SOUTH Warrnambool drew level on points with Camperdown in the battle for fifth position on the Hampden league open netball ladder after defeating the Magpies at Friendly Societies Park.
A slow start proved costly for the visitors last Saturday in the 39-37 result.
Camperdown fell behind 5-0 to begin the match and never fully recovered, trailing for the entire 60 minutes.
However the Magpies were not without their chances to steal the four points, as the contest went goal for goal much of the second half.
Tracey Baker entered the game at wing attack to start the third quarter, replacing daughter Chelsea in the midcourt.
It was her first open grade appearance since round five last year, ironically at the same venue where she suffered a Lisfranc fracture which could have potentially ended the career of arguably Camperdown’s most decorated netballer.
Following almost 14 months on the sidelines, Baker made her return to the court at division one level in round 12 this year.
Her comeback also coincided with the loss of regular open grade wing attack Ash Spokes to injury, as Camperdown continues to experiment with options to fill the void left by the speedy midcourter’s absence.
Baker’s introduction to the game provided somewhat of a steadying influence on the side, as the wily veteran applied her craft.
After cutting the half-time deficit from four to just two by the final change, the Roosters’ lead hovered between one and two goals for much of the fourth term.
However locating an open shooter proved difficult at times for Camperdown, as they were significantly outsized in their attacking circle, forced to make extra passes in order to find space.
The Magpies also appeared to be dealt a harsh hand by the whistle at the city end of the court, with a number of contentious decisions throughout the second half in particular impacting the flow of the contest.
South Warrnambool made a surprise move at the midway point of the final quarter, replacing goal attack Liz Byrne, who had not greatly influenced the scoreboard but proved effective in creating for counterpart Eliza Dwyer.
Marlie Boyd entered the game for the Roosters and missed consecutive attempts to keep the Magpies within striking distance.
But Camperdown’s attacking circle was unable to convert several opportunities of their own to level the contest.
The Magpies’ ever reliable defensive combination of Brooke Richardson and Emma Wright were again superb, while wing defence Olivia Henzen was also named among Camperdown’s top performers in a reflection of where the side’s strengths lie in season 2018.
Krystal Baker did the bulk of the scoring with 27 goals, while Amy Morssinkhof contributed 10.
Both the Magpies and South Warrnambool have similar fixtures to finish the season, with Camperdown facing a slightly more challenging set of matches.
They will play Koroit (third), Portland (ninth), Cobden (first) and Port Fairy (fourth), while South Warrnambool comes up against Port Fairy (fourth), Terang Mortlake (10th), Warrnambool (seventh) and North Warrnambool (second).
Earlier in the day, Tracey Baker combined nicely with shooter Lucy Gstrein to lead the Magpies to a 52-38 victory in the division one clash.
Camperdown’s remaining senior sides both suffered heavy defeats, as division two was beaten 47-16 and division three went down to the Roosters 38-18.
The Magpies’ 17 and under side was left to rue a slow start which saw them trail 12-4 at quarter time.
It proved the difference in the match as South Warrnambool went on to record a 40-31 win.
The Roosters are yet to lose a game at 17 and under level this season.
Camperdown’s 15 and under side was outgunned 47-16.
It was better news for the Magpies’ 13 and under squad however, as they remained undefeated following a 38-12 triumph.
Camperdown restricted the home side to just two goals for the entire second half, as they steadily built on a 10-goal half-time lead.
Mary Place led the scoring with 22 goals, as midcourter Sophie Conheady, along with Chelsea Duynhoven and goal shooter Ruby Conheady were named in the best.