ELMORE has moved within one win of securing the double chance after a 43 goal win over Lockington Bamawm United in Saturday's round of HDFNL A-grade netball.
The Bloods took advantage of losses to Huntly (by 25 goals to White Hills) and Mount Pleasant (by 31 goals against Colbinabbin) to draw level with the Hawks on 36 points with one round remaining.
Mount Pleasant is a further two points behind, but can grab third spot with a win over the Hawks next Saturday and an upset loss for Elmore against Heathcote.
Less than one per cent separates Huntly (116.11) and Elmore (115.47) on the ladder, requiring a bigger victory by the Hawks if they are in fact able to get over the Blues to hold on to the third.
Elmore's star 2019 season recruit Ruby Barkmeyer praised her team-mates after toughing it out in the wind and rain at Lockington for a crucial and percentage-boosting win over the Cats.
"Hopefully things go our way to get that third spot, but first and foremost we need to get that win over Heathcote next week," she said.
"It's a bit disappointing to be in that position, there were a few games during the year where we could have got the four points to put ourselves in a position where it didn't come down to the final round.
"But that's the way it is. I think anything can happen in finals and no matter where we finish - third, fourth, or fifth - we can have an impact.
"I suppose coming from fourth or fifth can make it a bit more special if you can get through to a grand final."
At Barrack Reserve, North Bendigo notched up its second consecutive win at Heathcote's expense.
The Bulldogs won 57-38 to assure they end the season in sixth spot.
At Huntly, White Hills quickly put the unease of a draw against Colbinabbin the previous week behind it to score an impressive win in tough conditions against the Hawks.
The Demons won 49-24, with star defender Anna-Grace Close celebrating her 50th game for the Demons with a best on court performance.
Demons premiership coach Lauren Bowles said she was pleased with her side's ability to brush aside the atrocious weather and record a 25 goal win over a top-three opponent.
"Those types of conditions were less than ideal and certainly don't suit the way we play - we like to drive pretty hard and use our speed down the court," she said.
"We weren't able to execute that as well as we would have liked, but to still to come away with a 25-goal win against Huntly, we were pretty happy."
Bowles said her side wasted no time in putting the previous week's draw well and truly behind them..
"We got over it quickly .... 25, 30 minutes after the game and after the debrief we moved on," she said.
"We're still confident come final we can still get those types of wins against Colbo.
"It was also nice to come out and still try a few different line-ups and combinations, considering we are so close to finals.
"It was great to bounce back and the win puts us in good stead approaching finals."
Mid-courter Danni Wee-Hee and wing defence Bronte Deary were others to stand out for the Demons, with the defender continuing to enjoy her most consistent season since joining the club.
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