Saturday 1 April, 2023


Edgar Centre, Dunedin

Full time MG Northern Mystics 64 – Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel 48


A dominant performance from the MG Northern Mystics has seen them earn a 64 – 48 win over the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel in the first of two back to back games on the road this weekend to claim the Georgie Salter Memorial Trophy.

The Mystics did not relent for the entire 60-minutes with the Steel unable to keep pace after initially holding the visitors level in the first quarter.

Shooting mainstay Grace Nweke ventured out of the circle more than we’ve seen so far this season creating an alternative to the standard long feed and opening space for goal attack Monica Falkner to receive nice ball on the baseline.

With veteran defender Sulu Fitzpatrick out with a knee injury, Phoenix Karaka and Carys Stythe combined nicely in the defensive end to shut down space in the Steel shooting circle, while Michaela Sokolich-Beatson took up the captain’s mantle from her position at wing-defence where she found some nice turnover ball and made it difficult for the Steel’s feeders to reach the circle edge.

Steel midcourt powerhouse Sam Winders was a physical presence on defence, putting pressure on the Mystics feeders and attempting to stifle the lightning quick movements of Peta Toeava.

The second quarter saw the Mystics go into overdrive, scoring 19 to the Steel’s 9 goals, capitalising on the Steel’s errors and converting their own centre passes almost without fail.

The Mystics’ seamless transition from defence to attack saw them make quick work of turnover ball with both shooters on song and maintaining an impressive combined shooting percentage of 94% compared to the Steel’s 72%.

In the third quarter the Steel looked to stage a fight back led by some moments of brilliance from goal keeper Kate Burley who managed to snatch rare intercept ball off Grace Nweke and some ambitious cross-court passes, however the turnovers went unconverted allowing the Mystics to grow their lead even further.

Player of the match Monica Falkner was dynamic at goal attack, taking pressure off Nweke, moving fluidly around the circle and putting up a high volume of shots from all angles.

Goal defence Carys Stythe showed maturity and experience beyond her years, reading the Steel’s feed and getting some impressive tips and intercepts thanks to outstanding individual vision and defensive pressure from her team mates.

With the Mystics leading by 15 going into the fourth quarter, youngster Catherine Hall made her debut at goal keeper getting her first taste of ANZ Premiership netball having already impressed during her time in the National Netball League playing for the Northern Marvels.

Despite the deficit, the Steel fought valiantly until the final minutes with Kate Burley again producing a stunning cross-court intercept only for her efforts to again go unconverted.

By the final whistle the Mystics had extended their lead to 16, leaving the Steel so far winless after five rounds.