Launceston's two Tasmanian Netball League sides are thrilled to be part of a three-horse race galloping towards a photo finish to the season.
With four rounds remaining before the semi-finalists are confirmed, Cavaliers lead the way by just two points over Northern Hawks and Arrows who have played out the last four grand finals.
And the trio are set for a pivotal eight days as the Launceston rivals both welcome Arrows to the Silverdome this weekend before facing each other next Saturday.
"It's going to be super tight, but that will be really great preparation for the finals," said Cavaliers club coach Dannie Carstens.
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"In the last few years Arrows and Hawks have dominated while we've been rebuilding and coming into this season not a lot of people knew our form and the girls have done a superb job cementing a great game plan.
"It's really nice to see a more even competition which does not happen in some other codes. It's good for the sport to see such a tight tussle."
Both clubs warned about discounting the threat of fourth-placed Kingston, who sit 12 points further back, and Northern Hawks co-coach Kellie Woolnough stressed the importance of not looking too far ahead.
"It's looking exactly the same as last year and goes to show it can be anyone's competition on the day," she said.
"There are a couple of teams eyeing fourth spot so all three teams at the top need to be aware of that position."
After three years losing the decider to Arrows, the Hawks exacted revenge in Hobart last season but Cavaliers have been the league's benchmark team this year dropping just one match but winning four by a solitary goal.
Both Launceston teams host high-flying rivals Arrows this weekend looking to cement their form ahead of finals.
But they are both also wary of second games against a Karana Flames outfit still hoping to join them in the semi-finals.
The ladder-leading Cavs will be without goal shooting ace Mel Philpott which presents a big ask for Jamie Easther and Courtney Treloar to take over.
Lucy Dennis also comes into the side and, with assistant coach Anita Batty overseas, 19s coach Dannie Carstens will assist head coach Dan Roden who returns from a holiday in Bali.
"Arrows are the form team at the minute and will be keen to roll us to take over top spot," Roden said.
"Karana are back to full strength and will be searching for a few big scalps to finish off what has been a disappointing season. The Cavs are still searching for a settled combination to take the court and build towards finals."
Northern Hawks co-coach Kellie Woolnough said with Zoe Claridge back from national duties, the Coote sisters back from holiday and Chelsea Mawer available, it was nice to again have a full squad available for selection.
"We are working on just one game at a time so our focus now is just on getting through Saturday before thinking about Sunday."
3.40pm Devon v Cripps Waratah, St Brendan Shaw
5.40pm Northern Hawks v Karana Flames, Silverdome
5.40pm Cavaliers v Friends Arrows, Silverdome
11.10am Northern Hawks v Friends Arrows, Silverdome
11.10am Cavaliers v Karana Flames, Silverdome
2.10pm Devon v Kingston Blues, St Brendan Shaw
TNL top 4:
- TEAM P W L Pts
- Cavaliers 14 13 1 26
- Arrows 14 12 2 24
- N Hawks 15 12 3 24
- Kingston 15 6 9 12
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