Northland found the going tough in the latest rounds of the Toro Interprovincials.
The men lost to Auckland in a tense encounter at Mangawhai Golf Club while the women were unable to secure a semifinal spot against North Harbour at Sherwood Park.
Auckland had gone under the radar during the week with teams like Northland, Wellington and Waikato garnering much of the plaudits. However, this seems to have played into their hands.
Northland went down to them 3-2 in a battle that went right to the wire.
All five ties went down to at least the final two holes in a gripping fight.
Kadin Neho and Alex Neely lost tight battles with Jang Hyun Lee and Matty Tiplady respectively, as Auckland put themselves 2-0 up.
Christian Nitsche got one back for the home side against Mason Lee. After trailing early in the piece, Nitsche managed to have it all square leading into the final four holes.
He held his nerve and got the valuable point for Northland.
Next home was captain Scott Wightman who again was in the forefront of a back and forth battle with Jared Edwards.
Wightman held his nerve late and sent the clubhouse into raptures with a scintillating 15m putt to claim the equalising point.
However, Auckland's Johnny Tynan held his nerve against Luke Brown to secure the win and maintain their unbeaten run.
They have a bye this morning before heading into an all-important clash with Aorangi in the afternoon to try secure an opportunity for a title tilt.
They will start on the first tee at 12pm.
Meanwhile the women's side will play off for fifth and sixth against Waikato after their title hopes were scuppered by an impressive North Harbour side.
Jo Taylor (7 and 6), Alayna Cox (4 and 3) and Shardae Bulkeley (6 and 5) proved no match for their opponents as they were heavily defeated.
Belinda May picked up Northland's only win of the day with a 4 and 2 result over Subin Wui.
Northland No1 Kylie Jacoby put up a courageous fight against the current New Zealand amateur champion Sylvia Brunotti, but could only manage a halve as the 14-year-old showed her class to fight back.
The top four women sides have been decided with Auckland, Canterbury, North Harbour and Bay of Plenty advancing to the major playoffs.
Caryn Khoo continues to stamp her authority after five years away from competing in the Toro Interprovincials with a comfortable win to anchor another Auckland victory and end Wellington's campaign.
The Northland women kick off at 8:40am from the first tee.