Top four netball battle heats up
Fri, 29 Jun 2012 6:45p.m.
By Ashlee Tulloch
With just one round to go in the ANZ Netball Championship, the battle to finish in the top four is heating up.
The Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and the Northern Mystics must win in the final round if they want to be in playoff contention.
After losing their first four games and being on the bottom of the table, every game and every training since then has been crucial for the Magic. Now they've fought all the way back to be right in the mix for the playoffs, they're not about to give up now.
“We got here today and knew this may be our last training,” says Magic goal keep Casey Williams. “But we didn’t want it make it our last training.”
But to make the playoffs for the fifth year in a row, they must defeat the Queensland Firebirds who they want to inflict revenge on after last year’s major semi-final loss.
With eight consecutive wins behind them and a game to come, they're not doubting their chances.
“That’s the beauty of belief and team unity, and that's something that is very strong within our culture here at Magic,” says captain Laura Langman.
The Northern Mystics are in a similar situation - losing against the fifth-placed Swifts is not an option, and they don’t want to leave their fate in the hands of others’ results.
No one is safe in the top four yet, with two teams currently on 18 points and three on 16. Both the Kiwi teams must to win to secure themselves a place.
But if both the Kiwi sides can follow through, then maybe a New Zealand side could take out the top honours for the first time.
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