ALBURY has re-ignited its hopes of finals netball with a dominant win against Corowa Rutherglen at John Foord Oval on Saturday.
The Tigers now sit just four points behind the fifth-placed Roos with five rounds to go in the home and away season.
Albury, with centre Justine Willis back in the side, led at every change to run out winners 58-36.
The Tigers played with the starting seven for the 60 minutes, their 22-point margin coming from almost 30 extra shots on goal.
Coach Jenny Jones said the memory of missing finals last year was still fresh.
“We’re still keen to get into the top five but realise we can’t slip up in any game from here on in,” she said.
“In some ways we felt like we had a point to prove to the competition.
“We believe that our best is able to match up with the very top teams and we should be in the finals.
“But this season has a touch of deja vu.
“For the past three years we have been in this position — fighting for fourth or fifth, will we or won’t we play finals?
“It would be nice one year to have the monkey off our back, to be inside the five at this time of the year, well on our way to playing finals.”
Jones said the addition of Willis had boosted the side but highlighted the leadership of Liv Aughton in defence.
“She has state league experience so there is no doubting her ability but it is the way she rallies those around her that has been one of the keys to our defensive pressure in recent weeks,” she said.
“Along with Brigetta Hart they have dominated the defensive end.
“Emma Eggleston at wing attack was also dominant and was able to feed the ball beautifully to Sarah Moore.
“We made no change to the starting seven and yet ran out the game really well against a side known for its speed and fitness.
“Most impressive was the fact that we didn’t get sucked into that fast paced frantic game that Corowa Rutherglen like to play — they have a very fast mid-court but we were able to control the tempo of the game and that played to our advantage.”
Elsewhere Lavington has thrown North Albury back into the fight for finals spot with a nine-goal win at Bunton Park.
The Hoppers, who led at the first change, are now four points clear of fifth-placed Corowa-Rutherglen and two wins ahead of Albury.