Mainland Tactix have strengthened their netball premiership play-off hopes with a hard-earned 44-39 upset win over competition leaders the Central Pulse in Auckland.

Pulse shooter Aliyah Dunn (left) and Tactix defender Jane Watson Photo: Photosport

After picking up five bonus points for close losses during the season, the Tactix finished the job in style over the Pulse as a close scrap looms over the next week for the final two spots in the top-four play-offs.

Experienced defenders Jane Watson and Temalisi Fakahokotau were the inspiration behind the Tactix, their ability to turn ball over ultimately proving decisive.

The Tactix took a narrow 12-10 lead into the first break, maintaining the narrow margin to go into half-time 21-19 ahead.

A stronger third quarter allowed the Pulse to draw level at 32-32, but the Tactix controlled the final spell to shut out the win.

In the second of Sunday‘s three games, the Mystics powered away in the last quarter to defeat cross-town rivals the Northern Stars 70-52, led by a strong shooting performance from Silver Ferns Bailey Mes (31 from 35) and Maria Folau (29 from 34).

And in the final match of the day, the defending champion Southern Steel team ended the Magic‘s hopes of a top-four finish with a clinical 75-28 win.