Pulse shock Stars to claim netball title

Source: Radio New Zealand

The Central Pulse have shocked the favoured Northern Stars to claim the ANZ Netball Premiership title in Wellington with a stunning 56-37 win.

Pulse shooter Aliyah Dunn.

With the 19-goal win, the Pulse became the first franchise to win three titles in the history of the elite national league which started in 2017.

The Pulse led from start to finish, up by 26-15 at half-time. The scoreline then extended to 42-26 after three quarters.

One of many stand-outs for the home side was goal shooter Aliyah Dunn who scored 44 goals from 47 attempts, in stark contrast to Stars shooter Maia Wilson's 21 from 25 return.

Players throughout the court wearing yellow were outstanding with defenders Kelly Jury and Kristiana Manu'a pressuring their opposing shooters. That sent incumbent Stars goal attack Jamie Hume to the bench, with Amorangi Malesala the second goal attack tried by Stars coach Kiri Wills.

The Pulse's midcourt trio of Maddy Gordon, Erikana Pedersen and Whitney Souness securely carried the ball through court linking with goal attack Tiana Metuarau.

Credit must go to Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie in her fifth grand final, coming back to the team this season after their form slumped without her at the helm last year.

Confidence was at a high with the Stars heading into the grand final with eight wins from nine outings and the core senior members finding form at the business end of the season, including spearhead Maia Wilsn and midcourter Gina Crampton. But the Aucklanders were well and truly outclassed by the Wellington side in the one-sided game.

The Pulse won titles in 2019 and 2020.

Both teams powered through a season fraught with constant disruption due to the influence of Covid-19.

Stars defender and former Silver Fern Anna Harrison confirmed her retirement from netball after a national league career spanning 20 years.