The Pulse had a disappointing finish when trumped 48-46 by the Stars in their final match of the Te Wānanga o Raukawa hosted ANZ Premiership pre-season netball tournament in Ōtaki on Sunday.
It consigned the Pulse to just one win over their five games. The four losses, however, were by four goals or less and the team were well in the frame in each contest. Both teams struggled in the tournament finale, the game never getting out of second gear in a scrappy spectacle.
The early running was with the Stars where captain Maia Wilson was a strong presence under the hoop and Elle Temu, a thorn defensively. When the Pulse got their feeds to lanky shooter Amelia Walmsley on target, the team were able to level up at 12-all heading into the first break.
Intercepts courtesy of defenders Kelly Jury and Parris Mason helped the Pulse break a dour deadlock as the team headed to the main break with a 27-23 buffer.
Both teams made multiple changes for the second half, the Pulse pushing out to a five-goal lead before seeing that advantage evaporate on the back of a run of errors.
Walmsley continued her solid form under the hoop as the Pulse nudged into the last turn with a 38-36 lead and finishing her three-quarters of game time with the impressive figures of 33 shots from 34 attempts.
The Stars quickly levelled up on the resumption and made the most of their opportunities to nail a first win.
``I’ve been really pleased with what they done to date. We’ve been battling and been able to come through and thought we were making progress, so that was a bit of a disappointing one to finish on,’’ Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said.
``That said, we had a pretty young line out there to finish and their experience will be massive in terms of what they take away from it.
``In some ways, it’s kind of nice to know things can fall pretty quick and you’ve got to keep working. There have been some real highlights and lots of good progress, so there’s plenty to be pleased with but losing like that always hurts.’’
The Pulse play their first match in the ANZ Premiership against the Magic in Palmerston North on March 5.
Final day results:
Steel 54 Mystics 42
Tactix 52 Magic 36
Stars 48 Pulse 46
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