and they led 42-39 to give them a little bit more breathing space for the last spell.

Under instruction to change their defensive strategy, especially around Bird, the Stars flummoxed the Tactix attack. A confident Hume found her rhythm from long to mid-range again, and the gap stretched to three.

But the Tactix were by no means out of the running, and they too showed a huge amount of patience to work the ball into Bird to snatch the lead back again with two minutes left in the match.

In a frantic finish of normal time, a tip from Temu was matched at the other end by a steal from Watson, and when Selby-Rickit couldn't sink a long shot, it went into six minutes of extra time.

The Stars stole a march on the Tactix in the first minute, when a tip gathered by Hume found Wilson on her own under the post, and with Gina Crampton marshalling the Stars from the midcourt, they were ahead 56-53 at the halfway mark.

Some panicked passing from both teams in the last period saw the Tactix get back within one, but it wasn't soon enough to force the game into further time.

The Stars have 18 points, Mystics, 15, Pulse and Steel 12, Tactix 11 and Magic 5.