Fisher grabs winner to tick off that one

Steel goal shot George Fisher fights (right) for the ball with Magic goal keep Temalisi...
Steel goal shot George Fisher fights (right) for the ball with Magic goal keep Temalisi Fakahokotau while Magic goal defence Erena Mikaeere watches on in their ANZ Premiership clash at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin yesterday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
George Fisher had never hit a match-winning shot.

When the moment finally came yesterday, all she was thinking was "do not miss this goal".

She missed it.

But with five seconds left on the clock she changed that focus to "catch the rebound".

She did just that, before calmly slotting the goal on her second attempt.

It allowed the Southern Steel to escape with a 59-58 win over the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic at the Edgar Centre last night.

The result broke the Steel's record of winning and losing on alternate weeks this season, backing up last week's win over the Northern Mystics.

The Steel led for nearly the entire game and held a seven-goal buffer early in the fourth quarter.

However, a late momentum swing left the side holding off a furious Magic comeback.

Caitlin Bassett tied the scores with one minute to play and, after trading goals, the Steel used the final 10 seconds to get its match-winner.

For Fisher, who was immense in converting on 50/54 of her shots, it was her first time in that situation.

"Do you know what, I haven't [hit a match-winner before]," she said.

"I always say that's the Helen Housby shot, that's her bread and butter.

"I'm like I don't know how she does it every time.

"It's good, I can tick that one off the list for a last-second shot now."

While the Steel controlled much of the game, the Magic made two notable fightbacks.

The first came in the third quarter, closing the gap after the Steel had opened a seven-goal halftime lead.

That margin was restored in the fourth quarter, triggering another Magic comeback.

Fisher said the team did well to weather those storms, but would look to sure up those periods.

"I think we grinded when we needed to grind, I think that's something we do quite well.

"I think they definitely hit back in that third quarter. That's something we'll look in detail at, see what went wrong and see what we can change up.

"But I think we had each other's backs out there and it was quite a gritty game — there was a lot of bodies on the floor.

"We'll go away and look at it and see what we can do next time."

The Magic held a three-goal lead early, before the Steel was sparked by hustle plays from Shannon Saunders and Renee Savai'inaea.

It held the Magic to just three more goals in the quarter and took advantage of its extra ball to lead 17-12 at quarter-time.

The Magic stemmed that run after the break.

Goal keep Taneisha Fifita continued to prove disruptive and did a good job limiting the ball Bassett got.

That helped the Steel extend the lead to 33-26 at halftime, but the margin quickly closed after the break.

A Sam Winders intercept followed by an Erena Mikaere block helped the Magic back to 33-31.

But the Steel withstood the pressure.

It never let the Magic closer than two and then finally gave itself a buffer as Fisher scored off a Saunders intercept.

That ignited a run for the Steel to lead 49-42 early in the fourth quarter.

However, the Magic fought back and, while it tied the score, the Steel did just enough to hold it off and allow Fisher to score the winner.

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