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First Beko Netball League victory for Mainland

Hellers Mainland captain Nicola Mackle was delighted her side netted their first Beko Netball League win and is asking her charges to lift yet again.

Mainland grabbed a convincing 66-50 victory over the Northern Marvels at Trafalgar Centre in Nelson on Sunday to leapfrog their opponents into fourth place on the points table.

Central Manawa held their spot at the top of the ladder, bouncing back from last week’s loss to beat the Northern Comets, while Waikato-BOP stormed home against the Southern Blast for a 61-36 victory to claim second place.

But it was Mainland which impressed after two tough losses earlier in their campaign, and Mackle was pleased to see her team step up and the belief between the players.

“We’re really letting it go and we’re trusting that the player is going to be there in the space,” she said.

But Mackle felt they were guilty of letting the Marvels back into the game on a number of occasions which was something to focus on before they took the court again.

“We had some really good patches out there but there were some lulls,” she said. “We’re just looking to put that performance out there for four quarters.”

ANZ Premiership defender Lily Marshall also made an impact for Mainland as she picked up five intercepts five intercepts and three deflections for the MVP award.

“To have her experience out there was great,” Mackle said. “She’s just a wee energizer bunny, just goes for everything and lifts the energy out there.”

SEE: DRAW, RESULTS and MORE

Mainland led from the opening whistles and weathered a number of Marvels surges to never relinquish that position.

But it was an impressive third quarter – when they found rhythm and space on attack, and picked up plenty of ball on defence – which put the game beyond doubt, winning the spell by nine goals.

The easy access to star shooter Jess Prosser, who missed just four of her 59 attempts at goal, ensured Mainland kept the scoreboard ticking over.

The inclusion of Marshall into the side gave Mainland another option in an end light on experience, and her combination with both Georgia Woollett and Tiana Placid saw them do an effective job in nullifying the threat of crafty Marvels shooter Filda Vui.

The Marvels struggled with their consistency on attack which forced coach Ripeka Pirie to make a number of personnel changes.

Mainland led by three goals at the first break and five by halftime, but it was the next 15 minutes which put the hosts firmly in the box seat as they went into the final quarter with a decisive 51-37 advantage.

Coach Ronelle van Dongen would have been pleased to use a number of players including young Tactix training partner Hannah Glen who combined well in the shooting circle with Prosser.

The experienced head of Mackle through the middle was a calming influence particularly when the hosts needed to repel a charging Marvels.

But it was the consistent availability and accuracy of Prosser which proved the telling difference as Mainland finished strongly.

Results:

Hellers Mainland 66 (Jess Prosser 55/59, Hannah Glen 11/15) beat Northern Marvels 50 (Filda Vui 20/22, Hannah Ward 5/10, Maine-Crystal Maro 25/26). Quarter scores: 13-10, 29-24, 51-37, 66-50.

Central Manawa 51 (Grace McLean 15/16, Saviour Tui 8/15, Rochelle Fourie 27/31, Monalisa Groom 1/4) beat Northern Comets 40 (Christie Anderson 30/35, Vika Koloto 5/7, Ivana Rowland 5/8). Quarter scores: 9-10, 21-19, 36-26, 51-40.

Waikato-BOP 61 (Khiarna Williams 47/57, Eden Anderson 14/21) beat Southern Blast 36 (Hannah Riddle-Pelchen 15/20, Georgia Heffernan 15/25, Holly Munro 6/9). Quarter scores: 11-10, 29-17, 42-27, 61-36.