It was a bitter sweet ending to Melton Centrals season in the Riddell District Netball League on Saturday.

Disappointed that they couldn’t go one step further and make a grand final, Centrals coach Randy Pereira knows that most people didn’t expect them to get as far as they did.

“I kept saying to the girls that if they played their best netball they could match it with anyone,” he said.

“No one expected us to beat Rupertswood in double overtime and no one thought we would beat Macedon, who lost one game for the regular season.

“We’ve got further than most people thought. The last two weeks have been a blast.”

The good times ended with a 55-46 loss to Lancefield in the preliminary final on Saturday.

Like so many times this season, Centrals were punished for one poor quarter. Take out the second quarter, and Centrals outscored the Tigers by one goal.

Pereira said the most frustrating thing was that they didn’t make the most of their

“When you are in the game and had opportunities but don’t make the most of them that leaves you a bit flat,” he said.

“We played some really good netball. We started off well but couldn’t maintain it.

“They scored 18-8 in the second quarter and that was the difference. It was an even game in the second half.

“Every game, even against the lower teams, we’d have a quarter or two of quite poor netball and even against Macedon last week we had a poor third quarter.”

Not helping the cause of Centrals was star shooter Rebecca Morabito pulling out of the game after half-time due to illness.

Morabito won her third Ryan Medal for the league’s best player during the week.

Pereira said they did think about putting her back in the last quarter in goal shooter, but decided not to.

Vanessa Seddon who came on and replaced Morabito was the best of the Centrals shooters with 20 goals.

Rita White-Kay, who had to move from her usual goal shooter role to goal attack in the second half, was named Centrals’ best.

The season is also over for Centrals’ C-grade side which lost its preliminary final 24-18 against Diggers Rest.

Pereira, who looks set to coach in the league for a 10th year, has already started looking ahead to next year.

“We’ll look to have trials earlier than we normally do as we were one of the later ones and all the players had gone,” he said.

“We’ll be looking to add a couple more players and we’ve got some players from B-grade that can come up as well.”