Sunday 9 April, 2023


Energy Events Centre, Rotorua

Full time MG Mystics 62 – AVIS Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic 61


It was once again down to the wire as the MG Mystics clutched a win over the AVIS Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in the final seconds with Grace Nweke sinking a shot to nail the score at 62 – 61.

The Mystics had their sights set on revenge as they travelled south to Rotorua to face the Magic – the only team to have beaten them so far this season.

Right from the start the Magic’s experienced shooting pairing of Bailey Mes and Ameliaranne Ekenasio were on song, working the circle well and finding space under the post. Magic feeders Georgie Edgecombe and Simmon Wilbore managed to find the circle edge with ease as the Mystics battled to slow the attack.

Mystics shooter Grace Nweke was under heavy pressure from Erena Mikaere and Georgia Takarangi early on, uncharacteristically missing a few shots and allowing the Magic to gain a head start on the scoreboard.

The Magic kept the foot on the gas throughout the second quarter, extending their lead further to 11 goals as the Mystics struggled to find their rhythm and settle into their usual flowing netball.

A move into goal-defence for Michaela Sokolich-Beatson created a new dynamic in the Mystics’ defensive end, with Sokolich-Beatson utilising her lightning quick reactions and anticipation to seize good turnover ball.

Katie Te Ao added further defensive pressure around the circle edge for the Mystics coming on at wing-defence and disrupting the Magic’s feed.

Heading into half time the Mystics managed to claw back the deficit to just six and looked to be gaining momentum going into the third stanza.

The third quarter signaled a turning of the tides with the Mystics looking more settled on attack and containing the Magic’s shooters well.

Mystics wing-attack Peta Toeava looked to have regained her confidence on the feed, letting the ball go into Grace Nweke and even coming up with an intercept as they chipped away at the Magic’s lead.

At the close of the third quarter the Mystics had taken the lead for the first time in the game, overtaking the Magic by one point as history looked to repeat itself with the two teams neck and neck.

The Mystics’ Carys Stythe returned to the court at goal-keeper for the final quarter with Michaela Sokolich-Beatson moving back to wing-defence. Immediately Stythe made her presence felt, snatching two intercepts to give her side a much-needed advantage.

Pressure over the ball from the Mystics slowed the Magic’s attack and forced a few crucial errors which the Mystics were able to capitalise on as they continued their fight back.

Once again the final quarter had fans on the edge of their seats as the teams went goal for goal. With the score even and just seconds to play, the Mystics were able to get the ball to Grace Nweke who slotted the decider after rebounding a couple of missed attempts as she raced against the clock to seal the win.

It’s the fourth straight win for the Mystics who have cemented their position at the top of the table five points clear of the second place Northern Stars.