IT may not have been the performance they hoped for but Cobden did what it needed to in securing victory in its Hampden open netball clash with Hamilton Kangaroos on Saturday.
The Bombers found a way to grind out a 54-39 victory against the Kangaroos at Melville Oval, overcoming a slow start to do so.
Bombers coach Mel Starr conceded she was partly to blame for the performance, using the clash with the Kangaroos as a chance to share an important message as part of an initiative her former club was running.
But she was pleased her side was able to adapt to the change in its preparation to record a “good win” despite describing it as ugly.
“We probably didn’t play as well as we would have liked, we did start slowly but that’s on me,” she said.
“It was ‘Donate to Life’ round in Hamilton and I had someone who had a kidney disorder come and speak to the girls during their warm up time.
“You weigh it up and it seems important to do but we probably didn’t have the warm up time we usually do and it just took us a little bit to get going and to adjust to the umpiring.
“But at the end of the day, a win is a win and sometimes it’s important to get the ugly wins as well as the good ones.”
Starr said Emily Finch and Alicia Blain were crucial in the victory, with the pair playing key roles at opposite ends of the court.
“Emily Finch did a great job in a very, very physical goal circle,” she said.
“I think she shot at 86 per cent again which was great considering the wind and I don’t think she has shot below 80 per cent all season which is a phenomenal effort.
“And Alicia Blain did a great job as well, she plays mid court predominantly but the last couple of weeks she has gone into the (defensive) goal circle and done a really good job shutting down goalers.”
Cobden’s win puts them 10 points clear on top of the ladder with five rounds to play, with the Bombers to be boosted by the return of key players in the coming weeks.
Starr said the timing of that was perfect given they have some big games ahead of them in the last part of the year and she wants to use those encounters to be fully prepared for a finals assault.
“We’re starting to get a full side back at the crucial end of the competition, we’ve had a little bit of instability with our team all season but the girls have still coped with that which has been good,” she said.
“We’ve got some games coming up with South Warrnambool, Terang Mortlake and Camperdown, these are all teams fighting for that fifth spot so they’ll come out hard and firing.
“But for us it’s about solidifying our seven players and making sure all nine players are adjusting to different combinations and different playing styles of other teams.
“And putting everything we’ve learnt over the first 13 rounds into practice and solidifying it.”