The Northern Mystics have been promptly brought back down to earth in the ANZ Premiership.
Despite recent wins over the competition's two leading teams, the Mystics were defeated 67-52 by the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic at Claudelands Arena in a Hobbiton-themed match special.
As part of a matchday sponsorship deal by the Hobbiton Movie Set, fans were greeted by a fully-built Hobbit Hole and organisers dressed as characters from the film.
Sporting a one-off Hobbiton-themed green game dress, the Magic took to the court with passion and flare, and took the first quarter advantage against a Mystics side who didn't call upon Silver Ferns shooter Maria Folau until the second half.
Despite Folau's availability, young Mystics goal attack Jamie Hume was in the shooting circle alongside Bailey Mes, but with the tenacious defensive tactics of Magic captain Casey Kopua, Hume struggled to connect her long shots - sinking just six of 11 in the opening quarter to hand the Waikato side an early lead.
Meanwhile, South African import Lenize Potgieter was in her usual near-perfect form, shooting at 94 per cent across the match.
Potgieter, who is currently the second most accurate shooter in the league, continued to find good connection with her midcourters while showing strength in her combination with 22–year-old goal attack Monica Falkner.
With no changes to their line-up, the Mystics brought fight in the second quarter as captain Anna Harrison led her defensive force from the front.
Harrison and Silver Fern Phoenix Karaka were quick to snatch vital intercepts from the Magic, but a crumbling Mystics attacking end often struggled to convert.
Folau was finally called onto the court in place of Hume for the third quarter as Mystics coach Helene Wilson looked desperate for the internationally renowned shooter to make an impact.
However, Folau's presence didn't make its usual dent on the scoreline as the Magic continued to dominate, extending their lead to 13 goals at the end of the third quarter.
The Mystics were in need of a stellar performance in the final quarter as Storm Purvis, recently recovered from injury, took to the court at goal keep.
However, although the Mystics' defence tactics showed promise, it wasn't enough to overcome a fast-paced Magic side.
Holding their decisive lead with patience and control the Magic snatched both the Hobbiton Cup and fourth place on the Premiership ladder from their Northern opponents.
The Mystics only have a few days to recover from the disappointing loss before they face the Mainland Tactix at Nelson's Trafalgar Centre on Sunday.
A win against the Tactix, who are currently third on the ANZ Premiership ladder, will be essential for the Mystics if they wish to secure a top-three playoff spot.