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Stars prevail in extra-time thriller over Steel to clinch ANZ Premiership finals spot


Steel goal attack Georgia Heffernan faces strong defensive pressure from Stars’ goal keep Anna Harrison on Sunday.

Robyn Edie/Stuff

Metal aim assault Georgia Heffernan faces robust defensive stress from Stars’ aim preserve Anna Harrison on Sunday.

At Stadium Southland Invercargill: Stars 62 (Maia Wilson: 44/48, Jamie Hume: 18/24) Metal 60 (George Fisher: 45/46, Georgia Heffernan: 13/15, Saviour Tui: 2/3) 1Q: 13-11, HT: 27-28, 3Q: 41-44, FT: 56-56.

The Stars have booked their place within the ANZ Premiership finals with an exhilarating extra-time win, ending the Southern Metal’s high three hopes.

In a pulsating conflict, worthy of a finals match, the Stars edged the Metal 62-60 in Invercargill on Sunday after the rating was degree at 56-all at fulltime.

This was the fourth straight win for the Stars, who may doubtlessly nonetheless end first and earn internet hosting rights for the June 12 grand remaining.

No matter occurs of their remaining two spherical video games, the Stars will on the very least play within the June 8 elimination remaining (two versus three).

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The guts-stopping win takes the Stars to second equal with the Central Pulse on 28 factors from 13 video games – three factors again from the table-topping Mystics, who solely have one sport left.

It regarded just like the Metal would possibly grind out an important victory late within the contest to maintain their finals hopes alive, nevertheless it wasn’t to be.

Steel goal shoot George Fisher is defended by Stars’ goal keep Anna Harrison in Sunday's ANZ Premiership thriller.

Robyn Edie/Stuff

Metal aim shoot George Fisher is defended by Stars’ aim preserve Anna Harrison in Sunday’s ANZ Premiership thriller.

The Metal led 55-53 with two minutes left in regulation, however a Saviour Tui missed shot proved expensive within the remaining minute.

The Stars capitalised from the error and scored two fast targets to lock it up at 56-all on the finish of regular time.

Even after the primary three-minute extra-time interval, the Metal held a one-goal lead (59-58), however a key defensive turnover from centre Holly Fowler proved the turning level.

Stars wing attack Gina Crampton gets the ball into goal shoot Maia Wilson in Sunday’s clash in Invercargill.

Robyn Edie/Stuff

Stars wing assault Gina Crampton will get the ball into aim shoot Maia Wilson in Sunday’s conflict in Invercargill.

The Stars scored from that defensive achieve after which netted from the ensuing centre move to shut out an exhilarating victory.

It was a case of what may need been for the Metal, who led by six targets (50-44) early within the remaining quarter.

They let the Stars again into the competition and so they made them pay with some crunch targets from Maia Wilson and Jamie Hume late within the sport.

Finest on court docket

There have been a number of candidates from each groups on this thriller, however Stars wing assault and Silver Ferns captain Gina Crampton stood tall when it counted. Crampton despatched loads of correct ball into Wilson and Hume and was a tower of power within the midcourt. After a quiet begin to the season by her requirements, the skilled midcourter is beginning to hit high kind.

The massive second

It must be Fowler’s pivotal defensive pick-up within the second interval of extra-time. The Stars scored from that achieve after which netted once more from their very own centre move to financial institution the win.

Match ranking

9/10: A contender for sport of the season. With a lot on the road, each groups gave it their all and introduced loads of depth. It may have gone both method in extra-time, however the Stars got here by within the stress levels to clinch an essential victory.

The massive image

The Metal solely have delight to play for of their remaining two spherical video games with the finals now out of their grasp. This win ensures the Stars a spot within the high three finals, however they’ll wish to end as excessive up the desk as attainable. They end spherical play with the Magic on Wednesday, adopted by the Metal once more on Thursday in Takanini.



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