Race is on for top six spots
Competition for the top six spots is beginning to heat up as the middle of the Horsham District A Grade netball season approaches.
While Laharum and Natimuk United remain undefeated in the top two spots on the ladder and Harrow-balmoral is all but certain to play finals in third place, plenty of teams are jockeying for position behind them.
Only 12 premiership points divide fourthplaced Edenhope-apsley from ninth-placed Pimpinio, although the gulf in percentage is significantly wider.
Behind the Saints in the last two finals spots are Kalkee and Swifts, while Jeparit-rainbow and Noradjuha-quantong are just outside in seventh and eighth place respectively.
Below Pimpinio, Rupanyup and Taylors Lake sit at the foot of the ladder with one win between them.
The race for sixth place is the closest, with the Baggies, Storm and Bombers all sitting on 16 points.
Swifts is in the best position despite a 75-39 beating from top side Laharum at the weekend, with a percentage gap of more than 14 over Jeparit-rainbow.
The Baggies were unable to contain the firepower of the Demons on Saturday despite the best efforts of goal defence Sarah Morris, who had a tough match-up against Maddie Iredell.
Caitlin Story recorded her second 50-plus-goal game of the season to lead Laharum.
Jeparit-rainbow and Noradjuha-quantong are also coming off losses to Edenhope-apsley and Harrow-balmoral respectively.
Little separated the Storm and Saints in the first quarter when they met at Rainbow, but Edenhope-apsley benefitted from a strong second
quarter by goalie Ellie Thomas to build a seven-goal buffer by half time and go on to win 47-39.
It was a similar story for the Bombers, who competed remarkably well against the powerful Roos before being brushed aside in the second quarter of a 60-32 loss.
Coach Ebonie Salter was excellent as usual for Harrow-balmoral, fighting an engrossing battle against Noradjuha-quantong’s Lucy Brand in the second half.
Kalkee shored up its place in the top six with a 70-47 win against Pimpinio, making it four wins from the team’s past five games.
Hayley Thomas led the charge for the Kees at goal shooter, combining well with Jenna Bywaters to form a deadly tandem.
Pimpinio goalie Jenelle Baker got the better of Kalkee defender Sarah Johns to finish with 26 goals in a losing side, and Erin Habel tried hard to contain Thomas and Bywaters.
Natimuk United had little trouble against Rupanyup, leading 33-6 at half time before coasting to a 67-23 final score.
Jo Taylor completely controlled the defensive goal ring for the Ewes and Michelle Trigg was all over the court playing at centre.
Hayley Reading scored six goals at goal attack before switching to centre in the last quarter and was Rupanyup’s best.
This weekend, the Panthers will take on Noradjuha-quantong, which has plenty to play for as it tries to keep itself in the finals race.
Jeparit-rainbow will find the going tough against Laharum, Pimpinio has a daunting task ahead against Harrow-balmoral and Kalkee will have an opportunity to continue its hot run of form against winless Taylors Lake.
Edenhope-apsley will host Natimuk United while Swifts has a bye.