THE reward for a win and cost of a loss are high as teams clamour for their place at the top end of the ladder.
Dennington has moved from third to second after a 52-42 home-court win over Kolora-Noorat on Saturday.
While the Dogs are rejoicing in their rise, the loss hurt the Power, who slipped from second to fifth.
The Dogs overcame a persistent Kolora-Noorat, which laid down a first-half challenge.
The Dogs opened a six-goal lead in the first quarter but the Power were able to regroup and by half-time had cut the deficit to two goals.
They continued to snap at the Dogs’ heels in the early stages of the third quarter, before slowly dropping away to trail by seven goals at the last break.
Dennington kept control of the game in a hard- fought last quarter.
Both teams went into the game without key players. The Dogs missed goal shooter Katie Burt, while the Power were without key defender Tania Barbary and goal shooter Penny Smith. Dennington coach Sue Fleming was thrilled with her team’s win.
“I thought it was a really good win. It was pretty important given how close the ladder is,” Fleming said.
“It was a game of two halves. It was a really tough, tight contest early on and we were trying to rush things a bit.
“I thought after half-time we were able to steady and that allowed us to not be dictated to and play the game on our terms a bit more.”
Fleming said the absence of Burt meant the Dogs had to readjust their line-up.
Marlie Boyd replaced Burt under the ring and shot 27 goals in a strong partnership with Lana Keane, who put through 25.
Chelsea Lewis and Jeanna Johnstone shared the role of centre, with Kelsey Perry at wing defence.
Burt will be unavailable again for the Dogs’ game this week against fourth-placed Allansford, while Johnstone is in some doubt after sustaining a finger injury. Fleming said the Dogs had contended with an unsettled side all season, a problem now working in their favour.
“What the changes we have had to make each week has done is make us a lot more versatile.
“The girls know they have to be prepared for different combinations, depending on who is available.”
Kolora-Noorat coach Glenice Justin said while she was disappointed to lose the game, she was happy with her team’s effort.
She said the Power team on Saturday had just two players over the age of 17 and she praised the game of Brooke Hoare, a youngster making her A grade debut in just her second season of netball.
“They jumped us a bit at the start but I thought our girls did an excellent job to get back into the game,” Justin said.
“Full credit to Dennington, they are a very good team and we will learn a lot from today and we have a big game coming us this week against Merrivale.”