The Diggers Rest players knew they needed a win against one of the top sides in the Riddell District Netball League.
Sitting outside the top six on percentage and with a tough three-week run ahead, the Burras’ finals hopes were at stake.
Facing third-placed Macedon on Saturday in the first of those three matches, the Burras delivered with a hard-fought 49-46 win.
Playing-coach Amy Carroll said it was the result they needed.
“I said to the girls before the game that winning could give us a little edge and put us into the top six,” she said.
“We have to win these games. The girls know that and I’m glad we started with a win. I know we’re good enough to be there.”
After an even first quarter, the Burras stepped it up in the second.
With both sides having fill-ins playing, it was the Burras who were finding the right mix.
“I was happy with how we looked coming down the court,” Carroll said.
“The first quarter and a half was probably the best we’ve played all season.
“I think they looked a little unsure. Credit to our defenders who were right on top of it.”
Not surprisingly, the Cats hit back in third quarter to take control of the game, hitting the front heading into the final term.
There were two defining moments in the third quarter. Firstly, 16-year-old Brooklyn Anderson went down with an ankle injury, leaving the Cats with only one recognised shooter. Defender Sarah Davies had to play out the game in attack.
Then, as the Cats were making a run, Diggers Rest’s Vivien Leong was sent from the court for three minutes for too many off-sides.
Early in the last quarter, the Cats extended their lead to five goals before the injury to Anderson started to have an impact.
The Burras defenders capitalised on the confusion at the Cats’ attacking end and started to create turnovers to regain the lead.
Despite Jayde Peters being sent from the court also for too many offsides, the Burras maintained their composure to hold on for the win.
Carroll was the dominant shooter with 34 goals. Her partnership with fill-in Meredith Ball proved to be the difference in the second half.
“She has a family and business, but I’ll try and get her to play as many games as possible,” the coach said of Ball.
“The girls loved having her. We’ve got an old connection that works well together.”
Melton Centrals, Rupertswood, Riddell and Romsey were the other winners.