Played at a frenetic pace and with little separating both teams for most of the afternoon, South Warrnambool's open netball clash against North Warrnambool Eagles certainly didn't disappoint.
The ladder-leading Roosters prevailed 42-35, but there was lots to like from the Eagles who continued to stay in the contest despite a significant leg injury to Jordyn Murphy in the opening minutes.
The game was even 9-9 at quarter time and 18-18 at half-time as a strong and vocal crowd enjoyed every shift in momentum.
But the Roosters, as they have all season, had the answers at the right time and slowly but surely pulled away in the second-half.
Roosters coach Will Jamison acknowledged it was a tough contest for his girls but said it was exactly what his side needed at this point of the year with finals only a matter of weeks away.
"It's the type of game you want to win before finals, which is that high-intensity pressure game," he told The Standard.
"It's a good preparation for finals that's for sure - our game was a bit patchy at times from my perspective but we found a way to play good netball for long enough to finish the game on top.
"That was really pleasing for me."
Jamison said the group managed to stick to what works for them despite mounting pressure across the court from the Eagles all afternoon, led by the likes of Maddison Vardy and coach Skye Billings who had some electric moments.
"What was important was we kept our composure when we were under a lot of pressure (from North)," he said.
"Our decision making under pressure was definitely an improvement on recent weeks and matches, so that was important for us."
The Roosters mentor added the opposition had similar strengths to his side which presented a challenge to overcome.
"North probably match-up similar to what we do, which is different to some of the other teams in the top five so it was the first time in a little while we met a team that matches us for pace and for physicality," he said.
Carly Watson was a standout all afternoon for the Roosters, with the co-captain a dynamic presence across the court.
Fellow skipper Annie Blackburn and Meg Kelson were both impressive as well for the home side.
Goal-shooter Hollie Phillips was at her best with 32 goals.
Eagles coach Skye Billings said the group battled hard throughout the match after the injury to her twin sister forced a re-jig.
"We did the best we could without letting it defeat us," she said.
"Ultimately, without our strong seven and putting Maddie (Vardy) back was not ideal but she held her own down there.
"We can't take anything away from South, they played a great game.
"It was unfortunate Jordyn went down so we couldn't see how we could match up with them."
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