As the Netball Whanganui Premier A1 Championship season winds down to the pointy end the race for supremacy is shaping up as a three-way contest.
Although Phillips Electrical Whanganui High School remain unbeaten, defending champions Kaiwhaiki A1 and Wanganui Car Centre Kaierau A1 are ready to pounce once the playoffs arrive and the points table winds back down to zero.
Mere Te Aroha round out the Top Four but have not looked threatening all season, while Kaierau A2 has yet to win a match in the five-team competition.
On Monday night, WHS A1 posted a convincing 57-25 victory over Mere Te Aroha, while Kaierau A1 had a close battle with Kaiwhaiki finally emerging 48-37 winners after a slow start.
"We did okay after taking a wee while to settle," WHS A1 coach Lisa Murphy said.
"My go-to wing attack Keilani Tyrell was out sick last night, so I put Mikayla Hekia in to replace her and she played well. We came good as the game progressed, but we still have a bit of work to do leading up to our second round games against Kaierau A1 and Kaiwhaiki A1 especially.
"They will be big games, but all in all I think we are going very well," Murphy said.
Kaierau A1 coach Walter Edmonds said he was happy enough to come away with a win after a close first two quarters on Monday.
"It was a pretty close game and particularly even after the first quarter. Fortunately we were able to extend out lead from the second quarter with Te Reo Paki scoring well at goal shoot in her first game for us this season - she had an excellent game. We have the bye next week, but still have to play WHS A1 before the playoffs and that will be a tough match," Edmonds said.
Netball takes a two-week break after next Monday to allow representative players a break and resume on July 22 with the final game of round two.