The First Windows Waikato-BOP Magic machine marches on with a key ANZ Championship win over the high-flying LG Mystics while further south there were plenty of smiles coming from the Eaisyo Tactix camp after a rare win.
As the championships near the business end of the competition, the intensity has lifted and with plenty riding on the result between the Magic and Mystics, there were some sublime performances on court.
The Magic's disappointing start to the season is well behind them as their firepower across court delivered with a complete performance against the Mystics.
Victory was crucial if the Magic are to maintain hope of reaching the top four while the Mystics have been eyeing the chance to host a semifinal and a win in Auckland was a must.
Mystics' captain Temepara George marshalled the frontline with efficiency and goal attack Maria Tutaia was in commanding form in the first quarter, but when the Magic's defensive line found its feet, they helped the visitors edge ahead by the first break.
The work inside the circle from Leana de Bruin and Casey Williams kept Mystics target Cathrine Latu quiet while the defensive efforts on the outside forced the hosts into errors.
Young wing defence Elias Shadrock continues to grow in confidence in Magic's wing defence bib and despite having one of the toughest assignments on court, in marking Mystic linchpin George, showed she was up to the challenge.
At the other end of the court it was another Magic youngster who again stepped up when the pressure came on with Julianna Naoupu again impressing in the goal attack bib, while unheralded wing Khao Watts was a rock in the Magic's attack.
The Magic led by six goals going into the fourth quarter but were forced to use all of their tricks in their bag to repel a late charge from the Mystics.
Their two-goal win puts them into the top four for the first time this year - pipping the fifth-placed NSW Swifts on goal percentage.
It will be hard to wipe the grins off the faces of the Easiyo Tactix after they netted just their second win of the season, coming from behind to beat the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel 62-61 in Invercargill.
A stand-out shooting performance from English import Jo Harten and a dogged determination across the board were cornerstones of the Tactix one-goal win.
The Steel led until the last minute of play when the visitors netted three consecutive goals to snatch the win and end an eight-game losing run.
Tactix coach Leigh Gibbs said victory "feels great" and was pleased with how hard her charges had worked in the lead up to the game and on court.
She said the Tactix still had confidence to let the ball go on attack despite trailing for most of the game while defensively they worked hard to stop ball from getting to the Steel's play-makers Donna Wilkins and Jodi Brown.
A move for Stacey Francis into the defensive circle paid dividends for the Tactix and her combination with Bessie Manu upset the rhythm of the Steel's shooting circle.
The biggest cheer in the Invercargill velodrome however was saved for former Silver Fern captain Adine Wilson who was injected into the game in the second half.� Wilson has stepped in to help the Steel's injury-ravaged mid-court.
The Steel led by four goals at the three-quarter mark and looked to have the game under control, but costly turnovers gave the Tactix a small opening which they pounced on to net a big win for the franchise.
Meanwhile, the Adelaide Thunderbirds sent an ominous warning to the chasing field as their 62-35 win over the NSW Swifts put them back on top of the competition ladder.
The Thunderbirds were ruthless from the opening whistles and they maintained that pressure for the full 60 minutes, building on their lead every quarter.
The Melbourne Vixens seem to have mastered the art of clinching the close games, coming from behind to beat the West Coast Fever 50-49 in Melbourne.
Trailing by five goals at half-time, Vixens coach Julie Hoornweg introduced Ashleigh Howard into goal attack for the first time this season - the personnel changes paying off as the Vixens turned into the deciding quarter with a three-goal lead.
But with just under 10 minutes to play, the Fever had locked scores setting up a thrilling finish where the Vixens held on for a one-goal win and second place on the table.
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