Bacchus Marsh kept its finals’ hopes alive in the Ballarat Netball League.
With three sides fighting for the final two spots in the top six, every win is vital for the Cobras, including Saturday’s game against Melton South.
Like the Cobras, the Panthers have a finals’ spot on the line.
In their best performance of the season, the Cobras won 55-35.
Cobras coach Michael Saker said the playing group knew what was at stake.
“Heading into the last three rounds, the girls had got themselves in a pickle,” he said.
“The girls have stood up and knew how important the match was with the draw next week.
“We’ve now have three wins on the trot.”
Saker said the first step on Saturday was to get the win. From there, a percentage boost would also be helpful.
In the end the margin was enough for the Cobras to sneak above the Panthers on percentage heading into the final round.
“A win was a must,” he said. “To win by 20 goals is just a bonus.
“We were looking at the percentage between us, the three teams fighting for sixth spot.
“Two of us have the top two teams and Ballarat has [bottom side] Darley and have the better percentage.
“We’re not locked in, but we’ve now given ourselves a better chance.”
Annie Hills shot 31 goals for the Cobras, while Megg Collins was named best on ground.
Saker said the decision to move Collins into wing defence in recent weeks had paid off.
“Megg had been playing wing attack all season before she went down with an injury.
“I brought one of the under-19s into wing attack and she killed it.
“I think Megg’s best position is wing defence. She was brilliant yesterday.”
As well as the positional change of Collins, Saker said Rebecca Power had really stepped up in defence after coming up from B-grade.
Consistency is another area that the Cobras have improved on.
Saker always knew it would take some time, with a new side this year.
The Cobras can’t afford to have a poor performance in the final round.
It won’t be an easy task facing ladder-leaders, the Sunbury Lions.
Saker said it was about making sure they were switched on.
“It’s not the greatest assignment in the last round,” he said
“It is better though for the girls to play against the teams up the top of the ladder and know what they could expect the week after.
“We have to take it to them. We have to play a real strong game and not get flogged.
“To win, would be even better.”
The loss leaves the Panthers sixth heading into the final round.
They face second-placed North Ballarat City.
Melton had a thrilling win against Sebastopol, 36-35.
Darley lost to East Point, 75-31.