Tactix finish 2019 season in style
Producing their most accomplished outing of 2019, The Good Oil Tactix ended the season on a high outclassing the Splice Construction Magic 60-48 in Christchurch on Sunday.
Confident and polished, the Tactix dominated all areas of the court while delivering their biggest winning margin in the ANZ Premiership.
There was no fairytale finish for legendary Magic captain Casey Kopua in her final outing at domestic level. In her 187th and last match at this level, Kopua’s 17-year career with the same club has come to an end.
But her legion of fans remains hopeful the defensive diva will mark her final swansong with the Silver Ferns at July’s Netball World Cup.
Out of contention for the Finals Series, there were no surprises in either starting line-up as each side looked to finish their season on a positive note.
Respective goalkeepers, Jane Watson (Tactix) and Kelly Jury (Magic) presented menacing obstacles for both sets of shooters in the early exchanges as the pair picked up turnover opportunities for their teams.
But it was the home side who gradually gained the ascendancy, positive energy and ball movement on attack combined with impressive defensive gains provided the Tactix with a feast of possession.
Able to make full use of their opportunities, it was the Tactix who hit the first break with a 14-10 lead.
It was more of the same from the Tactix on the resumption, nailing the first three goals to put them in a position of control.
Magic struggled to make an impact on attack with well-performed shooter Kelsey McPhee under constant pressure from Watson and Sophia Fenwick.
She was replaced by Abigail Latu-Meafou who added some impetus with her extra quick movement but generally, the visitors found the ball movement of the Tactix hard to contain.
Import shooter Kate Beveridge was a strong contributor for the home side with her ability to shoot from range while also offering well-placed off-loads to key target Ellie Bird.
The Tactix finished the stanza with a flourish, roaring into the main break with a 31-20 lead after scoring five on the trot.
Showing more enterprise on attack, the Magic produced their most competitive 15 minutes up to that point during the third stanza but could still not match an impressive Tactix side.
Excelling at both ends of the court, the home side rounded out their dominance through the exploits of midcourters Kimiora Poi and Samon Nathan. Both revelled in the seamless supply of possession they enjoyed to provide the impetus on attack while Poi also proved a nuisance on defence.
Former Australian shooter Beveridge continued her strong influence on the game with her smart play under the Tactix hoop.
Playing with width and length, the Tactix employed an effective game plan in keeping dangerous Magic defensive duo Jury and Kopua unusually subdued as they pushed out to a healthy 46-33 lead at the last break.