22 May 2010– by ANZ Championship

Pulse celebrate first win


A jubilant Haier Central Pulse celebrated their first win of the 2010 ANZ Championship after edging a fast-finishing Mercury Energy Canterbury Tactix 45-43 in Wellington today.

Welcoming back Silver Ferns defender Katrina Grant, who played an influential role, for her first match since being ruled out with injury in round four, the Pulse led from start to finish.

The home team dominated the first 30 minutes but were forced to dig deep to stave off a determined second half Tactix fightback before going on to record just their second win of the competition.

 All the early running was with the home team, who zipped out to a 7-1 lead before the Tactix grafted their way back into contention.

The opening stanza was marred by a big error count from both teams as valuable possession was frittered away through ill-directed passing and high penalty counts. However, the Pulse showed determined patience on attack and worked the ball around until the gaps opened.

Goal attack Paula Griffin was in fine form under the hoop for the Pulse, accurate and confident as she fired her team into a deserved lead.

At the other end, lack of height and inaccuracy on the shot from Angela Mitchell and Anna Thompson counted against the Tactix. Pulse defenders Grant and Ama Agbeze were influential in shutting down the Tactix options. Agbeze and the hard-working Cushla Lichtwark were strong drivers through court as the Pulse headed to the first break 12-7 ahead.

 The Pulse surged further ahead on the resumption with Grant revelling in her first start since early April. The goals were just not dropping for the Tactix as the struggling Mitchell was replaced by Ellen Halpenny, but there were no such problems for the Pulse.

Spearheaded by the unflappable Griffin whose radar was in the perfect zone today, five unanswered goals rocketed the Pulse out to a 10-goal margin. Strong defence by the Tactix went unrewarded as the visitors continued to squander opportunities.

Showing the odd bright passage of play, the visitors clawed back some of the deficit but the continued patience and finishing of the Pulse kept the home team in charge.

The error rate remained high for both teams and the low shooting percentages of the Tactix gave the Pulse a handy 23-17 halftime advantage.


Showing better flow and movement as shooters Halpenny and Thompson warmed to their task, the Tactix had their best moments of the match through the third quarter. With their circle opening up, the Tactix found their target with more regularity as they ate into the Pulse’s lead.

Terrific defence by the Tactix back three of Charlotte Kight, Victoria Smith and Hayley Crofts had the Pulse attackers struggling for options. Time and again the Pulse were forced to re-set as they found penetrating the water-tight defence a tough ask.

The home team were just able to keep them at bay as they hit the last break 32-29 ahead and the prospect of an exciting run home against a resurgent Tactix.

Drawing to within two goals early on and narrowing it to one with two minutes to go, the Tactix threw everything at the Pulse. Steeling themselves, the home team held their composure in a tense and dramatic final 15 minutes with Griffin’s poise under the hoop delivering the long awaited win.

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