SKILFUL intercepts and clutch shooting under pressure have lifted Camperdown to the top of the country Victorian netball tree.
The Magpies finished a hectic weekend with a state title, defeating Kangaroo Flat 51-47 in the final of Netball Victoria’s Premiers’ Challenge in Melbourne.
The side, which has Colac netballer Rachel Rodger as coach, won its three round robin matches at the State Netball Hockey Centre before delivering in the final at Hisense Arena.
Camperdown led by as much as six goals during the contest but had to dig deep when Kangaroo Flat levelled and then edged ahead early in the last quarter of the final.
But defender Chelsea Castles, a final-quarter substitute, made “three or four” crucial intercepts to turn the ball over.
From there, Camperdown transitioned the ball to shooters Narelle Welsh and Leah Sinnott, who gave the side the breathing space it needed to win.
Rodger said the win proved the playing group’s fitness – Camperdown beat Port Fairy in Hampden league action on Saturday – and resolve to succeed.
“It just shows the group we’ve got together and what we’re capable of,” she said yesterday.
“Everyone had to really dig deep with the game yesterday and a couple of tough games this
morning and have to still fight through in the final.
“We had a five or six-goal lead at different stages throughout the game and they got back level in the last quarter. The girls really had to dig deep, it was great.”
Camperdown, playing under the banner of Camperdown Night Netball Association, earnt the right to compete yesterday by winning the pre-season Western Region State League.
It defeated Sale Netball Association 19-10, Kangaroo Flat FNC 14-13 and Shepparton United FNC 17-15 in its round robin matches.
Rodger said the title would give the side belief it could clinch the Hampden A Grade premiership later this year – its main season priority.
“That’s the biggest thing,” she said.
“We’ve now won our pre-season state league comp against good Hampden sides.
“And this shows we have that belief there now, we’ve been able to do it in a really clutch situation, we can do it when it matters.”