A 2-5 record through 10 rounds nearly ended Gordon's season, however, considering the tough opponents it had faced and the good run home it had, the Eagles always remained a chance of making the Central Highlands Netball League top eight.
Four eventual finalists came Gordon's way in the opening seven games, three of those eventual top four sides, who the Eagles faced in consecutive weeks.
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Despite big losses to Buninyong, Hepburn and Rokewood-Corindhap, a 14-goal loss to Springbank proved that the gap may not have been as big as once thought.
A four-goal win over Creswick in round 11 got Gordon back on track after three successive losses, and while it was not a convincing win, it was a victory that new coach Ciane Van Dyken said her side needed.
"I think what we knew was a win was a win to us, it didn't matter percentage wise, I think we knew that if we won the ones that counted we would sit where we needed to," she said.
"I think the win over Creswick was definitely what the girls needed to keep a smile going.
"I think with the big knocks at the start of the season along with the knocks of the lockdown, a win to them was just a way of re-grouping in a positive way."
Another win followed the Wickers contest, making a round 17 clash with Waubra the ultimate decider on whether Gordon would play finals in 2021 or not.
The Eagles led from start to finish to take a 46-34 win, a confidence booster for Van Dyken and her side as they look to 2022.
"Not only for myself but it proved back to (the players) the hard work that they put in pre-season and all the way through, even through the lockdowns, came out with the result," she said.
"If you work hard, good results come so I think they worked hard for it and they earned it."
With the strength of regular contenders Buninyong, Hepburn, Learmonth and Springbank and the emergence of fellow contenders Rokewood-Corindhap and Beaufort, the standard will lift next season, a standard Gordon will have to rise to.
Considering Skipton and Waubra only missed the finals by the barest of margins, their continued improvement will add another layer of competition to the 2022 season.
5-5, 50 per cent games won, 90.89 traditional percentage
Round one: defeated by Skipton 38 - 39
Round two: defeated Bungaree 46 - 38
Round three: defeated by Springbank 23 - 37
Round four: defeated Newlyn 47 - 34
Round five: defeated by Buninyong 14 - 51
Round six: bye
Round nine: defeated by Hepburn 21 - 62
Round 10: defeated by Rokewood-Corindhap 30 - 47
Round 11: defeated Creswick 37 - 33
Round 12: defeated Ballan 20 - 57
Round 15: bye
Round 17: defeated Waubra 46 - 34
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