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Northern Mystics end Central Pulse's unbeaten season in ANZ Premiership thriller

The Central Pulse have been handed their first loss of the 2020 ANZ Premiership, suffering a shock 44-42 defeat to the Northern Mystics in Porirua.

The Northern Mystics celebrate after defeating the Central Pulse. Source: Photosport

Coming into the match, the table topping Pulse had known nothing but victory, with a perfect 10 from 10 record giving them an eight-point lead at the top of the Premiership ladder.

The third-placed Mystics meanwhile, needed victory to stay in touching distance of the second-placed Mainland Tactix, with both sides now battling for the chance to take on the Pulse in the competition final later this month.

The Pulse came out of the blocks as the stronger side, winning the first and second quarters to claim a 23-20 advantage at halftime.

That lead would be extended by the Pulse extended, who led 35-30 heading into the final quarter.

However, an outstanding final quarter from the Mystics saw them do what no other team has this season, outscoring the Pulse 14-7 to stun the competition's runaway leaders.

Grace Nweke proved to be the hero for the Mystics, landing 38 from 44 attempts, backed up by Saviour Tui's four from four, and two from two to Filda Vui.

Meanwhile despite the sensational form of Aliyah Dunn, landing 23 from 21, an off-night for Silver Ferns captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio proved to be the difference between the two sides. Ekenasio only landing an uncharacteristic 20 from 28 at just 71 per cent.

The win sees the Mystics stay in touch with the Tactix in the race for second with the two sides meeting next Sunday. Meanwhile the Pulse's Premiership lead remains at eight points.