DEFENDING premier Warrnambool's quest for back-to-back Hampden league flags is on track after a nine-point win against Cobden in today's qualifying final.
The Blues overcame a slow start to triumph 10.15 (75) to 9.12 (66) at Terang Recreation Reserve.
They set up the win in the third quarter with two goals in the final three minutes of the term kicking against a strong northerly wind. The first by Sam Cowling put Warrnambool in front for the first time in the match while Jason Rowan converted from the goal square after pulling down a screamer to give his side a nine-point buffer at the last change.
The Blues kicked 3.5 to 1.4 in the third quarter despite Cobden having the wind.
Warrnambool kicked the margin out to 16 with the first goal of the final quarter but Cobden responded. Then Warrnambool kicked it out again and Cobden hit back with Sam Harkin converting on the run.
At the 15-minute mark Brody Mahoney kicked his third goal of the match to cut the margin to two points.
But two minutes later, swingman Peter Corredig juggled a mark and then kicked accurately to give the Blues some breathing space.
The Bombers launched attack after attack in the closing minutes but couldn't find a way through Warrnambool's defence.
The Blues now face Koroit in next Saturday's second semi-final while Cobden plays the winner of tomorrow's elimination final between North Warrnambool Eagles and Camperdown at Koroit.
Camperdown set up a second semi-final showdown with fierce rival Koroit next Saturday after a two-goal win against Port Fairy in the A grade netball qualifying final.
Port Fairy scored the first goal of the match but never led after that as the Magpies recorded a 42-40 win. Camperdown scored six consecutive goals to end the first half, taking a seven-goal buffer into the third quarter. But Port Fairy hit back and got within one heading into the final period. They levelled the scores but couldn't edge in front as Camperdown held on.