There are three teams well on track to playing finals and numerous teams chasing fourth and fifth spot.
It's been an intriguing return to Warrnambool and District league netball after no 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There's even been another break this year because of the pandemic.
The Standard's sports journalist Brian Allen has looked at the performances of every WDFNL club so far this year and rated how he thinks the 10 teams have gone up to the July 3 bye.
Current position: Ninth - one win, eight losses, one draw
Goals for: 265
Goals against: 556
Comment: Started the season with a win against Kolora-Noorat but has struggled since. The Cats are finding it hard to go with the top teams and had big losses to Nirranda, Timboon, Old Collegians and Merrivale. Coach Bridget Foster has spoken about it taking a while for the Cats to get into a game and conversion being a problem. But there are plenty of positives too. The likes of 17 and under players Maddie Drake, Lilly Singleton and Hannah Byron have earned A grade minutes and impressed the coach. Recruits such as Asha Roche and Cassie Jewell are also contributing well.
Current position: Eighth - two wins, eight losses
Goals for: 276
Goals against: 423
Comment: A new-look team without many of the veterans that helped take them to grand final after grand final in the past decade. Lost to four finals contenders in the opening rounds as the group was trying to find its feet. But then wins came against Russells Creek and Allansford. The Dogs could sneak into the five if they can keep beating the teams around them. Recruits Meg Atrill and Hannah Rose are doing well while Maddie Solly and Rochelle Winnen, who stepped up from A reserve, have been holding down the defensive circle. Junior development has been a focus and Ruby Wright and Bec Rea have experienced A grade netball this year.
Current position: 10th - one win, nine losses
Goals for: 283
Goals against: 635
Comment: Much like Allansford, the Power are being overwhelmed by the top teams. But the young group has been very competitive against the sides around them. The 10-goal win against South Rovers was a highlight and a reward for hard work. Would be great to see the Power claim a few more wins as they improve this year. Another club promoting young players with the likes of teenagers, Jess Beasley and Eliza Fleming, hitting the court in recent weeks.
Current position: Third - seven wins, three losses
Goals for: 466
Goals against: 316
Comment: On paper, you'd say everything is going as expected for the reigning premier. But the reality is the Tigers, like every other team, have had to get the job done with injuries and unavailability. Stars like coach Elisha Sobey have missed weeks. Seeing the the Tigers win without Sobey against Panmure was impressive. If they can keep everyone on the court, they could make it two flags in a row. But they'll have to overcome the mountain that is Nirranda again. Pushed the Blues to 43-38 in round 12 which shows the Tigers are not far off the mark.
Current position: First - 10 wins, 0 losses
Goals for: 637
Goals against: 281
Comment: The 2018 premiers are the benchmark side again this season. But the other finals contenders aren't too far off. Panmure certainly gave the Blues a run for their money going down by two goals in round three. The Dees fell by six goals in round five and Merrivale went down by five goals in round 12. Recruits like Meagan Forth, Chantelle Moloney and Sam Couch are helping keep things fresh for the league juggernaut. The Blues will looking to tune up as final approach.
Current position: Sixth - five wins, five losses
Goals for: 491
Goals against: 436
Comment: Similar to Dennington, the Warriors are adjusting after losing key players and gaining recruits. They're also promoting youngsters. The focus has been on gelling and building consistency. They pushed Merrivale (45-36) and Panmure (45-40) in the opening half of the season which is a good sign. Recruits like Jemmah Lynch, from the Hampden leauge, have been great additions. Expect this team to get better and better and seriously challenge for finals.
Current position: Fourth - six wins, four losses
Goals for: 492
Goals against: 353
Comment: The Bulldogs' two-goal loss against Nirranda in round three was the biggest indicator they mean business this season. With the help of recruits likeJess Rohan, Lisa Pender, Abby Sheehan they have accounted for most teams. An undermanned Merrivale got them by seven goals but they'll have taken lessons from that experience. The Bulldogs had three tough games since the coronavirus pandemic break in June. They were defeated by Nirranda and Timboon Demons but scored a crucial win against Old Collegians. Stacey Dunkley has been a big loss after she tore her left achilles in round seven.
Current position: Fifth - six wins, four losses
Goals for: 463
Goals against: 411
Comment: Alongside Panmure and Old Collegians, the Creekers are anotherteam pushing to secure a finals spot. Russells Creek enters the bye on a three-game winning streak. They have massive tests in Nirranda and Timboon Demons coming up. If they can't cause an upset or two, they'll really need to pick up wins in their final four matches. Coach Thalia Robertson has talked about wanting her players to work on how they move the ball toward goal when they get turnovers and intercepts. If they continue to improve that and get their goal conversion right, they'll be a good chance for finals.
Current position: Seventh - two wins, seven losses, one draw
Goals for: 369
Goals against: 564
Comment: This new-look group hasexceeded expectations with its two wins and a draw to date. The Lions latest performance was the most impressive - a 49-42 victory against Dennington at home. While South Rovers lost plenty of their 2019 stars, they have gained some great recruits. Former East Warrnambool players Lena Wright and Merinda Ugle-Hagan were among the best in round 12. The Lions have a big month ahead with games against Merrivale, Nirranda and Panmure.
Current position: Second - nine wins, one loss
Goals for: 518
Goals against: 285
Comment: Looks the most likely team to give Nirranda a shake at finals time. Timboon Demons only lost to the Blues by six goals in round five. It seems recruits like Rebecca Dendle and Alicia Blain (Cobden) have given the Dees that extra edge they needed after their 2019 elimination final loss. Coach Leah Sinnott has also talked about the club's great depth which has been needed thus far this season. The Demons have beaten reigning premier, Merrivale, twice this year with scorelines of 35-29 and 44-32.
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