When opportunity raps its knuckles on the door, it's imperative to answer with some vigour or else it could be a long wait until the next time.
Mercifully All In Elusive didn't have to agonise for too long last night to find out they were in the Super 6 netball semifinals of Hawke's Bay Netball's premier competition next Friday.
The Charissa Barham and Kane Makea co-coached All In were left nibbling their fingernails after a spirited Havelock North Jazz Apples Kauri held them to a 43-all draw to register their first point of the championship round at the Woodford House gym in the village.
Central Sport Vet Services HB, also on four points with All In, could have claimed the fourth place had they won last night in the following game but the Jeda Bartlett-coached Outkast Optimise Physio side had other ideas, prevailing 48-32 at the AW Parson's Stadium, Waipukurau, to seal second place on the table.
That means defending champions Otane Thirsty Whale, who beat Hastings High School Old Girls' Proactive Huias 54-42 in the later game at Woodford House gym, play All In in one semifinal while Outkast will lock horns with third-placed Huias. Last-placed Kauri will play Central in the 5th/6th playoffs.
"The girls gave everything they had, working hard to the finish with a good last quarter," Kauri coach Angela Harvey said, singling out captain Mindy Jowsey and vice-captain Dana Cook for keeping them in the game.
Barham bemoaned leading all the way before throwing away a five-goal lead in the last three minutes.
"It wasn't a great game. It was an okay game because it was quite flat from both teams. It had no pizzazz or intensity in it," she said. Barham felt it resembled a game from the start of the season because the players were returning from a two-week break and lethargy had crept in, although some teams also were without young representative players who were attending tourneys.
Barham lauded shooters Rhandelle Tualafata and Etana Luki for stepping up with 100 per cent shooting while Nikki Livingstone managed 73 per cent.
"That hasn't happened for us all season."
Huias coach Rebecca Martin lamented her troops' inability to react to changes after posting a six-goal lead over Otane in the first quarter.
"We had a lot of opportunities but we were our own worst enemies," said Martin who had three girls away to school balls and injuries.
It was a good time to learn from it and felt beating Otane was do-able but they needed to want it for four quarters.
Martin named goalkeep Alex Balhorn player of the day and gave special mention to goal defence Raewyn Parahi. She also praised Jade Waldin, who started out in centre before slipping on the GD bib. She heaped kudos on GS Emma Vennell, too.