Steel scores last seven goals to win by two

Southern Steel goal shoot George Fisher tries to catch the ball as Mainland Tactix goal defence...
Southern Steel goal shoot George Fisher tries to catch the ball as Mainland Tactix goal defence Karin Burger attempts to knock it away during their game in Nelson last night. Jane Watson (left) and Charlotte Elley watch on. Photo: Michael Bradley
Make that three in a row.

The Southern Steel mounted a 7-0 run to finish the game to claim victory in Nelson last night.

It beat the Mainland Tactix 47-45, recording its third consecutive win and keeping in touch with the ANZ Premiership's top three.

A 9-2 run midway through the second quarter gave the Steel a narrow lead most of the way.

However, that evaporated in the fourth quarter as Tactix defender Karin Burger picked up ball for the Tactix to go on a 7-0 run.

It led 45-40 with seven minutes to go, before the Steel defence lifted.

It created disruption in the Tactix attack, giving it the ball to calmly work to goal shoot George Fisher, who scored the final seven goals of the game herself.

It was a scratchy start for both sides as they turned over ball and struggled to score early.

The Tactix struggled to connect at times without their usual target of the injured Ellie Bird.

As stand-in goal shoot Kate Grant found her groove — she shot 9/11 in the first quarter — the home team took a 10-5 lead.

The Steel began to find its way into the game and pulled back to 12-11 to end the first quarter.

However, the Steel took over midway through the second quarter.

It began generating turnovers, notably through defender Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit, which it converted into goals.

On attack, the Steel began showing the patience the side is renowned for. It pulled back to 16-15, then after a Grant miss, Fisher, who shot 22/23 in the first half, scored the equaliser.

She put the Steel ahead off the ensuing centre pass, after being fed by a brilliant catch and pass from Tiana Metuarau.

Selby-Rickit picked off another pass to extend the run and the Steel led 22-18, which the Tactix pulled back to 24-21 at halftime.

Waston picked up a turnover to help pull the Tactix to within one just after the break.

Centre Kimiora Poi picked off another loose ball not long after, but the Tactix was unable to convert it and take the lead.

The Tactix kept hammering away for the next 10 minutes.

But the Steel looked after its own ball and Fisher calmly slotted goal after goal to keep the narrow lead.

It took another deflection from Burger late in the quarter for the Tactix to finally move ahead.

But as the Tactix lost the ball over the sideline, the Steel took the lead back almost immediately.

It went into the final break ahead 37-35.

Again it was Burger who gave the Tactix a break, deflecting a pass which the side regathered and used to retake the lead.

Poi then came up with another turnover of her own and Amelia Walmsley, who replaced Grant, extended the lead.

That became five, but again the Steel defence won ball back and the attack found Fisher to score the final seven goals and win the game.

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