Cobden looks to cement spot in HFNL top five

ENCOURAING: Cobden captain Lisa Gardner is thrilled with her team's turnaround, which has yielded three consecutive wins.
ENCOURAING: Cobden captain Lisa Gardner is thrilled with her team's turnaround, which has yielded three consecutive wins.

THIS is the crucial time of the season if Cobden is to secure a finals berth, according to Bombers captain Lisa Gardner.

The Bombers surged into the Hampden netball top five with a remarkable 34-goal win over Hamilton Kangaroos – the team they replaced in fifth – on Saturday.

But the Bombers’ job is far from over, with Port Fairy and the Kangaroos behind them on percentage alone, with South Warrnambool just one win behind in eighth.

“It’s now the crucial time,” Gardner said. “It’s the middle of July; we need to keep working hard and training hard, focus on what it is (coach) Nadine (McNamara) wants us to do.

“Everyone (in the league) is going to be working hard so we need to make sure we are committed.”

The Bombers have drastically turned their season around after losing seven consecutive games, winning their past four matches, including wins over top five sides North Warrnambool Eagles and Hamilton.

Despite their 1-7 start to the season, the Bombers had shown plenty of glimpses with a number of close results, taking the challenge up to the other top teams.

“We were always in the mix,” Gardner said. “We felt like we were there.

“It was just lapses, and it mightn’t have been for a whole quarter, it might’ve been for five minutes or so, and that was what cost us.”

The Kangaroos have had to watch their early season gains slip away, losing five of their last six matches to slip outside the the top five.

Captain Rhianne Lewis put the team’s current lull down to a long season – they’ve been training since October – but said things could be turned around if the young side can rediscover its self-belief.

“We are quite a young side and sometimes we forget that,” she said.

“We haven’t had that much experience compared to other teams in the league.”

We were always in the mix.

Lisa Gardner