TACTIX FEND OFF LATE-CHARGING MYSTICS TO SEAL SECOND WIN

24 March 2019

In another defence orientated match-up, The Good Oil Tactix secured a hard-fought 52-48 win while consigning the Northern Mystics to a fifth straight loss, in Nelson today.

There was a sense of desperation for both teams coming into the match, the Mystics, in complete contrast to their earlier efforts on the day produced a withering 20-9 final quarter surge, and with it grabbing a bonus point, but ultimately leaving their run too late in chasing down a 15-goal deficit.

Pocketing their second win of the season, the home side dominated for three-quarters of the match, increasing their lead through the first three stanzas before they were thrown off-stride by a late-charging Mystics.

It was a more settled starting line-up for the Tactix with replacement player Samon Nathan cementing her starting role at wing attack. The Mystics were similarly unchanged, the mobile shooting combination of Bailey Mes and Jamie Hume getting the nod to start.

The defensive capabilities of both teams were evident early, resulting in a rash of untimely turnovers. The Tactix pounced on a horror run by the visitors, a number of misguided passes into the shooting circle gifting the home side extra opportunities.

Showing improved patience and ball retention, a seven-goal unanswered scoring streak gave the Tactix the upper hand as they bounded into the first break with a 14-7 lead.

Youngster Tayla Earle came on a centre for the Mystics in place of Emma Iversen but it was the home side who were quicker out of the blocks on the resumption.

With the first four goals going the home side’s way, the Tactix had built a handy 10-goal buffer within the opening five minutes.

The Mystics bounced back with a staunch defensive effort from Erena Mikaere, Phoenix Karaka and Michaela Sokolich-Beatson putting the squeeze on the Tactix attacking end. A five-goal scoring run helping the visitors claw back the deficit.

Both sides made changes to their shooting ends late in the piece, schoolgirl Grace Nweke being introduced at goal shoot for the Mystics but it was the calming presence of goal attack Kate Beveridge for the home side that shone through.

The Australian import helped steady the ship with her poise and court craft as the Tactix retained their grip when heading to the main break with a 26-15 lead.

Anchored by key contributors at each end of the court ensured the home side kept the Mystics at arms-length during the third stanza.

Adding more movement to her game this season, towering Tactix shooter Ellie Bird was a dominating presence under the hoop through her deception to make space and accuracy.

At the other end, her skipper Jane Watson got hand to plenty of deflections and turnover opportunities with her ever-present suffocating defensive work from the custodian’s position.

With a lack of ball continuing to plague them, the Mystics could make no inroads as the home side hit the last break with a healthy 43-28 lead.