Stars Men snatch victory in Men’s Invitational rematch
The Stars Men have sealed an edge of the seat win over the Mystics Men, 44-43, in a highly entertaining rematch in front of a vocal crowd at Pulman Arena on Sunday.
Broadcast live on Sky Sport and streamed internationally, the match sees the ledger at one apiece between the two sides after the Mystics Men won this year’s first match 54-45 in April.
Stars Men’s defender Timothy Apisai was instrumental in the result, dominating in the defensive circle alongside Nathan Wilson in the second half to earn match MVP.
“I feel bloody great. It's good to get the win, especially being south side in front of the crowd too,” Apisai said after the match.
“From the first game we had players on court for the first time in front of the limelight and got our nerves out of the way and focused on the product which showed today. We played our game and got the win in the end, so I'm really happy.
“Netball’s about a team effort and wouldn't have got the tips or steals I did without the whole team working together.”
Featured across both line-ups were several Aotearoa Men’s representatives who will be in contention for selection at July’s Cadbury Netball Series against the Silver Ferns, New Zealand A and an invitational Mixed team.
It was a hotly contested opening quarter with the two sides going goal-for-goal with both defensive ends flexing their muscle, Stars Men edging ahead 12-11 after the first 15 minutes.
A shift into goal defence for Kruze Tangira sparked the Mystics Men, forcing several turnovers while Quintin Gerber and Thomson Matuku continued knocking down their shots to take them into halftime with a 25-21 lead.
Cheered on by a loud home crowd, the Stars Men pulled back onto level terms fuelled by the sharp-shooting of Matthew Dwyer, before pulling ahead 35-34 at the final turn.
Despite a strong fight back from the Mystics Men, the Stars Men were able to hold on to their slim advantage to take the one goal victory.
The game was part of a double-header at the venue, with the men’s invitational followed by the ANZ Premiership Round 11 game between the Robinhood Stars and MG Mystics.