The Melbourne Vixens became the first team to qualify for the ANZ Championship netball grand final after defeating the Northern Mystics 56-50 at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena.
But the Mystics wasted a prime opportunity to advance after giving away a six-goal advantage early in the third quarter. Their shooters showed extraordinary accuracy all day to create a solid five-goal lead at halftime, but as been their trademark all year, the Vixens hit back hard in the second half.
Shooters Karyn Howarth and Tegan Caldwell found their range and the sides were even by three-quarter time. With Madison Browne moving to centre and controlling the final term, the Vixens were able to cut off supply to the Mystics goalers.
Catherine Latu. who converted 22/23 attempts in the first half hour, could only put up nine shots in the second half, making eight, the Melbourne defenders strangled her chances.
The Mystics rang the changes for the final quarter, hoping to break the deadlock, but had well and truly lost their composure to slip six goals behind at the end.
The result means the competition grand final in a fortnight will be held in Melbourne. It's the Vixens first since they won the competition in 2009.
The Mystics will host the preliminary final next weekend in Auckland and now await the result of tomorrow minor semifinal between Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and Adelaide Thunderbirds in Hamilton tomorrow.