Melton South continues to show signs of improvement in the Ballarat Netball League.
One of the youngest teams in the competition, the Panthers are starting to put together some wins and will look to challenge for finals in the run home.
On Saturday, they accounted for Redan 37-30.
Panthers coach Alan Watson said while the scoreboard only showed a seven goal win, they controlled the game.
“It was blowing an absolute gale and pouring with rain and about zero degrees,” he said.
“It was a pretty comfortable win in those conditions. We had been hoping to work on our combinations, but the conditions didn’t allow us.
“They were above us on the ladder.”
The match was the first game of the season for Tahnysha Salanoa.
Salanoa came across from Lancefield with Watson during the pre-season, but due to Australian Netball League commitments had been prevented from playing for the Panthers.
Watson said everyone was excited to have her on the court.
“It was so good to have her back,” he said.
“She’s been keen to play all year.
“Some of the other girls were in awe of her.”
The win moves the Panthers to eighth, with four wins.
Watson said the key for them as a “work inprogress” was to be more consistent.
“We’ve got a 15-year-old and two 16-year-olds playing,” he said.
“The average age is 21 or 22 and we still haven’t had a full team.
“Our under-19s are on top of the ladder and we’ve got more players coming through.
“It’s good to have a couple of experienced players out there.”
Watson said his daughter, Taylah Watson, would be back in the side once she returns from overseas.
Watson said the Panthers, now just six points outside the top six, could still challenge for finals.
“We’ll take it week by week and try and put the runs on the board.
“We’ll see how we go and look for consistent form.”
The Panthers will have the chance to see how far they’ve come, with a match up against the undefeated Sunbury Lions.
The Lions won the round one match between the two sides.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge,” Watson said.
“We were able to match it with them in the first quarter [last time]. We didn’t play consistent netball though.”
In other results, Darley lost to East Point 60-34.
Tarni Lopes and Amy Giaini were best for the Devils. Bacchus Marsh had a 43-all draw with Sebastopol.
The Cobras came from eight goals down at three-quarter time to level the scores.
Melton pushed North Ballarat City, but fell short, losing 38-31.