WIMMERA Netball Association tasted triple triumph in its interleague clashes with North Central Netball Association at St Arnaud on Saturday.
The Wimmera took out the open, under-15s and under-13s matches, while neighbour North Central snared success in the under-17 division.
In three of the matches – the open, under-17s and under-13s – the two associations were split by five goals or less.
Wimmera coach Gayle Leith said strong defence was the key to the open side’s 39-36 win in a high-pressure contest.
“It was a game where you had to be patient and really protect the ball,” she said.
“It was quite physical, they were all going very hard at the ball and the defences were very tight.
“Our girls gelled very nicely – we were lucky to have Jedda Heard, Zoe Heard and Tiffany Boatman, who were terrific in defence.”
The visitors held a one goal-lead at the final change, courtesy of a long-range goal from shooter and captain Sharon Fedke.
“There was a penalty awarded just inside the goal ring and we could see the timer was up,” Fedke said.
“I do like a long range shot and it just felt good out of the hand.
“It was hopefully a bit of a boost – it was a good note to end the quarter and spur us on for the last.”
“To come against a team like North Central – which from what I understand is quite strong – and to play a really strong game and beat them I think is a huge boost for us.''
Wimmera extended its lead by a further three goals in the final quarter, with both Fedke and Leith praising a full-team effort.
“It just shows the depth of the talent we have in the Wimmera,” Fedke said.
“To come against a team like North Central – which from what I understand is quite strong – and to play a really strong game and beat them I think is a huge boost for us.
“It wasn’t just one or two people, it was a whole team effort and a great day with a great bunch of girls.”
In the under-17 division, Fedke’s side fell agonisingly short of victory, losing 38-34.
The visitors skipped away to an early lead, before the host fought back in a see-sawing contest.
“We were a bit disappointed we didn’t get the win, but to the girls’ credit, we hung in there,” Fedke said.
“We were definitely in the game and had our opportunities to win but just couldn’t quite get it done.”
Fedke said Leiah McKenzie, Ellena Binney, Erin Mellington and shooter Summer Schultz performed strongly.
Wimmera’s under-15 side extended its lead at every change on its way to a 52-22 win.
Just one goal separated the two sides at the first break, before the visitors exploded with a 14-goal-to-five second term.
Leith said VCFL and Bendigo Bank medallist Ellie Breuer led the way for the talented team.
“All 10 girls got court-time and they’re starting to gel pretty well together,” she said.
“The team’s got a lot of depth and a lot of talent.”
In the under-13 division, Wimmera overturned a one-goal half-time deficit to beat North Central by five goals, 26-21.
Team captain Georgie Carberry led the way from goal defence, winning both the VCFL and Bendigo Bank medals.
On Sunday, Wimmera’s three junior teams competed at the Golden City Netball Tournament in Bendigo.
The region’s 13 and under side was runner-up, while the 15 and under team lost its quarter-final to eventual winner Central Murray. The 17 and under side had mixed results.