IT was all about quality and not quantity as Panmure and Merrivale fought out a memorable 23-all draw in the A grade netball on Saturday at Panmure.
The game was billed as the match of the season so far and, despite the low scoring, it more than lived up to its title.
The Tigers went into the game unbeaten and the Bulldogs with just one blotch on their record after the first five rounds.
Driving rain made an unwelcome appearance as the game got under way as players from both teams battled both their opponents and the conditions. Merrivale held a 4-5 lead at the quarter-time siren and extended that to 12-9 at half-time. Panmure got a goal closer at three-quarter-time to set up a fascinating last term.
The Bulldogs worked their way in front with eight goals to five but with just 10 seconds remaining in the game, the Tigers snatched a goal to give both teams the same score when the final siren sounded.
Panmure coach Mandy Condon said the conditions made for what was a strong defensive game from both teams.
“I think we do match up well with Merrivale, we are pretty similar with shorter mid courts and tight defences,” Condon said.
“It wasn’t surprising it was such a low-scoring game because it was very hard conditions for shooting.
“We have had a hard draw over the first six weeks and we are pretty happy with where we are but we know there are no easy games in this competition, it is very even.”
The draw sees the Bulldogs drop to third place with reigning premiers South Rovers now a half game margin in front of Panmure in second spot and a half game behind the top of the ladder Tigers.
Merrivale coach Danielle McInerney had a mixed review of the game.
“I’m not disappointed we didn’t win but I am disappointed that we didn’t play as well as we can,” McInerney said.
“I know we can play heaps better than we did and I think the girls all realise that as well.
“The first five weeks have been good conditions to play in and I don’t think we adjusted our game enough to deal with the wet weather, it was a very messy game.”
McInerney said a positive to come out of the game was she was able to try out some new combinations with all of her nine players getting time on the court.’Both teams are likely to get back on the winners list next week, with the Tigers taking on ninth-placed Allansford, while the Bulldogs come up against Timboon Demons, which are second last on the ladder.