Big matches loom for North Warrnambool Eagles, Warrnambool, Cobden and Port Fairy.

TOUGH BATTLE AHEAD: North Warrnambool Eagles goal defence Molly McKinnon and Cobden wing attack Sophie Blain compete for the ball. Their teams both have important clashes for top-five standings on Saturday.
TOUGH BATTLE AHEAD: North Warrnambool Eagles goal defence Molly McKinnon and Cobden wing attack Sophie Blain compete for the ball. Their teams both have important clashes for top-five standings on Saturday.

A PLACE in the Hampden netball top three will come down to who wants it more, according to North Warrnambool Eagles co-coach Jody Roth.

The third-placed Eagles will be looking to fend off Warrnambool when the sides clash at Reid Oval on Saturday, with both vying for the double chance.

“We want the win and Warrnambool wants the win … (but) at the end of the day, it’s going to be who wants it more,” Roth said.

The Eagles mentor said her charges were finally hitting their straps after an injury-ravaged year, with a galvanising win over Hamilton Kangaroos last week getting their season back on track.

The penultimate round of the Hampden season shapes as a big one for the make up of finals.

While the Eagles and Blues fight to gain ascendancy for a top-three spot and the double chance that comes with it, Port Fairy and Cobden’s fight for fifth spot will come to a head when they face each other at Cobden Recreation Reserve.

The Seagulls currently hold the coveted spot, but the Bombers’ superior percentage would see them overtake them with a win.

Bombers midcourter Sophie Blain said the team had been kept on its toes this season by the evenness of the competition, with no guarantees of a win on any given week.

Cobden has drastically turned its finals hopes around in the second half of the season, bouncing back from a 1-6 start to the year to win six of their next eight matches. Their only two losses have been narrow defeats against top-two teams Koroit and Camperdown.

“It’s a shame that its only in the second half of the year that we’ve been able to get our wins,” Blain said.

“We hope that our hard work pays off.”