The shorthanded Northern Mystics almost upset the champion Southern Steel, but ultimately fell short 56-52 in their national netball premiership clash in Invercargill.
The Aucklanders, without star Maria Folau, produced one of their best performances of the season on the back of hot-handed Bailey Mes.
Silver Fern Mes, whose shooting frailties have been under the spotlight lately, was flawless from the field, nailing all of her 31 attempts on goal.
But the southerners eventually broke free late in the contest and showed their class over the final 15 minutes to clinch victory.
Goal keep Courtney Elliott, a late addition to the Steel squad this season, certainly made her presence felt, rattling the Mystics attack in the final stanza.
The win puts the southerners within striking distance of the Capital Pulse, who sit undefeated at the top of the table.
The Mystics maintain fourth, although both the Stars and Magic beneath them have games in hand.