A slow start to Waubra's 2021 Central Highlands Netball League campaign was all that stood in its way of a finals berth.
The Roos sat 0-4 through four rounds and spent the rest of the season playing catch-up.
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It nearly came off, Waubra remaining in the hunt for a top eight spot in round 17.
It eventually fell to Gordon, the Eagles climbing to seventh spot on the ladder, proof to Waubra the gap is not a big one between where it sits now and the finals.
The 4-2 finish to the season was an impressive recovery, dominating the teams below it on the ladder.
Looking at the season as a whole, coach Anna Coote said the inconsistencies due to lockdown made for a tough season.
"It made it really hard to get a run on, we had some great games and momentum and then didn't get the opportunity to continue that which made things difficult ..." she said.
"Despite all that, we had some great games and a lot of fun which is exactly what you want when we've missed out on so much in the last 18 months."
The fact the Roos only lost to eventual finalists Dunnstown and Rokewood-Corindhap by six and two goals respectively proves the trajectory is an upwards one for Waubra.
For Coote, the jump into the top eight does not feel like a big one.
"We had a very talented side this year and it was unfortunate that they didn't have the opportunity to play together as often as they could," she said.
"I think had we have played more rounds this year, we would've worked out a few kinks that you inevitably get with a new team and would've only gotten better as the season progressed.
"When you only have the opportunity to play a team once, you can't afford to lose those close games because it becomes the difference between the top eight or just missing out, which was unfortunately us this year."
The strong state of the club's 17 and under team is promising for Coote and the senior sides.
The team finished third on the ladder with a 10-3 record, member Zarli Clark winning the league best and fairest award with 28 votes.
With a youthful senior side and promising juniors, the future seems bright for the Roos.
"We (had) three girls that made their debut in senior netball that were in our starting seven this year. They have improved immensely," Coote said.
"It's a pretty big jump from 17s to A-grade, particularly when you think that they missed out on their top-age season in 17s in 2020 due to COVID.
"We have a development program with our 17s where they train and at times play in the senior sides.
"We find that it makes that jump a little smaller and easier for them when they know the senior players and coaches and some of the training drills and game plays before they even get to playing."
Record: 4-6, 40.00 per cent games won, 79.76 traditional percentage
Ladder position: 10th
Round one: defeated by Dunnstown 32-38
Round two: defeated by Beaufort 15-51
Round three: defeated by Hepburn 20-88
Round four: defeated by Rokewood-Corindhap 34-36
Round five: defeated Creswick 36-28
Round six: defeated Ballan 59-27
Round nine: bye
Round 10: defeated Carngham-Linton 40-29
Round 11: bye
Round 12: defeated by Skipton 28-45
Round 15: defeated Newlyn 37-32
Round 17: defeated by Gordon 34-46
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