An undermanned Melton Centrals side did what it needed to against a determined Woodend-Hesket in the Riddell District Netball League.

Missing captain Jessica May, Rachel Dovaston and Sally Portbury, Centrals led all game against the Hawks but couldn’t break the match open until the final quarter.

A 19-7 last quarter sealed the 59-36 win for the Centrals.

Centrals’ coach Randy Pereira said while they would have liked a bigger result against a side without a win, they were happy with the match considering the circumstances.

“Overall we’re pleased with a 21-goal win. It’s not a bad result missing three of our starting seven.

“All three can play in our midcourt. We had Hannah White come up but she’s had the flu all week and only lasted a half at centre.

“My youngest daughter Taylor-Jane then came on.

“Woodend is a very young team and I think they’ve improved heaps. Give them another year or two and they will be a really good side.

“They’re not backwards in coming forward.”

Rita White-Kay shot 40 goals from 48 attempts, while Rebecca Morabito shot 19 goals.

Defender Catherine Hocking was named best on court.

The win comes a week after the Centrals’ best win of the season against Diggers Rest – their first against a team in the top six.

Pereira said the players were really starting to gel after several new players joined the club in the off season.

The Centrals sit fourth on the ladder with a 5-2 record.

Those two losses have come against Romsey and Lancefield which are ahead of them on the ladder.

“In both those games we were in the game, but let it slip,” Pereira said.

“They ran over us on both occasions. I’m looking forward to playing those teams again.

“Each week is a challenge and we’re looking forward to seeing how we go against the top sides.”

The Centrals have a weekend off for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. They then face Rupertswood which sits one game behind.

In other results, Diggers Rest suffered its second straight loss to slip behind Centrals and Rupertswood on the ladder. Macedon beat Romsey in the battle of the undefeated teams, Riddell returned to the winners’ list with a win against Rockbank and Rupertswood smashed Sunbury Kangaroos.