CAMPERDOWN’S open netball side pulled off its best win of the Hampden league season last Saturday.
The Magpies braved tough conditions to down reigning premier Koroit 31-26 at Mahony’s Transport Leura Oval.
Coach Brooke Richardson could not hide her delight at defeating the Saints, which was the first time Camperdown had topped a side above them on the ladder all season.
They had beaten sixth placed Terang Mortlake, although that match was played in the opening round.
Richardson said her side’s performance could not have come at a more opportune time and said the importance of the win over Koroit was signified by its current situation.
The Magpies are one of four sides currently fighting it out for what is likely to be the final berth in the top five, and a loss against the Saints would have severely dented Camperdown’s chance.
However, the victory has kept them on equal points with South Warrnambool, the Bloods and Port Fairy, with the Magpies, Roosters and Seagulls joining Terang Mortlake on five wins after the Bloods lost to fourth placed Warrnambool.
“It was just what we needed at the right time, I’m a happy coach,” Richardson said.
The Magpies victory was set up in the ‘premiership quarter’, with the home side surging ahead in the third term having fought its way to the lead after trailing early.
Camperdown led by two goals at half-time but steadily grew its lead out to five at the final change, a margin they then successfully defended in the last term.
“Against a quality side like Koroit, five or six goals is nothing, so for us to continue to get goals and keep our lead in the last quarter was great,” Richardson said.
“It gives us a really big confidence boost and shows that we can (beat the better sides) and that we are good enough to do it.
“I was also really proud of the goalies and their shooting in the conditions, particularly in the last quarter.”
Richardson said the return of Emma Wright was also timely for her side with Jess Cameron still overseas, as the defender played a key role on one of the Saints star goalies.
Her inclusion, along with the Magpies ability to handle both the Saints pressure and the weather were some of the aspects of the performance that pleased the first year mentor.
“Emma Wright could not have come back at a better time,” Richardson said.
“I was really pleased with how she went against Nell Mitchell, she really negated her while everyone else within the team also played their role which was good.
“And considering the conditions, we had to be calm and composed with the ball because not only did we have the pressure of Koroit, we also had pressure of the weather against us.
“So I was really pleased with how we looked after the ball and all the one percenters we did.”
The win holds the Magpies in good stead for some big games after the bye, beginning with a bumper clash against Warrnambool on July 13.
Following the Blues fixture is games against North Warrnambool and Port Fairy, with Richardson wanting her players to carry the belief gained from its most recent triumph into those encounters.
“All the games that are left are big games,” she said
“I may have mentioned this last week, but we need to win some of the games we shouldn’t and that’s what happened on Saturday.
“For us to have that under our belts and to know that we can do it will help us in those games to come.”