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The Central Pulse's perfect run is over.
On the 11th attempt, a team finally toppled the Pulse in the ANZ Premiership, with the Northern Mystics claiming a superb 44-42 victory in Porirua.
Not only was the victory proof that the title isn't a foregone conclusion, it was also a victory claimed at the most pivotal time for the Mystics.
A loss this evening and the Mystics would have fallen six points behind the Mainland Tactix in the race for second place, after the Tactix took down the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic 44-35 in Hamilton earlier in the afternoon.
While the Mystics have a game in hand, their next outing is against the Tactix next Sunday, which could have been the end of their title contention.
Instead, today could prove the making of it, as they spoiled the Pulse's first home game of the season with a superb performance.
With the shorter 12-minute quarters meaning surprise results are more likely, the Pulse had been pushed on their 10-game winning streak, and the Mystics took advantage with a storming late comeback.
Down 35-30 with a quarter remaining, the Pulse looked set to lock in their spot in the final in Invercargill on August 23, but the Mystics had other ideas, roaring back to tie the game at 39 with five minutes to go, and taking the lead for the first time since early in the first quarter with three minutes remaining.
With the usually reliable Ameliaranne Ekenasio missing three consecutive shots, the Mystics pounced, and sealed a memorable victory which puts them back within three points of the Tactix, with the chance to jump into second – and still hold a game in hand – when they meet the Tactix on Sunday.
The Tactix had a brief scare against the bottom-of-the-table Magic, tying the scores late in the third period, but quick ball speed from the Tactix saw them nab two quick goals to take the advantage into the final quarter.
There, despite another impressive display from promising defender Georgia Tong, the Magic's attack let them down, mustering just three goals in the final quarter as the Tactix sealed their fourth straight victory.
The Magic are still searching for their second win this season, and have likely their best chance to claim it tomorrow night against the Southern Steel in a bottom-of-the-table clash.