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Pulse continue winning form in Premiership

Updated: May 20

The Central Pulse have secured their sixth consecutive win to hold their top spot on the ANZ Premiership ladder despite a number of injuries.

Missing three of their regular lineups, the Pulse dug deep to hold out a fast-finishing Northern Stars for a 58-52 victory in Wellington.


Experienced wing attack Whitney Souness, who was in commanding form assisting an inexperienced shooting circle, and captain Kelly Jackson. stood out. for the Pulse.

But it was also newcomer Martina Salmon, who made her first start in the ANZ Premiership, who stood up for the side netting 41 goals after coming in this week to replace an injured Amelia Walmsley who is out of play for up to eight weeks.

Walmsley (knee) is the Pulse’s third significant injury blow of the season as they started the game without Tiana Metuarau and Maddy Gordon. Salmon was drafted into the side as shooter and Kiana Pelasio taking on the goal attack role while Claire Kersten was back at centre.

Celebrating her 100th national league game in charge, Stars coach Kiri Wills went for the same line which finished strongly against the Mystics last week.

An injury-hit Pulse have scored a narrow win over the Stars in netball's ANZ Premiership
A makeshift Pulse side has managed to hold off the Stars in the ANZ Premiership PHOTO: NETBALL NZ/MICHAEL BRADLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

Salmon, who has already suited up for the Steel this season as injury cover, netted her first goal in Pulse colours to get the full house at TSB Arena behind the team.

Souness had little trouble finding the strong hold of Salmon as the hosts opened up a two-goal advantage after five minutes of play.

The visitors, who may have given themselves a better chance of toppling the injury-stricken Pulse, found themselves on the backfoot with defender Khanye-Lii Munro-Nonoa suspended for two minutes for dangerous play.

The Stars were measured in their response and levelled the scores with shooters Maia Wilson and Monica Falkner sharing the load.There were more changes with Kersten heading to the sidelines for a concussion check which saw Fa’amu Ioane to centre and Kelea Longi on in defence.

The Pulse went on a five-goal run to again edge ahead and with Salmon netting 16 goals went to the break with an 18-14 lead.

Wills made some positional changes heading into the second spell with Rahni Samason moving to shooter and Wilson to goal attack while Lili Tokaduadua came on to goal keep.It did little to stop the Pulse juggernaut as the goals just kept coming.

Kersten was given clearance to return to court as the hosts opened up a 10-goal buffer and the Stars looked for more answers from the bench as Emma Thompson made her first appearance in the purple dress, coming on at wing attack.

Reverting back to their original shooting circle, the Stars’ patience was again key as they closed the gap to five before slipping to trail 27-34 at the main break.

Souness was immense in the opening half, ensuring her new shooting circle received quality, stress-free ball and had 12 goal assists in 30 minutes of play while Jackson and Parris Mason had snaffled seven gains between them.

But with just eight goals between them, the Stars were always within reach of the hosts with defender Kate Burley (five gains) doing her best to keep her team in the race.

The energy – no matter the combination – and hunger for ball from the Pulse ensured they nailed the third spell on the scoreboard, turning into the last spell leading 49-38.


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