SouthlandSport editor Nathan Burdon

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Southern Steel bounce back to winning ways

Southern Steel bounce back to winning ways

The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel returned to winning ways in style after posting a clinical 59-46 win over Splice Construction Magic to close out Super Sunday in Auckland.

The Steel bounced back from last week’s loss with trademark efficiency, a dominant first quarter setting the foundation against an-at-times plucky Magic, who ultimately lacked the consistency to stay with the southerners.

The Magic opted to start with a mobile shooting end, Monica Falkner lining up at goal shoot and the creative Abigail Latu-Meafou at goal attack. The Steel presented with a predictable starting seven, import shooter Lenize Potgieter, once again, getting the nod.

The Magic produced an enthusiastic start before the Steel slipped into normal service. Within minutes, the southerners had jumped into the lead and then just as quickly pushed into a position of dominance.

The Magic struggled with their links between the midcourters and shooters while also lacking consistency on the shot. The outcome for the Steel was the exact opposite, and with a wealth of ball at their disposal, the ball regularly found its way into Potgieter’s hands.

There were no chinks from the Steel as they bolted into the first break with a 19-10 lead.

There was little respite for the Magic on the resumption, the Steel continuing to cut a swathe through the midcourt with wing attack Gina Crampton leading the charge. Her accurate and fluid delivery to Potgieter was the key to a mounting scoreboard.

Potgieter was ably support by Te Paea Selby-Rickit , who got through a big work load in and around the circle while chiming in with key shots.

The Magic added some height to their shooting end with the introduction of Kelsey McPhee, who injected some much-needed accuracy.

Abby Erwood left her mark at the Steel defensive end, picking off a number of intercepts and rebounds while Kelly Jury was having a similar impact for the Magic. However, the Magic could make little impression on proceedings when the Steel hit the half-time break with a 33-20 lead.

Playing patient, simple netball during the third stanza provided the Magic with their most productive of the match. Heading in the right direction, the Magic chipped away effectively at the Steel’s healthy margin but undid all the good work during a dominant few minutes for the Steel.

A run of seven unanswered goals handed all the initiative back to the Steel, Selby-Rickit and Potgieter profiting from a good volume of ball while maintaining their accuracy levels.

While making a better fist of their work, the Magic lacked the all-round accuracy as the Steel went into the last break well-placed when leading 48-33.

With another match looming tomorrow night, the Magic made a host of changes for the run home, midcourters Sydney Fraser and Ariana Cable-Dixon replacing Lisa Mather and Simmon Howe while captain Casey Kopua was also given a spell, replaced by Jenna O’Sullivan.

For the Steel, Jennifer O’Connell at goal shoot and Courtney Elliott at goalkeeper slipped in seamlessly to help steer the southern ship to a convincing win.

Official Result and Stats: 
Splice Construction Magic:59
Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel:46

Shooting Stats - Magic:
Kelsey McPhee 27/31 (87%)
Monica Falkner 11/17 (65%)
Abigail Latu-Meafou 8/12 (67%)

Shooting Stats - Steel:
Lenize Potgieter 33/41 (80%)
Te Paea Selby-Rickit 21/28 (75%)
Jennifer O'Connell 5/13 (38%)

MVP: Abby Erwood (Steel)

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