HORSHAM Saints have edged closer to regaining a top-five berth following their win against Nhill at Coughlin Park, Horsham, at the weekend.
The Saints had lost their previous three matches – against Dimboola, Horsham and Ararat – and consequently lost their spot in the top five to Stawell.
But the Saints’ 12-goal triumph has allowed them to draw level on points with the fifth-placed Warriors with five rounds still to play.
The hosts led the Tigers at every change, running out 58-46 winners.
Saints coach Di Hayes said the win was a good response from her side.
“It was a good win given we had a pretty ordinary game the week before,” she said.
“We played some pretty good netball and our attacking end probably played the best it has all year.”
Experienced shooter Sharon Fedke was a focal point in the goal ring, converting 37 opportunities.
Goal attack Alaura McRae also stood tall, scoring 21 goals.
McRae and goal defence Jarni Hansen were named the Saints’ strongest performers.
Hayes said it would be important for her side to maintain its form – starting with a big match-up against third-placed Warrack Eagles on Saturday – to snare a finals berth.
“We’ve just got to get a couple of wins over the next five weeks to give us that chance,” she said.
“We need to probably win four out of those five.”
The result leaves Nhill still looking for its first victory of the season.
Tigers coach Stephanie Jones said it was a game her side could have won.
“We played much better than the last time we played against them – last time we lost by about 20 goals,” she said.
“We’ve improved from the start of the year, but if we were on our A-game it would have been a good match.
“I really couldn’t fault anyone – the girls all played well, we just lost it with our passes and some silly mistakes.”
Jones said shooter Emma Smith was superb, converting 28 goals from 32 attempts, while goal defence Charlotte King also impressed.
The Tigers now have their best opportunity for a win – against Minyip-Murtoa, who they drew with in round five – at the weekend.
Horsham’s superb form continued with a comprehensive 86-40 win over Dimboola at Dimboola Recreation Reserve.
Shooter Georgia Duncan, 43 goals, was named among the Demons’ best alongside Abbie Avery.
For the Roos, mid-court players Abbey Greig and Grace Braithwaite were solid.
Ararat’s Megan Shea continued her shooting form with 39 goals in the Rats’ 54-29 win over Minyip-Murtoa at Minyip Recreation Reserve.
The Rats extended their lead at every change, with Lauri Williamson named best.
Mid-court players Laura Delahunty and Tegan Kerrins impressed for the Burras.
Warrack Eagles have secured third place on the ladder with a 53-29 win over Stawell at Central Park, Stawell.
Penny Fisher and Petah Winsall were named the Eagles’ best players, while shooter Megan Werner scored 34 goals.
Warriors’ keeper Nadia Bunge and shooter Liza Cook, 28 goals, were named their side’s strongest performers.