1 Jun 2015

Tactix win at last, Steel beaten

9:28 am on 1 June 2015

The last placed Mainland Tactix have claimed their first win of the trans-Tasman netball championship season, upsetting the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic 62-58 in Christchurch.

The Tactix netball coach Sue Hawkins.

The Tactix netball coach Sue Hawkins. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Also last night the Southern Steel were beaten 66-50 by the Queensland Firebirds in Brisbane.

The Magic and Steel had already qualified for the playoffs.

With top spot in the Australian Conference already sewn up, the Firebirds showed no signs of easing up when despatching the Steel.

Looking to retain their momentum leading into the Australia Conference Final, the Firebirds proved unstoppable in showcasing their great hallmark of consistency during their final match of the regular season.

All was not lost for the young Steel team, who cemented third spot in the New Zealand Conference after the Central Pulse's earlier loss to the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

But the best attacking team in the competition were ultimately undone by the best defensive team, the Firebirds showing no mercy with their ability to absorb pressure and then deliver the knockout blow.

The result also ensured the Firebirds will keep the Challenge Trophy in their cabinet until next year, completing a second successful defence after lifting it from West Coast Fever in Round 10.

It was a long time coming for Mainland Tactix who finally got to savour the taste of success following a season-ending win over the Magic.

With second spot in the New Zealand Conference already sewn up, the Magic's resilience was stretched to the limits against a Tactix team with nothing to lose.

Tactix shooter Mwai Kumwenda was at her mercurial best in setting the platform for the battling southerners to post their first win in 22 matches, stretching back to Round Four of last year, and their first-ever win over the Magic.

Magic looked in control for much of the match but could not shake the spirited resolve of the Tactix, who continued to grow in stature the longer the game went on in striving to end their season on high.

It was the Tactix who clicked up a gear to gain the momentum during an exciting second stanza, the lead changing hands several times as the home team mustered a stirring fight-back.

Their ability to convert turnovers helped the increasingly-confident Tactix level up the contest 45-all at the last break before going on to seal the watershed win.