UP-and-down Kolora-Noorat has delivered a new dimension to an intriguing Warrnambool and District league A grade netball season.
The Glenice Justin-coached Power upstaged Allansford 37-24 at Allansford Recreation Reserve, adding more congestion to an already tight mid-table.
The result was one of two on Saturday which further shaped the finals race, although clarity as to how the top five will finish remains weeks away.
Merrivale was a comfortable 55-27 victor against Timboon Demons at Timboon Recreation Reserve in the other defining match.
As it stands, there are just two games between fourth-placed Kolora-Noorat (28 points) and eighth-placed Deakin University (20 points). Allansford (28), Merrivale (24) and Timboon Demons (20) are also in the mix for a finals berth but have work ahead of them.
The Power was not headed after rushing to an early lead by quarter-time. It maintained its advantage in the next two terms before pulling away late.
Goal keeper Tania Barbary, wing defence Laura Kemp and midcourter Faye Clarke led the way. Coach Glenice Justin said she was rapt with the win, which came seven days after a surprise 37-32 defeat at the hands of Merrivale. Justin said starting well had been a central theme at training during the week. Slow starts had been costly the past two rounds.
“One of the things I can say about the girls is they fight really hard. Just the Dennington and Merrivale games, we didn’t have that good a start,” she said.
“To come out and have that focus and have that good start, I was really pleased with because I knew we’d fire at the end.”
Justin said the win had buoyed hopes the Power could turn the tables on Merrivale when the sides meet again this weekend.
“I felt like today we took a real big step forward in that’s the way we want to play netball,” she said.
Disappointed Allansford coach Mel Harrop put the acid on her players following the defeat.
Harrop said she wanted them to decide what they wanted to achieve this season, although vowed to use the defeat in a constructive manner. “What we have to consider now is whether fifth is good enough for us,” she said.
“Is that all we’re going to be or are we going to work to get higher up before finals?”
Harrop also praised Kolora-Noorat for causing problems for her side. She said the Power “picked off” too many passes going into attack. “We’re expecting the passes to come to us, we’re almost stationary for passes going into the goal ring,” she said. “We have to move forward on to the ball, then we get less picked off. Also, we’re not finding enough space on the court, we seem to be running into traffic.”
Goal keeper Sarah Robertson, centre Renae Meade and wing defence Stacy Rohan were the Cats’ best players.
Allansford plays Dennington this weekend, which Harrop said was “our match of the year”.