Tasmania's top three State Netball League sides are focusing in on the sharpest of photo finishes.
With two weeks of the regular season left, Launceston neighbours Cavaliers and Northern Hawks sit one game clear of Hobart's perennial grand finalists Arrows.
The Silverdome co-tenants meet on Saturday aware that one scenario could leave all three rivals separated only by percentage heading into finals.
If the ladder-leading Hawks emerge victorious, and Cavs and Arrows win their remaining fixtures, they would all finish on 30 points.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
However, Cavaliers have won both previous Northern derbies this year (by one goal in round 6 and 11 in round 10) and face bottom-placed Devon in the final round when the Hawks have a bye.
Arrows - who won three consecutive grand finals before losing last year's to Hawks - have a tougher ask against fourth-placed Kingston and Karana.
Cavaliers coach Dan Roden suggested this derby would be season defining for both teams but felt the real winner was already obvious.
"It's a great competition and a great advert for Tasmanian netball," he said.
"This week is going to be critical for us because it could put us a game clear, but also for Hawks. It's really tight at the top and we only got over Kingston by a goal so I think they are a dark horse too."
Hawks co-coach Kellie Woolnough said her reigning premiers learned plenty from last weekend's win double against Karana and Arrows and would know more after Saturday night.
"We'll have played two of the teams we expect to face in finals but we know the Cavs are a completely different proposition to Arrows," she said.
"It will be very tight, it always is, especially with how much we play each other. We'll work through what we have to do."
SNL TOP 4
- TEAM P W L Pts %
- Hawks 17 14 3 28 142.57
- Cavaliers 16 14 2 28 132.07
- Arrows 16 13 3 26 147.63
- Kingston 16 7 9 14 96.16
- Friday, 8.10pm Arrows v Kingston, Hobart NC
- Saturday, 8.10pm Karana v Cripps, Hobart NC
- Saturday, 8.10pm Cavaliers v Hawks, Silverdome
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