Netball South have taken out the inaugural season of the Beko Netball League with a thrilling win over Netball Central tonight.
The domestic league was introduced to the netballing landscape this season to provide the next tier of players below ANZ Championship level further development opportunities.
While the benefits of the competition aren't expected to be fully realised for a few years yet, it has already proven an advantage for ANZ Championship coaches, with the competition allowing fringe players in each of the franchises the chance to get regular court time and keep their match fitness up.
The Southerners were 16 goals better than the Central in their final round meeting last weekend, but with the championship on the line, a much tighter tussle ensued in Auckland today.
After trailing 25-20 lead at halftime, the Central side, coached by new Silver Ferns assistant Yvette McCausland-Durie, produced a fightback in the third quarter to narrow the gap to two goals heading into the final spell.
The Wellington-based side levelled the score at 39-all just minutes into the final quarter, but South answered with a run of three straight goals and never relinquished their lead from there.