LESS than a week after parting ways with its A-grade coach, Illabarook has broken its Central Highlands Netball League duck.
The Bulldogs terminated the contract of Jackie Spratling mid-week, before going on to record a memorable nine-goal win over Newlyn on Saturday.
It is the Bulldogs’ first A-grade triumph since joining the competition from the defunct Lexton Plains league in 2011, and comes some 22 games into their new surrounds.
Caretaker senior coach Lee Prentice, who doubles as club secretary, said there had been a “fractured relationship” between Spratling and the playing group.
“(The decision) certainly wasn’t made lightly and we had been thinking about it for a while,” she said.
“We didn’t want netball to falter because of it.”
Prentice said she shuffled players in and out of the A-grade team prior to Saturday’s success.
She said it was a big result for the club, which has claimed just one senior football victory during its short history in the Central Highlands.
“It’s fantastic for our future. This year we seem to have all our (netball) teams very balanced and have got a lot of potential in each side.
“Previously we’ve often had strong players and other girls just supported.
“Everyone can play a good game so that’s very good and exciting,” Prentice said.
“A couple of the girls have been with club for a long time, have been junior players, so it’s exciting for them to be able to play a game, have a win and play in a stronger side.”
Prentice said it was pleasing to beat an established Central Highlands club rather than a former Lexton Plains rival, and hoped the weekend’s performance was not the only winning one this year.
“There’s more of a positive spin on things. We haven’t had results on the footy field so far, but you feel there’s a good feeling around the club at the minute,” she said.