Shepparton made certain its cross-town counterparts Shepparton Swans will have to work for a Goulburn Valley League finals position.
With a nine-goal victory to the Bears at Princess Park, Jana Bruinier’s side has no option other than to win its final game against Rochester to achieve a top-six finish.
The Swans came out to try and secure their season against the Bears by taking charge of the first quarter.
With the match fiercely contested in either shooting circle, the home side was gifting its attackers plenty of opportunity.
Accurate passing into the circle from Kate Jeffery and Shinea Sali found Bruinier and shooting partner Olivia Mason as the pair continued to push for space that was hard to find.
But Bruinier and Mason could not convert with the accuracy they would have liked.
‘‘I think that’s one of the things we need to address,’’ Bruinier said.
‘‘I felt like we had equal, if not more shots and that is hard to keep bouncing back from ... you do need to make the most of those opportunities and really step up.
‘‘(Across the court) in moments we probably let ourselves down in little things, but as a whole, to build and go from here there’s some some great solid things to take us into September.’’
While the Swans were clean with their delivery, the Bears were unable to work the ball in attack with their usual finesse.
Throwing away plenty of ball just a pass away from reaching the circle cost Shepparton a chance to lead at the end of the first quarter as both sides were 10-apiece at the first break.
But Shepparton coach Tracey Brereton said the resolve of her group had her sure her side would be back to playing its best netball.
‘‘They (Swans) definitely played like a team trying to play finals and stay in finals and it wasn’t a shock they came out that hard,’’ she said.
‘‘I was probably a bit disappointed we started off a fraction flat, I don’t think that was our normal start, but we got there and I felt like we were always going to get there, but I think it just took a little longer than we had hoped.
‘‘There’s something about my group at the moment that they just stay tight no matter what the situation is and they can think their way through it.’’
Shepparton’s players began to have more of an impact on the game in the second quarter as Kim Commane and Steph Gorrie formed a productive goaling team.
While Swans defenders Tiarna Steel and Kristy Down stalled superstar Commane as best as any team had been able to, the away side edged four goals ahead at the main break.
Bruinier and Shepparton defender Ashley Bradley continued to fight an absorbing and taxing contest as the Bears goal defence found herself able to pick off intercepts in the second half.
While the Swans were forced to work hard for every score, they moved back within a goal in the third quarter, but Shepparton continued to dictate the play and recorded a nine-goal victory.