On Friday night in a close finish, Saint Marks Celtic were able to clip the wings of Blue Wren to hand them their second loss of the season.
The first quarter was dominated by the Saint Marks defence who pounced on the errors of the Blue Wren attack.
The Blue Wren defence were also turning over plenty of ball, but could not capitalise going down by four goals for the quarter.
Saint Marks continued their good form into the second quarter where they surged ahead by a further two goals to lead by six at the long break.
Scarlett Tod came on in goal defence at quarter time for Maddison Caputo who is recovering from injury.
As mentioned last week, Tod again brought her physical game and together with Player of the Year favourite Callalou Klinger, the two were hard to break.
The third quarter was much closer as Wren’s managed to draw even for the quarter.
Youngster Sophie Farrugia found her groove in goal shooter and all of a sudden made Klinger work harder for the ball while Tiah Peek’s feeds became stronger.
Tubb and Schrader were having fantastic shooting games with very few misses between them.
It was going to be a challenge for the Wrens team to reel in the six goal quarter time deficit.
The Wren’s girls had a much stronger showing in the last quarter as they came within one goal of the Saint Marks girls, however Klinger and Tod again always found a way to get their team out of trouble and they held on to win by two goals.
Tod again brought her physical game and together with Player of the Year favourite Callalou Klinger, the two were hard to break.
Best for Saint Marks were Tubb in goals, Tod, Klinger and Chelsey Caputo in the centre.
For Blue Wren, captain Kirby Symons and Farrugia both had good games in goals while Peek played well through the middle.
In the second game of the night Central Risdon took on Port.
The game was dominated by Central Risdon, who needed to win and boost their percentage to give themselves a chance of a top two finish.
Centrals doubled their opponents score in the first to lead 16-8 at quarter time.
Ashleigh Possingham continued her great season in the centre, and was instrumental in transitioning the ball to her goalers Sam Pine and Penny Malchow.
Port really needed a lift and as has been the case for many years in the Port netball club, they looked to the experience of Lauren Lowe in the centre.
Lowe was at her usual best however she was lacking support as Port went down by a further 11 goals for the quarter.
Coach Deb Hayes switched her goalers in the second half looking for a spark, however Jess Sard at wing defence had other ideas.
Sard who has struck some form late in the season, played a strong, clean game at wing defence, reading the ball well and shutting down the feed into the Port attack.
In the third quarter things just got worse for Port, despite the valiant efforts of Ellen Pole in goal keeper who had to contend with a lot of incoming ball.
At three quarter time the difference was 27 goals, however a much closer last quarter provided some much needed positivity for the Port girls only slipping by three goals.
The final margin 66-36 in favour of the green and gold provided the confidence and percentage boost they were after.
Best for Centrals were Possingham, Alana Pine in wing attack and Malchow in goals while for Port, Lowe, Pole and Nyasha Kerr played well.
All eyes will be on the A Grade competition this week as Saint Marks, Central Risdon and Solomontown all vie for second spot on the ladder.
Saint Marks have the bye and have no control over their destiny this week and due to percentage will likely finish in fourth position.
Central need to beat Blue Wren by a big enough margin to make up the 0.4 per cent difference between them and Solomontown.
You would expect Solomontown to beat Port and if previous results are anything to go by Solomontown should win by a large enough margin to keep their nose in front of Central Risdon to finish second.
Blue Wren will finish on top of the A Grade ladder.
In the A Reserve competition, positions are well and truly set with Blue Wren on top on 20 points, followed by Central Risdon on 14 points.
Solomontown will finish third on 10 points and Central Risdon Green on six points.
Saint Marks Celtic will miss the finals this year.
The final ladder in the B Grade competition will be decided at the conclusion of this week’s matches.
Blue Wren sit atop the ladder on 23 points, well ahead of the other teams.
Saint Marks Blue on 15 points will face Blue Wren and will need to win to be sure of a top two finish.
Saint Marks Gold on 13 points need to beat Solomontown to have a chance of finishing top two on percentage, however if they lose, they could miss finals altogether.
If Solomontown get the win, they would move to 13 points – level with Saint Marks Gold and then depending on their percentage, they are a chance to slip into the four.
You would expect Central Risdon to win against Port taking them to 14 points, securing either third or fourth spot.
If however, Central Risdon were to lose, and Solomontown were to win, Central Risdon will be knocked out of the top four, and finish in fifth position.