IN some of the worst playing conditions possible, Maffra just held on to defeat Leongatha at the weekend, in the first half of Gippsland League netball’s split round 13.
The players braved sleet, wind, rain and a slippery court — multiple blood rules sidelined players as they hit the deck.
The contest was tight — for Leongatha, a win could’ve secured the sixth spot, putting the Parrots within reaching distance of a finals berth, whereas for fifth-placed Maffra, it was do or die to hold onto a finals place, after a shocking four-loss streak and restrengthened Warragul side snapping at its heels.
Neck and neck, the tide finally turned in Maffra’s favour midway through the final term, as desperation seized the Parrots’ homestretch.
The Parrots’ lack of control, including two centre breaks and resulting turnovers, in the dying minutes seemed to give the Eagles a renewed composure, as they carefully calculated each move to slot the winning margin, 40-32.
Maffra’s Meg Gordyn returned from injury with a bang, giving much needed height back to the Eagles’ goal ring and wiped the rain from her eyes to slot goals with precision.
Directly opposite in defence, goal keeper Renee Potts, filling-in from B grade, blended seamlessly with the A grade operation, frequently using long arms and well-sprung legs to get height for intercepts.
After a week off, a full-strength Maffra will travel to the Latrobe Valley to play ladder leader Morwell.
In the other match of the weekend, seventh-placed Bairnsdale held in there against Moe, but was eventually trumped, 42-37.