Pulse fade to big loss af­ter sound start

Kapi-Mana News - - CLASSIFIEDS - BEN STRANG

The Cen­tral Pulse faded badly to be thumped 60-46 by the Ade­laide Thun­der­birds in Porirua on Sun­day evening.

For much of the open­ing half it ap­peared the Pulse could chal­lenge for a vic­tory against Australia’s weak­est side, but a dread­ful open­ing to the sec­ond half put paid to that.

The Pulse made a late run, but the per­plex­ing coach­ing de­ci­sion to leave Te Amo Amaru-Tib­ble – all three missed shots and four turnovers worth of her – on court in the fourth quar­ter saw that run stum­ble.

Ka­t­rina Grant was a men­ace for the Pulse, win­ning the ball back 11 times, but turnovers up the other end left the de­fender un­able to hide her dis­ap­point­ment.

‘‘We had pin-pointed this one,’’ Grant said af­ter the game. ‘‘They hadn’t won a game, so it was kind of like, this is a chance to get a win un­der our belt ... but it didn’t come through. We had a pretty shock­ing third quar­ter, but ... if we played like we did at the start of the fourth it would have been a dif­fer­ent story.

‘‘We’ve got so much po­ten­tial, but this sea­son no­body’s re­ally seen it. It’s frus­trat­ing.’’

It was easy to tell that th­ese were two teams at the base of their re­spec­tive com­pe­ti­tion lad­ders. They were far from slick, turn­ing the ball over with reg­u­lar­ity and often fail­ing to cap­i­talise on those er­rors.

Gi­ant Thun­der­birds goal shoot Kristina Brice was prov­ing a hand­ful for Grant and Phoenix Karaka. The 1.96m tall colos­sus was far from mo­bile, but win­ning a duel for a high ball against her was near im­pos­si­ble.

At the other end there were a num­ber of mix-ups be­tween shooter Maia Wil­son and her mid­court.

De­spite ob­vi­ous is­sues, the Pulse had a two goal lead mid­way through the first quar­ter only to switch off for two min­utes to end the quar­ter three goals down.

There was more of the same in the sec­ond quar­ter as the Pulse prob­a­bly edged the ma­jor­ity of the play, only to turn off again and trail by three at the half.

What was a tight, ebbing and flow­ing game was blown out straight af­ter half­time as the Thun­der­birds went on an 8-1 run.

It wasn’t as if the Thun­der­birds all of a sud­den got good. They con­tin­ued to miss shots and turn the ball over, but the Pulse were hand­ing the ball straight back in the at­tack­ing end.

By the end of the third the Thun­der­birds led by 12, leav­ing the Pulse need­ing a near mir­a­cle in the fourth to bring the game back.

Un­for­tu­nately, de­spite some ac­cu­rate shoot­ing by Ameliaranne Wells and some staunch de­fense from Karaka, Grant and the newly in­tro­duced Clare Ker­sten, the Pulse couldn’t pull it off.

Ameliaranne Wells of the Pulse was ac­cu­rate around the goal.

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