Old Collegians favourite to take netball flag after unbeaten run

OLD Collegians is the only unbeaten side in Warrnambool and District league A grade netball after scoring a season-best win over Panmure.

The Warriors burst to a 13-2 lead at quarter-time and held on to that margin in winning 41-30 in the grand final rematch at Davidson Oval on Saturday.

The win handed Lisa Arundell’s side outright flag favouritism, although it is yet to play second-ranked Dennington and third-ranked Timboon Demons.

Arundell said she was pleased with the progress of a side still finding its feet after the departures of Genevieve McLeod and Jess Toleman.

“I’m happy because we’re improving each week,” she said.

“We’re building on our game and becoming a bit stronger. We’re having a bit more of a flowing game especially through the midcourt.”

Arundell said the fast start proved the difference between the sides. Panmure halved the deficit midway through the match but never got closer.

“Our first quarter was absolutely fantastic. We came out of the blocks really strong and that set up the win. It was 13-2 at the first break,” she said.

“I’m really pleased with the way we’re beginning games. The last couple of weeks the first quarter has set the wins up for us.

“And our third quarter was good again but we’re yet to string four quarters together. That’s our aim for the next couple of weeks.

“They got to within six, that’s why it’s important to go on with the job. We get off to a great start but we’re not going on with it.”

Warriors wing defence Meagan Forth “played a blinder” for a second week running, executing intercept after intercept in the first term.

Defender Jodie Maybery and midcourter Rachel Alderson were also among the hosts’ best.

Panmure named defensive pair Sally O’Keefe and Emma Roach its best, along with former coach and shooter Josie Ellerton.

Ellerton had Jorgia Brown as an attacking sidekick. But the side is still missing a dominant shooting presence.

Arundell said the Warriors winning with performances far from their best gave them an insurance policy for later in the season.

“It’s probably the best we’ve played so far and that’s what’s so pleasing about it,” she said.

“We’re not necessarily at our peak at the moment, we’re building.”

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