Wāhine Toa will be in for a fight to keep their Premier division status after remaining winless through the last preliminary round of the season.
Bottom of the table Wāhine Toa were up against the youthfulness of Whangārei Girls' High School.
WGHS looking nervous at the start of the game but were able to adapt. In doing so they played strongly as a unit to take the game 51–47.
Finding their stride, WGHS settled in to the game slowly, applying pressure throughout the court and disrupting Wāhine Toa's game.
The students kept in touch with the experience of Wāhine Toa only to be behind at the halfway mark 25-21.
Changes made at the break worked well for the students.
Young goal shooter Kate Taylor added height to the shooting circle and was a great target for the feeders.
WGHS' circle defence end of Jessie Taylor and Zahna Campbell showed great composure to counter the clever and cunning duo of Maria and Kahu Dick, who both had a great shooting game.
Working hard, WGHS were able to gain possession and rebounds. However, Wāhine Toa's persistence continued.
Wāhine Toa's Te Aroha Palmer, at centre, and Eyvette Branson, at goal defence, had strong performances. With two minutes to play, basic errors from both teams crept in.
WGHS applied great defence, with Mia Gordon gaining a couple crucial defensive intercepts on the circle edge to feed her shooters.
Wāhine Toa will now face Whangaruru Premier 2 for their Premier division spot.
Meanwhile, Manawanui White toppled Fideliter in a top of the table clash 49-42.
For the first half, the sister act combination of goal shooter Cherith McLennan and goal attack Sherryn Lefever for Manawanui gave them a steady start to the game, leading them to a 26-21 lead.
The defensive pairing of Caitlin Reidstra and Bella Drinnan worked strongly together in the circle, reading the play and gaining intercept ball from Fideliter.
Not to be outdone, Fideliter also had some strengths throughout the game.
Trina Henare, playing at goal attack for the first and last quarters of the game, was directive in her play sinking a number of great goals, alongside young goal shooter Holli Mather.
Mather, unfazed by the Manawanui defensive pressure, worked the circle and shot consistently.
Mid courter Seroya Nankivell had a strong performance, with great elevation and drive to the circle edge taking some great ball and combining strongly with her shooters.
In the final match of the round, Whangaruru Premier 1 eased to a 67-38 victory over Fideliter Gold.
Whangaruru were fast out of the blocks and attacked the game strongly through the shooting combination of Jess Cole at goal shoot and Rowie Davis-Cooper at goal attack.
Basic errors in Fideliter's game crept in early as Whangaruru pounced on every loose ball and converted every turnover.
Small changes throughout gave Whangaruru an opportunity to use other combinations.
Those adjustments took play to another level.
Fideliter fought back to give themselves a respectable score.