Steel finishes well to gain third

A strong finish has helped the Southern Steel to third place in the Super Club tournament.

The side won the final quarter 18-10 to beat the New South Wales Institute of Sport 54-45 in the third-fourth playoff in Nelson last night.

It trailed 35-33 with a minute to play in the third quarter.

But two goals from Georgia Heffernan - the second a two-pointer - gave the Steel a 36-35 lead at the final break.

NSWIS equalised with the first play of the fourth quarter, before the Steel ran away to the finish. Jennifer O'Connell returned at goal shoot and proved a dominant figure, while Gina Crampton and Kate Heffernan both fed her good ball.

A the other end, NSWIS struggled to score.

The Steel extended the gap to 45-38 and, while NSWIS hit three two-pointers towards the end, it was unable to score regularly enough to make any inroads.

The season was capped by midcourter's Shannon Francois' introduction at goal attack in the final minute.

She had one shot at goal and made it count, hitting a two-pointer with 21 seconds to play.

Earlier, the Steel had shot out to an 11-7 lead at the first break and maintained that margin at 26-22 at halftime.

In the final, the Central Pulse beat the Mainland Tactix 61-56 to claim the title.

The Pulse trailed 15-12 after the first quarter, but roared back in front to lead 31-27 at halftime.

The Pulse pulled that back by one in the third quarter to take things to 44-41.

However, it was the Pulse that finished stronger and emerged as champion, going some way to avenging their loss in the ANZ Premiership final.

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