REIGNING premier Old Collegians needed one quarter to lay the foundation of their Good Friday netball triumph against Merrivale.
The Warriors hit Easter unbeaten after four matches following their 43-35 defeat of the Tigers at Davidson Oval yesterday.
A 14-6 first quarter allowed them to open a lead they never relinquished, despite a minor scare in the third term.
Shooter Steph Townsend led the way with 25 goals but it was wing defence Meagan Forth and goal attack Sophie Ballinger who shone brightest.
Coach Lisa Arundell said she was far from pleased, despite the win, lamenting a performance which posed as many questions as answers.
Arundell said her players’ fitness needed to improve, while she was still uncertain of her plan A starting seven.
“From this game both coaches will be going back and having a look at their game plans. For me, we haven’t got our balance right,” she said.
“We’ve got some work to do. We’ve got Panmure next week. To be competitive against them, we’re going to have to take it up a notch.”
Old Collegians burst to the early lead but had to hold firm as Merrivale worked its way back into the contest.
The margin grew to nine goals by the long break but the Tigers were within reach with a quarter to go, trailing by seven.
But an 11-10 term secured the hosts the four points. They have scored uncomfortable wins against three top-five hopefuls in the past three weeks.
“We have a few combinations that we’re still yet to test out. Hopefully we’ll have the chance to do that in the next couple of weeks,” Arundell said.
Merrivale coach Tania Ross said the Tigers’ performance warranted more rewards than an eight-goal defeat.
Goal attack Jodi Keane and midcourters Kate Ryan and Jess Brereton were the Tigers’ best, while Nicole Batten led their scoring with 17 nets after half-time.
“There’s some mixed emotions. Happy that we played a better brand of netball today than we’ve played all season,” Ross said.
“I asked the girls to have a bit of a look at themselves after last week’s match. They did that, they trained hard and played much better today.
“But disappointed because we lost. We probably had more scoring opportunities. They’re a really good side. They play great as a team and they’ve obviously perfected what they do.”
Merrivale slumped to a 1-3 record after the loss, with two of its losses by just two goals.