Pulse fail to curb the netball Magic
Mon, 11 Jun 2012 12:52a.m.
Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic eased another place closer to the trans-Tasman netball league play-offs with a 52-42 win over Central Pulse in Tauranga.
The Magic turned around a slow start which saw them trail by three at halftime, piling on the goals in a high-octane third quarter to set up their sixth win of the season and move into fifth place on the ladder.
The expected midcourt battle between Silver Ferns teammates Laura Langman and Joline Henry didn't really eventuate.
Henry, an experienced international wing defence, has been reinvented as a centre by Pulse coach Robyn Broughton, while Langman has been hugely influential for the Silver Ferns in that position for the last five years.
Langman marshalled the Magic attack effectively in the opening quarter, driving strongly to the circle edge and setting up her shooters efficiently.
Henry was a little more anonymous as the Pulse struggled with their timing, especially in breaking the Magic's smothering midcourt zone, but the visitors gradually worked their way back into the match to trail 11-12 after 15 minutes.
The Pulse tightened their back-court defence noticeably in the second quarter, with Katrina Grant and Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit's combination in superb form after a quiet first spell.
They shut down the space in the circle and snaffled a series of well-timed intercepts set up by intense midcourt pressure on the Magic pass.
Pulse shooters Caitlin Thwaites and Paula Griffin responded with unerring accuracy, converting the turnovers and shooting out to a six-goal lead midway through the spell.
The Magic regathered, scoring the last three goals before halftime to trail 21-24 at the break. They upped the tempo noticeably on attack in the third quarter, outscoring the Pulse 17-9 as the visitors struggled to reign in the flow and pace of ball into shooters Irene van Dyk and Julianna Naoupu.
The momentum continued until the final whistle, the Magic building on their 38-33 lead at the three-quarter mark to shut out a 10-goal win.
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