NETBALL: Yarrawonga ends Panthers’ win streak

Lavington’s Kate Yensch looks for a teammate in Saturday’s clash against Yarrawonga. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

Lavington’s Kate Yensch looks for a teammate in Saturday’s clash against Yarrawonga. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

THEY say that revenge is best served cold but Yarrawonga is just starting to heat up the competition after halting Lavington’s unbeaten run.

The Pigeons scored a four-goal win — the same margin the Panthers beat them by in last year’s grand final — as they signalled their finals intent.

Coach Kaitlyn Cummins said she was “absolutely thrilled” with her side’s 40-36 victory on home soil.

“To put four quarters together against such an incredible side, we’re just thrilled to come away with the win,” she said.

“We knew it was going to be tough but I had belief in our girls that we had the team to do it.

“It’s probably the first time this season we can say we played four quarters, and the first time we could say we really gelled as a team which is exciting for the rest of the season.

“I think it’s definitely coming together at the right time of year and we will be a force going through to the finals.”

Recruits Sarah and Kylie Leslie have added strength to the Pigeons’ defence after a late start to the season for them both.

“That really showed with so many turnovers, especially in the dying minutes,” Cummins said.

And Hannah Symes has also made a welcome return.

“She’s a strong body in goal and she definitely put pressure on the Panthers,” Cummins said.

That translated to pressure all the way down the court, with Bridget Cassar (26) and Abbey Jones (14), at just 16 years old, playing important roles in front of the goal ring.

“They were fantastic in the goal ring and Sarah Wollington fed them beautifully,” Cummins said.

“But it was our defensive pressure that won it for us.

“We knew when started the season we were a little under-done, and knew it would take a while to get used to each other.

“But we’ve played in the last seven grand finals and we hope to be there again this year.

“We’re definitely better placed than we were a few weeks ago and we’ve cemented in our own minds that we can do this.”

The Panthers’ Kate Yensch and Sarah Senini (22 goals) were named best in the nailbiter.

It’s probably the first time this season we can say we played four quarters ... I think it’s definitely coming together at the right time of year. KAITLYN CUMMINS

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