The Central Pulse and Northern Mystics have delivered a thrilling finale to today's triple header "Super Sunday" at Hamilton's Claudelands Arena.
The Pulse narrowly edged their Auckland rivals 56-55 in a tense showdown, which featured several intriguing battles across the court.
After two big scoreline blowouts in the first two games, in which the Steel and Magic both collected big wins, the tight, competitive match-up was just what was needed to ignite the opening round.
While little more than three goals that separated the two teams for most of the match, it was the Mystics that had their noses in front most of the way.
The Auckland side led 15-14 at the first break, before taking a 29-27 lead at halftime. But the Pulse patiently bided their time, levelling the score at 43-all heading into the final spell.
Despite the Pulse featuring two debutants - 16-year-old Tiana Metuarau and Whitney Souness - in their attack end, it was the Wellington side that showed the greater composure down the stretch, effectively securing the win when they went five goals up with three minutes left on the clock.
The Mystics surged back over the final stages, with Bailey Mes bringing the scoreline back to one goal right on the final buzzer.
While it will come as little consolation to Helene Wilson's side, the Mystics are the first team to collect a bonus point in the competition, by virtue of losing by less than five goals.