ONLY the narrowest of margins could separate Camperdown and North Warrnambool in their open netball match last Saturday.
In a physical game, the lead changed several times throughout the contest, with the Eagles prevailing thanks to a goal in the dying seconds.
Camperdown coach Sharon Kenna remained upbeat despite the 33-32 defeat.
“I’m not totally disappointed because in the first half they had the ascendency and in the second half we had it,” she said.
“I felt that we matched it with them when I wasn’t sure if we would.
“The girls really gutsed it out when it looked like we could have been overrun.”
After a slow start, Kenna made several changes to her line-up at quarter time moving Emma Wright back to her customary goal keeper position, Amy Morsinkhoff to goal shooter and Chelsea Baker to centre.
The moves paid dividends in the third quarter, as the Magpies took control of the game after trailing by three goals at half-time.
Leading by as much as five goals at one stage, Kenna said her side was unable to extend its advantage after getting on top of the Eagles during the second half.
She said the nature of the contest made it hard for both sides to capitalise on the game’s momentum.
“We had a great third quarter, but because it was such a tight and defensive game, neither team could break away,” Kenna said.
“In the fourth quarter, we may have run out of legs a little bit and we just couldn’t hold on.”
The loss was Camperdown’s first for the season following wins over Terang Mortlake and Warrnambool and while Kenna is content with the start, she was not looking too far into their ladder position.
“We’re yet to play the likes of Cobden, South Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Koroit, we haven’t played those top four sides yet,” she said.
“You don’t really know where you are until you have played everyone.
“But if you’re winning, you can take good momentum into those games against the top sides.
“We just need to keep winning the games we’re supposed to win.”
Kenna indicated Brooke Richardson, Morsinkhoff and Caitlin Hall had all started the season strongly for Camperdown.
She said the trio had been standouts for the side, but added all players have been consistent to date.
“Brooke has been fantastic in defence, Amy in her first game was feeling her way through but in the last two she has stepped up into her own and Caity has been playing consistent netball,” she said.
“All the girls are playing consistent netball, but those three are going really well.”
The Magpies take on sixth placed Hamilton this weekend, with the game set to start at 6.15pm.
“It’s hard to tell (what Hamilton will be like),” Kenna said.
“I haven’t been able to get a gauge from their scores of where they are at.
“We can’t take them lightly, we have a few girls out but it will be a tough game.”
In other matches, division one (32-25), division two (36-17), division three (48-22), 17 and under (40-34) and 15 and under (29-23) sides all lost, while the 13 and under team triumphed 37-20.
On Sunday, Camperdown’s 16 and under team was also defeated 42-10, however the 14 and under side were victorious 33-13.