Romsey got a taste of finals-like pressure three weeks early in its hard fought win against Lancefield in Riddell District Netball League.
Sitting second and third on the ladder, both sides wanted to get the edge ahead of finals and keep the fight for a top-two spot open.
In what is becoming the norm between the two teams, the game went down to the wire.
In the past two matches between the sides the Redbacks have won by one goal. This time it claimed a three-goal win, 40-37.
Redbacks coach Lena Way said it was a good test for the side ahead of what is looking like a very open finals series.
“The two sides are very well matched up,” she said. “It was good to have a tight game like that in the lead-up to finals.
“Lancefield was up by three goals in the third quarter and I was a little worried.
“We made some good changes and they worked in our favour, we got the match-ups right.”
Way said Amelia Brock, who shot 17 goals, had an impact when she came on, while Stacey Demios shut down Taylah Watson and Lauren Anglin provided a calm head late in the game.
She was also full of praise for defenders Stefanie Symes and Sarah Szczykulski who created a lot of turnovers.
The win seals a top-two spot and double chance for the Redbacks. They sit percentage behind ladder leaders Macedon.
Way said the aim pre-season was to finish in the top two. Having sealed that with two rounds to go is a bonus for the Redbacks, which has five players in Victorian Netball League finals action.
Way said they would continue to manage those players until those commitments were finished. The VNL grand finals are held the same day as the final round of the regular RDNL season.
“We’ve had a lot of depth which has been good and we haven’t had to go looking for players,” Way said.
“We’ve made sure we’ve been sharing court time throughout the season, with having players out every week.”
The loss means Lancefield remains in third spot, now only a game clear of Rupertswood. Tahnysha Salanoa, who shot 21 goals, was named their best in the loss.
Rupertswood defeated Riddell by seven goals in a less than convincing performance. Macedon bounced back from a loss last week to defeat Woodend-Hesket 63-35, Sunbury Kangaroos fell to Melton Centrals 62-30 and Diggers Rest defeated Rockbank 47-24.