LAHARUM rebounded from its first loss of the season to narrowly edge out Edenhope-Apsley on Saturday.
The Mountain Maids travelled to Edenhope on the back of a thrilling one-goal loss to reigning premier Harrow-Balmoral.
From the outset, it was clear this would be another nail-biting contest.
Laharum got its nose in front after a goal-for-goal first quarter, largely because of Caitlin Story’s precision as goal shooter.
Story scored nine goals in the term to give her side a 13-12 advantage.
She scored 11 more in the second quarter to extend the margin to two goals, but it was still any team’s game as the Saints kept on the pace.
The sides kept trading blows in the final quarter, but Laharum was always able to maintain a small margin and came away with a 53-50 win.
Laharum defender Nikki Ervin helped her side get crucial turnovers in the final quarter.
Goal shooter Rachael Whitehead and defender Sally Iredell were named Edenhope-Apsley’s best.
Whitehead, 28 goals, almost matched Story’s 32.
Laharum coach Emma Uebergang said it was clear not much separated the top sides on the ladder.
“There are probably six teams vying for the top five positions on the ladder,” she said.
“It keeps it really interesting and it’s what you hope for in any competition – for teams to be closely matched.”
Uebergang said the game could have gone either way, but her side was able to capitalise after a few breaks.
The game produced the only single-digit margin of the round.
Rupanyup secured back-to-back wins at the weekend by dispatching Taylors Lake 50-36 at home.
Centre Jodie Hayes helped the Panthers control the middle of the court and Julia Nicholson provided a spark in goal attack.
Defenders Grace Howden and Lauren Monaghan were the Lakers’ best.
Natimuk United returned to form with a 71-29 thrashing of Pimpinio.
The Ewes broke a three-game losing streak with the big win, which put them back into the top five after Noradjuha-Quantong’s loss to Kalkee.
Pimpinio has now lost five consecutive games after winning its first two of the year.
Kalkee appears to be a team on the rise after restricting the dangerous Noradjuha-Quantong to 22 goals.
The efforts of Katrina Sobkowiak and Hayley McDonald in the middle were not enough, as defender Stevie Bibby and goalie Hayley Thomas lifted Kalkee to its fifth win.
Harrow-Balmoral had no difficulty putting Swifts away in their meeting at Stawell.
Amy Lewis, 46 goals, led the way for the Roos, while Baggies Kaitlyn Ralph and Melinda Beal were named the best for their side.