AUCKLAND- The Southern Steel have overcome an injury to star shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid to beat trans-Tasman netball league neighbours the Mainland Tactix 64-60 in Dunedin on Sunday had already out of contention for a top-four finish to the regular season.
However, the sixth-placed Steel managed to maintain their good recent form to make it three wins in a row.
Fowler-Reid limped off three minutes from the end of the first quarter with an injury to her left knee, having slotted all of her 11 attempts at goal.
The Jamaica international, the competition's most prolific scorer, was getting treatment, the Tactix rattled in five goals in a row to take a 20-15 lead at the first break.
Fowler-Reid didn't make it back out on court, but the Steel's reshuffled line-up, with a more mobile game plan, slowly pegged back the margin and went into halftime with a 33-31 advantage.
The Tactix didn't give up and kept chipping away and got to within one goal early in the final quarter, but they just couldn't get back in front.
Te Paea Selby-Rickit, on for Fowler-Reid, made the most of rare court time with a 27/32 shooting performance.
She combined well with skipper Jodi Brown (26/36) and also led the Steel's rebounding dominance.
Tactix shooter Mwai Kumwenda shouldered the bulk of the scoring load for her team.
She finished with 52/58 against a good defensive effort from Steel pair Storm Purvis and Rachel Rasmussen.
The result ensures the Tactix, who have had just one win this season, will finish with the wooden spoon for the fourth time in five years.