COROWA-Rutherglen threw the Ovens And Murray netball competition wide open with a one-goal upset of defending premier Lavington.
It was the second successive defeat for the Panthers after starting the year with seven straight wins.
Lavington is now just two points clear of Yarrawonga and its next opponent Wodonga.
Roos coach Beck O’Connell sensed an inspired performance ahead of the 34-33 win.
“There was just this great feeling among the girls in the warm-up,” she said.
“It wasn’t like ‘here we go it’s Lavington at home’.
“They were pumped up with nothing to lose and we came out and scored the first two goals and it went from there.”
Scores were locked up at quarter-time, the Roos ahead by one at the main break, and the Panthers holding a one-goal margin going into the final quarter.
Gun shooter Sarah Senini had an opportunity to level the scores in the dying seconds, while Roo Simone Hanrahan and Lavington’s Kate Yensch were seen as the best on court by the opposing coaches.
“I think what it showed is that if all seven girls play to their potential results like that are possible,” O’Connell said.
“We played to our strengths, kept the passes short and tried not to give them any opportunities to take flying intercepts.
“Sophie Hanrahan played way beyond her years against one of the competition’s best in Sarah Meredith.
“But everybody did their job.
“Ruby Svarc at wing defence was outstanding and Simone Hanrahan really shut down Senini.”
O’Connell said the Roos couldn’t afford to be complacent.
“That win and Wangaratta beating Albury puts us back in the five,” she said.
“But we play the Maggies this week and they are definitely a side that will have a say in the final five.
“But for us this is our window of opportunity, we win against them and the following week against Raiders and we go a long way to being part of the finals.”
Elsewhere, Wangaratta put a serious dent in Albury’s finals hopes in another low-scoring affair.
The visitors took a two-goal lead into the final quarter before running out 31-26 winners at Albury Sportsground.
The Tigers now sit a game out of the top five ahead of the clash with the high-flying Yarrawonga this weekend.