Trading Auckland for Wellington has worked a treat for midcourter Maddy Gordon who has been a shining light in the Central team’s rise up the Beko Netball League rankings.

In her first year out of school and after making the bold decision to move south, the teenager hit her straps with a player of the match performance in Central’s latest outing when they toppled competition pace-setters Waikato Bay of Plenty.

Dividing her time between wing defence and centre during the match, the relentless Gordon picked off five intercepts to help Central claim top spot with four rounds to go.

From Whangarei, Gordon spent her final two years of high school in Auckland, before making the big decision to give Wellington a go.

``I wasn’t really enjoying Auckland and wanted a change,’’ she said. ``I knew that the coaches down here were amazing as well as the girls, who I had played against at rep tournaments, so I thought it would be a really nice change to come here. And it was, I’m really enjoying it.

``The coaches are amazing. They’re quite different to what I’ve had previously but it’s really good. Their feedback is just awesome and they’re really cool.’’

Gordon was also a Pulse training partner earlier in the season and couldn’t have asked for a better experience, ``loving every minute of it.’’

After consecutive losses to open their season, the defending champions have bounced back with four straight wins in their slow climb up the table to sit nicely poised.

As has been a trademark this season, Central made a slow start to the match before roaring home in the second half to clinch their best result to date.

Set to meet the Northern Comets, for the first time this season, in Lower Hutt on Sunday, Central will be wary of an ambush. The northerners sit in fourth place on the table but remain well in the frame to make a run for the top two spots.

``We know that their midcourt is very fast and their shooters are pretty accurate, so I think just knowing our strengths and working with that and playing our own game is the key,’’ Gordon said.

After spending the early rounds on the road, Central are enjoying a block of home matches without the distraction of travel which could pay dividends as the closely-contested competition looks set to intensify in the last few rounds.

``I don’t think anyone’s going to back down because we’re all so close and anything could happen….. a loss or a win it’s all going to mean everything going right up to the final game,’’ Gordon said.

``It’s been great being at home having the crowd back us because they’ve been quite big and really supportive.

``As the season’s gone on, we’ve become so much closer as a team and the vibe at trainings and before games is just really good which is helping us as well.’’