Northern Hawks’ 12-game unbeaten run has been ended by the same team that inflicted their grand final heartbreak last season.
The Hawks lost Danni Pickett to injury on a sour night for Ruth Tuohy’s charges which ended in a 68-63 defeat at the hands of Arrows.
The reigning premiers made the most of a Hawks side plagued by uncharacteristic skill errors and took a five-point lead into the first break at the Silverdome.
MORE PHOTOS: Arrows v Northern Hawks
Steph Walker moved into wing attack to replace Pickett in the second term but it wasn’t until midway in the third quarter that the home side looked a chance of taking the lead.
Gemma Poke and Danni O’Byrne helped trim the margin to a solitary goal but the Hawks could never claw back the advantage as a slow start to the final term ended their comeback hopes.
The result cut the top-placed Hawks’ buffer to one game, allowing Arrows to clinch top spot should they claim a Northern double by downing Cavaliers.
The Southern heavyweights will have played one more game than the Hawks following Sunday’s 11.05am fixture at Silverdome.