The Picola District Netball League’s 2017 division champions — Tocumwal and Waaia — squared off at Waaia Recreation Reserve, and it was the north-west premier that claimed the bragging rights.
The winning machine that is Tocumwal was back in operation, knocking off the Bombers 43-32.
But as expected, the heat was on early, with Waaia intent on making a physical impact.
Tocumwal coach Millie Ferguson said as her players got used to the contest they had increasing success.
‘‘We knew it was going to be a tough one, with them obviously the reigning premier in the other division,’’ Ferguson said.
‘‘We thought it might be a bit of a rivalry round and it was a really good tussle.
‘‘They are a physical side and it took us a quarter to adjust to that, but by the second quarter we were going really tough at the ball and had adapted to the conditions.’’
Ferguson said her side’s ability to stay calm under pressure had impressed her most.
‘‘It was very tight early and a few things didn’t go our way, but we adjusted and remained calm,’’ she said.
‘‘One key was Steph Puopolo at goal keeper for the second quarter. She was really dynamic and I think she was pivotal to the win.
‘‘And Leah Pate, it was her 200th game and she’s such a soldier. Without her it felt like we would have lost. She was crucial, and our defence as a whole was stellar.’’
Tocumwal slotted into second on the table with the win, while Waaia slipped to fourth.
Final score, Tocumwal 43 to Waaia 32. Awards: Leah Pate and Gracie Reid.
Results from other grades were as follows:
B grade - Waaia 44 to Tocumwal 36. Tocumwal awards: Sherrene Thompson and Venita Bacchetto.
C grade - Waaia 54 to Tocumwal 14. Awards: Christina Roberts and Caity Bourke.
C reserve - Waaia 43 to Tocumwal 13. Awards: Jade Hocking and Carlie Meloury.
Under 17s - Waaia 46 to Tocumwal 27. Awards: Laura Hatty, Jessica Sutton and Alice Chamberlain.
U15s - Tocumwal 31 to Waaia 28. Awards: Jane Hatty, Skyla Griffin and Maddy Howell.
U13s - Waaia 25 to Tocumwal 6. Awards: Emily Thompson, Dakota Cracknell and Alana Sutton.
U11s awards: Hallie Burke, Chloe Herezo and Tayah Gill.