THE Northern Knights denied the Bendigo Pioneers a fourth-consecutive win in the NAB League Girls on Sunday.
The Knights shape as the biggest premiership threat to competition power Geelong and showed why against the Pioneers with an impressive 53-point win at Epsom-Huntly Recreation Reserve.
The Pioneers were unable to replicate their strong form of recent weeks as the Knights ran out comfortable 9.10 (64) to 1.5 (11) victors.
"The girls have been terrific over the course of the season, but were outclassed today and our effort levels, which we pride ourselves on, probably let us down," coach Shawn McCormick said.
"We created some forward opportunities, but we didn't take our chances, so the inability to convert our hard work hurt us."
The consistent duo of Maeve Tupper on a wing and Brooke Hards through the midfield were the two best players for the Pioneers, who are now 4-3.
Abby Thompson kicked Bendigo's only goal late in the third quarter.
Bendigo takes on Calder at RAMS Arena from 12.30pm next Saturday.
Bendigo Pioneers 1.5 (11) lt Northern Knights 9.10 (64)
GOALS - A. Thompson.
BEST - M. Tupper, B. Hards, E. Snell, D. Villiva, K. Douglass.
Meanwhile, the Bendigo Thunder were beaten by 56 points in their second NFLW grading game on Sunday.
Diamond Creek proved far too strong for the inexperienced Thunder, winning 9.8 (62) to 1.0 (6) at Plenty Park Oval in the second of Bendigo's three grading games.
The Thunder's sole goal was kicked by Brianna Burt in the second term.
The Thunder's best were Ayrlea Bailey-McClanahan, Bianca Jones, Georgia Gordon, Tara Wilson and Imogen Kendal.
And, Dunolly snapped a 26-game losing streak with its opening round win over Campbells Creek in the Maryborough-Castlemaine District league on Saturday.
The Eagles opened their 2019 campaign with a 20.15 (135) to 8.12 (60) victory at Campbells Creek.
It was Dunolly's first win since beating Maldon in round six of 2017.
* Round one results:
Harcourt 19.12 (126) d Maldon 14.11 (95)
Talbot 11.15 (81) d Rovers 8.6 (54)
Dunolly 20.15 (135) d Campbells Creek 8.12 (60)
Carisbrook 20.21 (141) d Avoca 4.5 (29)
Natte Bealiba 15.10 (100) d Navarre 4.5 (29)
Newstead 14.7 (91) d Lexton 7.14 (56)
Trentham 13.21 (99) d Royal Park 5.4 (34)
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