A strong pre-season and extra depth has Bacchus Marsh confident it can match it with the best sides in the Ballarat Netball League.

Coming off their best season in years, finishing seventh, the Cobras have made a real focus of trying to bridge the gap to the top sides.

The Cobras finished one spot outside finals, but were four games behind sixth.

Cobras coach Michael Saker said they had put in extra work in the pre-season.

“The fitness levels have impressed and we are running out the four quarters now,” he said.

“The stronger teams are now in reach … they haven’t been the last few years.

“We have lapses of concentration, but we can work on that.”

The Cobras have started the season 2-1.

On Saturday, they accounted for Melton South 30-28. After trailing at quarter-time, the Cobras forced their way to the front in the second term.

While they were able to stay there, it was a tough battle until the end.

With their wins coming against lower ranked sides, the Cobras got an indication of where they sit in their loss against North Ballarat City.

North, which played in last year’s grand final, won the match with the Cobras 46-38.

“It was quite pleasing, but a little disappointing, too,” Saker said. “A couple of slip-ups were the difference.”

The Bacchus Marsh squad has a number of players from last season, but depth has been added.

Shooter Stacey Jeffrey and mid-courter Jaleesa Morris have returned to the club and former Melton coach Katie Kakoschke adds experience in defence. Darci Tierney will share her time between the A and B-grade sides.

Saker said the additions provided plenty of options.

“There’s a lot more speed in the mid-court and our defence is stronger,” he said.

“When we start to hit our goals, we’ll take that next step.”

In other results, Melton was no match for Sunbury Lions, losing 64-24, while Darley was beaten by Lake Wendouree 48-29.


Tara Murray