Sunbury passed another big hurdle in its quest for an unbeaten home and away campaign by toppling one of its main premiership threats on Saturday.
The Eastern Lions proved too good for their Ballarat-based rivals, winning the weekend’s A-grade fixture by three goals.
That leaves Sunbury undefeated after 12 rounds of the Ballarat Football League Netball League season and three games clear of Redan, which is second on the ladder.
Sunbury coach Adam Boldiston and his girls held a narrow advantage over the Western Lions at every change before going on to record a 47-44 success at Clarke Oval.
Boldiston said he was forced to reshuffle his attacking end with the unavailability of goalers Chloe Curran and Ruth Smith, who were absent due to Victorian Netball League commitments.
This left Nat Billings and Kelly Wood to score the goals and the pair performed well in the circle. Billings shot 36 goals at 90 per cent accuracy, with Wood netting 11 at 79 per cent.
Boldiston said his team started slowly against a Redan side that was missing key players Olivia Jorgensen and Erin Riley, who also sat out because of state league duties.
He said sluggish openings had become a trait of the Sunbury team in recent times.
“We just haven’t got it right so we are looking to have a few new warm-up drills to make everybody focused going into the start of the match,” he said.
Boldiston said being the hunted side in season 2017 sat comfortably with him.
“I’d rather be the one that’s got the runs on the board and know we are capable of beating anybody. There’s always that doubt when you haven’t beaten a side,” he said.
“We do have that confidence there that we know we can match it with anybody on any given day.”
Elsewhere on Saturday, the third-placed Sebastopol beat Melton South by 22 goals.
The Kookaburras led at every change on their way to a 63-41 success.
In other results, North Ballarat City defeated Lake Wendouree by six goals, Ballarat produced an upset to beat East Point and Bacchus Marsh got the result in the clash against Melton.