Nirranda rises to top of WDFNL A grade netball ladder after defeating reigning premier Dennington

SWAPPING PLACES: Nirranda coach Steph Townsend, pictured racing Dennington's Melissa Burt to the ball in last year's preliminary final, has led her charges to the top of the WDFNL ladder after round 11.

SWAPPING PLACES: Nirranda coach Steph Townsend, pictured racing Dennington's Melissa Burt to the ball in last year's preliminary final, has led her charges to the top of the WDFNL ladder after round 11.

NIRRANDA is mindful of not getting ahead of itself after a win over Dennington on Sunday launched it to top spot on the Warrnambool and District league A grade netball ladder.

The Blues prevailed in a nail-biting battle of wills, finding themselves up 53-51 when the final buzzer rang.

Coach Steph Townsend was rapt with the performance, saying it took an all-in effort to topple the former top team.

“It was a little bit of everything (that got us over the line),” she said. “Our attacking end combined really well, our midcourt really gelled together and our defence I really chopped and changed, but everyone adapted.”

The Blues held an advantage of a few goals at quarter-time at Dennington Recreation Reserve, but the lead chopped and changed through the clash, never getting beyond about five goals.

“The game definitely flowed, which was good – it was a bit of character building for both teams,” Townsend said.

STEPPING UP: Russells Creek captain and centre Thalia Robertson was impressive in Saturday's thriller against Old Collegians.

STEPPING UP: Russells Creek captain and centre Thalia Robertson was impressive in Saturday's thriller against Old Collegians.

Russells Creek took another massive step forward with a thrilling one-goal win giving it its first victory over Old Collegians in over a decade.

Kangaroos coach Sam Dean said her young team showed true grit and character to bounce back from a deficit at the final change to win.

“They were dropping their heads a bit at three-quarter-time, we were three goals down, but I had a word with them,” she said. “We held our centre, broke the next one and away we went.

“They (the Kangaroos players) were dead on their feet when it finished. It was a really fast-paced game.”

The Kangaroos worked their way to level pegging after the first three centres and it was goal-for-goal after that.

They took the lead about half-way through the term, holding on for a 37-36 victory at Davidson Oval.

Merrivale co-coach Cloe Pulling was pleased to see her charges maintain their urgency despite a healthy buffer against East Warrnambool.

VERSATILE: Merrivale's Nicole Sandow impressed in centre and in goal defence against East Warrnambool on Saturday.

VERSATILE: Merrivale's Nicole Sandow impressed in centre and in goal defence against East Warrnambool on Saturday.

The Tigers bounded out of the blocks in the first quarter, piling on 19 goals while holding the Bombers to just one at Merrivale.

The home team carried its dominance on each term, going on to win 67-10.

“At quarter-time, Nicole (Ferguson) and I both said to the girls not to treat it lightly, to do those things in the game that we want to do,” Pulling said. “We gave 110 per cent on the little things like chasing after the ball, wanting the ball, like we haven’t done so much the last couple of weeks.”

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