ALLANSFORD’S finals dreams have been dampened after its fourth loss in a row.
On a rain-soaked home court on Saturday, the Cats were no match for Panmure, which careered away to a 45-20 win.
The loss sees Allansford slip back to seventh place on the ladder, with fourth-placed Merrivale awaiting them this week.
The Cats began their quest for an upset over the Bulldogs with a spirited first quarter, trailing 11-8 at the first break in wet and wild conditions.
But experienced Panmure coach Megan Titmus produced some telling positional changes that altered the flow of the game and saw the Bulldogs break away to a 21-12 lead at half-time.
They retained control across the duration of the second half, leading 31-17 at three-quarter-time and stormed home with a 14-3 surge to top off a strong performance.
Titmus said the win was a solid one in tough conditions.
“In wet weather like that sometimes players don’t go at the ball as hard as they normally would and the sting does go out of the game a bit,” she said.
“It was a pretty tight first quarter and a few things didn’t go to plan so we changed it up a bit at quarter-time. Josie Ellerton went from wing attack into goals and she was the game changer for us.
“It was a good effort across the court. I thought our defenders were really tight and pulled off some nice intercepts.
“Our midcourt brought the ball down well and our shooters were very accurate.” Panmure now has six wins in a row and is sitting comfortably in second place.
Allansford had to adjust its line-up leading into the game when goal shooter Kim Pratt pulled out through illness on Saturday morning.
Allansford coach Mel Harrop said the loss of Pratt forced a realignment of plans.
“We shuffled the team around a bit and I thought the girls tried really hard and never once dropped their heads,” she said.
“It was very difficult conditions but I was happy we were able to defend well and keep them from getting a really big score.”
This strong defensive effort saw goal keeper Sarah Robertson named as the Cats’ best player while goal defence Natasha Dwyer was also a solid performer.
Harrop said the Cats still had a place in the finals on their radar.
“Probably a month ago we were aiming for a higher finish than fifth but given the month we have had fifth would be a good result now,” she said.
“We still have a tough run and we need to win at least three of our games to play finals so hopefully that is an achievable target.”