SOUTH Bendigo coach Benita Swatton hopes the club's first A-grade netball win over Kangaroo Flat in more than a decade can be the platform for bigger and better things this season.
The young Bloods advanced their record to 4-5 at the halfway mark of the season and pulled within one win of the reigning premiers, whose grip on fifth spot is under threat on two fronts, with Strathfieldsaye also playing itself into contention with four wins from its past five games.
It was a victory that sent South Bendigo followers scurrying for the record books to determine when the Bloods last beat the perennial BFNL powerhouse.
"I know one of the girls has been at the club for 13 years and we have never beaten them in those 13 years," Swatton said.
"I'm not sure how long prior to that it was, other than it's been quite a long time."
There has even been some suggestion the Bloods' 38-35 triumph might in fact have been their first ever against the A-grade Roos.
A proud Bloods coach said nothing more than a "full team effort" was responsible for the shock win.
"Every single girl on the court played their role - everything just seemed to come together," she said.
"It was tight, but the girls played the full four quarters out, whereas the last few tight games we've played we've had a lapse in a quarter, which has given the other team the run on.
"But on Saturday they played the full four quarters out which kept us in the game. It was great for our girls confidence."
Especially pleasing for Swatton was the Bloods' ability to sustain their pressure in the second half after the Roos introduced stars Chelsea Sartori and Ruby Barkmeyer into the game.
Midcourter Lorrae Closter continued her good season form against the Roos, as did Molly Johnston, while the developing combination of Brooke Lawry and Ally Symons in goals continues to pay dividends.
The win over the Roos has thrust the Bloods into a crucial round 10 match against Eaglehawk.
Swatton said the Bloods would be looking for an improved showing after the Hawks won the teams' round one encounter 71-20.
The second-year Bloods coach was naturally pleased with her side's progress, but was fully aware only a few more wins over top-five ranked teams could deliver the club an elusive finals berth.
"We've got some big games coming up, Eaglehawk being one," she said.
"We met them first round and we lost that quite convincingly, but I think the girls, with their confidence, can give them a real fright.
"Then we have Gisborne, that's two tough games.
"If we can cause an upset in one of those we'd be ecstatic."