Manchester Thunder did just enough to see-off an organised Celtic Dragons in Cardiff.
Dragons were the better team in the first half with Thunder flat and unimaginative in their play.
But it was a different Thunder on show in the second half, with more urgency and creativity to their game.
Dragons were not giving up without a battle though and their home fans lifted them in the final quarter to claw back a five-goal Thunder lead.
But a timely airborne intercept from Black and Yellows captain Emma Dovey gave Thunder the turnover cushion they needed and they held off the Welsh outfit to sneak a 53-55 victory and avoid an upset.
Coach Karen Greig was relieved to come away with three points after a ‘frustrating’ game. “We needed to trust our vision more in the first half and at times we became a little bit pedestrian,” She said. “We needed to put our foot on the gas earlier than we did. “I’m saying the same things every week – the players know what they need to do and they are frustrated with their own performances. “We came out well in the third quarter but then took our foot off the gas when we should have pushed on. “We didn’t underestimate Dragons. It is always a tough place to come and you never come away feeling great. They put up a good performance but we managed to keep our composure at times where I felt some calls went against us.”