Stars stun Steel with upset win in Invercargill to book spot in ANZ Premiership final

The Northern Stars have stunned the Southern Steel to reach the ANZ Premiership final, winning last night's eliminator 56-53 in Invercargill.

Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit. Source: Photosport

The Stars were going up against the two-time defending champions and plenty of statistics against them, including the fact entering last night's contest they had lost seven of their last eight games.

The Steel were also sitting on a winning streak dating back to April 10 and hadn't lost a game at Stadium Southland in their last 16 outings.

But the Northern side wouldn't be deterred, showing they were in the fight when they trailed 14-15 after the first quarter.

The Steel managed to extend that lead to three goals [27-30] at halftime but the Stars, led by former Silver Ferns veterans Temepara Bailey and Leana de Bruin, came alive in the second half.

The Stars scored the first three goals of the second half to level the scores before late goals to Maia Wilson and Charlee Hodges would see them take a 43-41 lead into the final quarter.

That lead rocketed out to 48-41 thanks to a perfect start to the final 12 minutes, and despite the Steel's best efforts to make a comeback, they fell short and saw their season end with the chance to defend their back-to-back titles.

Stars goal shoot Maia Wilson made a statement after her ommision from the Silver Ferns' World Cup squad, shooting 43-from-45 along with some clutch goals in the final quarter.

Her opposite, Lenize Potgieter, also had a strong night, scoring 39 goals on 42 attempts.

The win means the Stars will meet the Central Pulse in this year's final, taking place at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua next Monday.