AN ECSTATIC Lockington-Bamawm United coach Jessie Hardess hopes her side can continue to build off their first HDFNL A-grade netball win since 2019.
The Cats consolidated some much-improved early-season form by overcoming Leitchville-Gunbower 47-41 on Saturday at Gunbower.
It was their first win since round one of the 2019 season against Heathcote and snapped a streak of 29 games without a win.
Into her second season as coach, Hardess said it was a great victory to be a part of and hopefully a turning point.
"After not winning a game last year, just the general feel from the girls was tremendous," she said.
"All we've wanted to do this year is be competitive - we just want to give every team a run for their money as much as we can.
"I really think we have started to do that and the girls have realised they can do that.
"I think it's going to be a nice season this year. There's not one team you can discount as not being competitive, which is what you want in an A-grade competition."
The win was built on a terrific third quarter from the Cats after the contest was evenly poised at half time.
LBU was made to earn it, with Hardess crediting the Bombers for 'fighting the game out to the end'.
"It wasn't easy ... it's never easy. But it was just good to experience," she said.
"Hopefully, we can build on it now - you can only go up from there.
"Leitchy, under Lauren (Dehne) this year, seem like they are really structured and will no doubt be moving forward.
"As everyone has been saying we can expect a lot from them, so it (the win) was definitely not without a fight."
A morale-boosting victory was led by last season's best and fairest Jesie Milligan with a stellar game in defence, with Hardess giving credit to 'the whole team for stepping up'.
"Imogen Mackenzie was steady in the centre and Annalesa (Turner) did well at goal attack and goal shooter," she said.
"But Jesie's efforts lately have been phenomenal, complemented by the defence around her.
"She is someone who is working hard at training and that hard work is something that is shining through in her games."
Fittingly, but escaping mention from the coach, Hardess was awarded the Anzac game best on court medal by the umpires.
LBU will aim to back up their rejuvenated form against Huntly this Saturday at Lockington, with the Hawks (1-1) coming off bye..
Despite their first win in three years being on board, Hardess said the Cats would be taking nothing for granted.
"Huntly certainly wasn't at full-strength (the previous week in a loss) against Leitchy, but it's hard to match up (the form)," she said.
"Everyone has put out different combinations due to COVID, so you never know what you are up against."
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