Rockbank pulled off an upset win against Melton Centrals to start the Riddell District Netball League season.
In wet and windy conditions, not ideal for netball, it was the Rams who started the better of the two teams.
Out by seven goals at quarter-time, it was the first quarter that proved the difference.
As the rain disappeared, Centrals continued to attack and reduced the margin, but couldn’t get any closer than three goals, losing 44-41.
Rams coach Lizzy Masterson was thrilled with the win.
“They kept coming at us, but we held tight and stuck to what we had done all pre-season,” she said. “We got lucky in the last quarter.
“It’s the first time the club [A-grade side] has ever beaten Centrals, we’re really excited.”
Masterson said the difference early on was shooter Rebecca Hicks. Hicks, who joined the Rams in the off season, finished with 38 goals from 44 and proved a tall target in the shooting circle. She said her shooting accuracy was also a key, with the two Centrals shooters struggling at times.
Mel Laird moved back into goal keeper after quarter-time and restricted Hicks slightly.
Defender Danni Jane Umaki was named best on court for the Rams. She started at goal defence, before moving back into goal keeper.
Masterson said it wasn’t easy in defence, with Bec Morabito keeping Centrals in the game, while the Rams suffered injuries.
“Mary [Brodie], who was our goal defence all of last season, was only on for a minute and half when she popped her calf again, that was hard for us.
“Jess [Herron], who smashed it in the first quarter as goal keeper, has done something to her knee.”
Morabito was Centrals’ best, shooting 19 goals from 26 attempts.
Last season the Rams only beat Woodend-Hesket and Sunbury Kangaroos which were in the bottom part of the ladder.
“For us as a club, we now know we will challenge some of the better teams,” Masterson said. “We’re not out there to make the granny, while it would be nice, we’re aiming to make finals, anything goes the year after.”
Meanwhile, Romsey and Diggers Rest will have to wait another week to get their seasons under way. The two sides were due to do battle on Saturday night in both the netball and football at Romsey Park, but the matches were postponed after fallen power lines cut power to the ground.
Wallan won the other match played on Saturday, defeating Broadford 39-38.