It was billed as the match of the round, with second-placed Nagambie taking on competition leader Stanhope in hopes of snatching top brass.
But after an hour of netball, Stanhope remained untouched and undefeated, ultimately accounting for Nagambie by 12 goals on Saturday.
Nagambie co-coach Sarah Sanderson said it was a seven to eight-minute patch in the third quarter that lost her side the match, with the final score 45-57.
‘‘I thought it was a really good game of netball,’’ Sanderson said.
‘‘Both teams had good patches in the game.
‘‘But Stanhope had a burst in the third quarter and scored 13-0 in a row.
‘‘It was a combination of forced and unforced errors.
‘‘We felt under siege a bit in that third term.
‘‘They got a run on and we couldn’t stop their momentum.’’
But for the other 50 minutes of the match, Nagambie proved it was able to match it with Kyabram District League’s top team.
‘‘We went into half-time one up, and it was an even final quarter,’’ Sanderson said.
‘‘There were patches in the game where we dominated.
‘‘They just dominated a little more.’’
Nagambie’s Sharni Lloyd was once again one of the Lakers’ best, starring in goal attack in all four quarters.
‘‘She shot well, and really controlled our attacking end,’’ Sanderson said.
Nagambie will look to rebound from its second loss of the season when it plays seventh-placed Shepp East next round.
The Lakers should be boosted by the return of co-coach Bianca Willis, who Sanderson said would add more versatility to the side.
Despite Nagambie dropping to fourth behind Tallygaroopna and Dookie United after the loss, Sanderson said her team would remain positive ahead of its next clash.
‘‘It’s easy to panic after a loss like that,’’ Sanderson said.
‘‘But we should be happy with how we’re travelling.
‘‘We’ve had young players come up, and players come back from having children.
‘‘We haven’t had a full team yet.
‘‘The back half of the season, we’ll work out where people play best and who works best with others, and hopefully we’ll get another crack against Stanhope (in finals).’’
●In Nagambie’s other matches, B-grade comfortably accounted for Stanhope, 58-22; and C-grade won its battle against the Lions, 44-24.
In junior games, Nagambie’s Under-17 squad remains undefeated after a 15-goal victory over Stanhope; the Under-15s lost their match 19-39; while the Under-13s celebrated a 15-goal win to cap off the day.