Netball: Northern Mystics extend lead atop ANZ Premiership with demolition of Mainland Tactix

Northern Mystics have consolidated their position atop the ANZ Premiership with a 74-50 demolition of playoff contenders Mainland Tactix at Christchurch.

Rebounding from a loss to Northern Stars in their last outing, the Auckland side imposed their superiority early, reeling off a 10-1 run in the opening quarter and never letting their foot off the pedal, as they won going away.

Shooter Grace Nweke shot 64/66 (97 percent) to overshadow Tactix counterpart Aliyah Dunn (37/40). Nweke and goal attack Filda Vui shot near faultlessly through the first two quarters, with Nweke's only miss coming almost five minutes into the second quarter. 

The southerners pulled back a couple of goals in the third quarter - the most evenly contested (14-11) of the periods - but their rally was short-lived, as the Mystics march continued.

Silver Ferns defender Jane Watson was a late scratching from the Tactix line-up with a foot injury, while Mystics counterpart Sulu Fitzpatrick returned to the court, after five weeks sidelined with a knee injury. 

Fitzpatrick dedicated the performance to former New Zealand coach Taini Jamison, who died over the weekend, aged 97.

"We tried to give as much heart as we could, because we know how much, not only netball meant to her, but just being a good person," said Fitzpatrick. "We were very much inspired by her and her legacy."

The result - the Mystics' eighth win of the season - sees them extend to a three-point lead on top of the competition ladder, clear of champions Central Pulse.

The South Islanders face a quick turnaround, before hosting Northern Stars on Monday, while the Mystics host winless Southern Steel next Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Stars stayed in the playoff scramble with a 61-55 win over Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, elevating themselves above the Tactix into third.

The Auckland team were quickly on top and built a 12-goal advantage in the third quarter, before staving off a late rally that saw the Magic take the fourth period 14-10.

Northern Mystics 74 (Nweke 64/66, Vui 10/12) Mainland Tactix 50 (Dunn 37/40, Selby-Rickit 12/17, Koloto 1/1)

Northern Stars 61 (Wilson 47/49, Malesala 14/20, Hume 0/1) Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic 55 (Mess 30/36, Ekenasio 25/27)