TOP-side Koroit has the minor premiership in its keeping after scoring a three-goal win over reigning premier North Warrnambool Eagles in an intriguing A grade netball clash on Saturday.
The battle between the first and second-ranked sides lived up to pre-game hype with a large crowd witnessing the best game of the season so far.
In a brutally physical clash, the Saints made the most of their chances in the final term, continuing their unbeaten run this season with a 41-38 triumph at Bushfield Recreation Reserve.
The Saints built handy margins early in the first and second quarters but each time they got a break, the Eagles hit back. Koroit led by a goal after a defensive-dominated first term but scores were level at half-time.
The Eagles made the early running in the third quarter but the Saints led by two at the last break.
In a tense final term, Koroit’s goalies Carley Thomas and Teagan Lang converted under pressure despite fewer opportunities than the Eagles, who uncharacteristically missed shots. Koroit’s defenders Emily Batt and Holly Greene were decisive with several rebounds that ensured the Saints’ victory.
Both sides were rapt with the match, the Saints because they answered the Eagles’ challenges and the Eagles because they pushed the Saints all the way despite being without goal keeper Rachael Ryan, who failed to overcome a mystery foot injury.
While conceding several centimetres, Indi Morrison at goal keeper was the Eagles’ best player.
The result leaves Koroit six points clear of the Eagles on top of the ladder. But the Eagles are now level with Hamilton Kangaroos on points with percentage separating the second and third-placed sides.
The Kangaroos survived a thriller against Terang Mortlake, winning 42-37. The Kangaroos led by just a goal at the last break but steadied in the final quarter.
In other results, bottom-side Warrnambool clinched its second win of the season, beating Cobden 33-23. But it wasn’t enough to lift the Blues off the bottom, they are 10 percentage points behind the ninth-placed Bombers.
Portland consolidated fifth place on the ladder with a 14-goal win against Camperdown at Leura Oval while South Warrnambool shored up fourth place with a 15-goal win against Port Fairy at the Friendly Societies’ Park.