A FAST-START helped Warrnambool secure its third win of the season and elevated it off the foot of the A grade ladder on Saturday.
The Blues recorded a 40-30 win against Port Fairy at Gardens Oval, jumping a game clear of Cobden with one round to play.
Warrnambool had a three-goal buffer at quarter-time.
Blues coach Chloe Delaney-Arnott said her side’s intensity was high from the first whistle.
“We had the jump on them straight away,” she said.
“We turned over a few balls and the girls made sure we scored.
“We played four really nice, solid quarters.”
Delaney-Arnott said teenage goaler Alana Johnstone was the Blues’ best for the second consecutive week.
“She was strong and accurate and has stepped up to the senior game well,” Delaney-Arnott said.
“Kasey Owen executed in defence and turned over a lot of balls as did Stacey Graham.”
Delaney-Arnott said Warrnambool’s form had improved markedly in recent weeks. “Unfortunately the girls are just coming together now — we are playing the way we needed to play at the start of the season,” she said.
In other games, flag favourite Koroit accounted for Terang Mortlake 48-24 and Portland grabbed onto a finals spot with a 50-31 win over Cobden.
Saints co-coach Kate Foster said the Bloods challenged her ladder-leading side.
“They are very competitive,” she said.
“It’s a shame for them that they’ve only just got their full list together late in the season because I think they would’ve been a good finals contender.
“By half-time we felt we were in control of the game, however if you relaxed at any stage they were able to score quickly.”
Foster said the Saints made some positional changes in a bid to test out different combinations before the finals series.
“Teagan (Lang) has played goal attack most recently but played goal defence because Holly (Greene) was away and Rachel Dobson went into goals with Carley Thomas and they combined well,” she said.
“Teagan still performed well in defence which is good for us.
“She is so versatile.”