THE Hockeyroos, whose squad features Mollymook's Kalindi Commerford and Gerringong's Grace Stewart, have produced their best performance of the trans-Tasman series, winning the deciding fourth match 3-1 against New Zealand.
Led by captain for the night Steph Kershaw, who scored the game's opening goal, the Hockeyroos will head home high on confidence.
With the three previous matches at Palmerston North all ending in draws, Tuesday's game was billed as a mini final.
The Hockeyroos survived consecutive Black sticks penalty corners early on, goalkeeper Aleisha Power making her first appearance of the series.
New Zealand lost experienced defender Kayla Whitelock with a knee injury midway through the quarter and shortly after the Hockeyroos pounced to break the deadlock when Kershaw tumbled the ball over the line in a crowd of sticks.
Karri Somerville made a crucial clearance on the last line of defence, both teams finding it difficult to find effective entries into their respective attacking circles.
A Penny Squibb drag-flick forced a save high up from Black Sticks goalkeeper Georgia Barnett, the game being played at a frenetic pace.
Then three minutes before half-time, Kershaw did superbly on the baseline to send a ball across goal and Commerford managed to get the final touch to knock it over the line.
The hosts started the third quarter strongly and in the 39th minute, they were back within one.
Rose Keddell smashed the ball into the circle and Olivia Merry's striker instinct took over, the Black Sticks' all-time leading scorer beating substitute Hockeyroos goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram from close range.
But any possible Hockeyroos nerves were quickly quashed when Renee Taylor beat two defenders to get the ball to Savannah Fitzpatrick in the circle and the striker hammered a cracking first-time strike on the angle past Barnett.
Chasing the game, the Black Sticks took off their goalkeeper with six minutes to go and with the Hockeyroos down a player with Kershaw on a two-minute expulsion.
However, the Hockeyroos maintained their composure, not giving the Black Sticks a look in as they wrapped up the series to the delight of coach Katrina Powell.
"It has been a while since we have done that well against New Zealand, so it was pleasing to get the result in the end," Powell said
"All of the games in the series were really tight so the fact that tonight was a must-win in a finals type situation, it was really pleasing to see the character, determination and work ethic of the players to get the job done.
"This series win is a full squad win.
"Every player played their part - I'm really proud of the way the players came in and out.
"We have been using the term that players were 'picking up the baton' from the ones that have passed it on from the game before, so the progress that has been made has shown that they are all on board with the way we want to play."