After a one-win 2019 season, the only way was up for Creswick's A Grade side in the Central Highlands Netball League under first-year coach Holly Sealey.
The Wickers claimed three wins from 11 games, an improvement that Sealey was pleased with.
READ MORE SPORT:
"I think we had a really good year compared to the last season that we played," she told The Courier.
"It was a really good, positive turn for the club."
Competitive losses to Waubra, Skipton and Newlyn by eight, 15 and two goals respectively highlighted the Wickers ability to remain in games against sides around them on the ladder.
The next step in 2022 is to win these close contests and keep in touch with the top eight.
As is the case for a lot of teams that miss finals, winning the 50-50 clashes is the difference between challenging for finals and not.
Creswick certainly had some chances to do so. It wasn't helped with the stop-start nature of the season and losing key shooter Lillie Wrigley to a knee injury.
"There were those close losses and even with the lockdown breaks there were games there as well that definitely would have been competitive for us, which could have had a couple of wins on the board," Sealey said.
What the Wickers did well was beat teams around or under them on the ladder.
They opened their season with a seven-goal win over Clunes and followed it up in round four with a dominant 51-28 win over Carngham-Linton.
Their strong round 17 win was by 28 goals over Ballan.
In a competition like the CHNL where every win is so pivotal for a team's success over the course of a season, these victories need to continue for Creswick in 2022.
Closing the gap on the top four sides will be important for future success, as is the case for all of the sides that missed the finals this year.
Creswick lost to Learmonth, Buninyong and Rokewood-Corindhap by an average of 43.67 goals, a margin that needs to decrease if the Wickers hope to climb into the top eight next season and challenge.
3-8, 27.27 per cent games won, 74.47 traditional percentage
Round one: defeated Clunes 40 - 33
Round two: defeated by Learmonth 15 - 62
Round three: bye
Round four: defeated Carngham-Linton 28 - 51
Round five: defeated by Waubra 28 - 36
Round six: defeated by Skipton 32 - 47
Round nine: defeated by Newlyn 39 - 41
Round 10: defeated by Buninyong 15 - 66
Round 11: defeated by Gordon 33 - 37
Round 12: defeated by Dunnstown 29 - 47
Round 15: defeated by Rokewood-Corindhap 20 - 53
Round 17: defeated Ballan 48 - 20
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ballarat's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.