MOUNT Pleasant coach Carine Comer says she is thrilled with her A-grade squad's work-rate and performance as the Blues continue their positive trend in HDFNL netball.
After a 0-2 start to the season, Mounts have rebounded strongly with three straight wins, the latest a 17-goal win over Huntly, a team that has troubled the Blues in matches over the past five seasons.
Their 3-2 record has the Blues a clear third on the league ladder, one win above a group of teams on two wins comprising Heathcote, Huntly and Colbinabbin.
Significantly, their two losses have been against the two teams above them on the ladder, Elmore (5-0) and White Hills (4-1).
Those two teams clashed on Saturday, when the Bloods emerged victorious by seven goals (62-55).
While it has become increasingly common in the COVID-era, pleasingly for Comer, who has made a seamless transition to A-grade coaching, all of Mounts' wins have been achieved with her team at less than full strength.
Missing on Saturday against the Hawks were last year's coach Chantal Moore (calf) and Aish Tupper (broken hand).
As if to highlight the point even further, a standout in the win, new goal shooter Liv Slattery made a delayed start to the season and was playing in only her third game.
Given the unpredictability of COVID and its future impact on the 2022 season, Comer is grateful to have banked a trio of early wins in what is shaping as one of the most competitive seasons in the history of the HDFNL competition.
"It's very important. If you don't get those early wins you are playing catch up all season," she said.
"We just snuck over the line against Heathcote (in round three), but we've had two very good wins the last two weeks against Leitchy and Huntly.
"Huntly's always been tough to beat, so we were rapt to get the four points."
A feature of Saturday's win was the shooting circle combination of Slattery and Alex Hamilton, both newcomers to the Blues this season.
"Liv has been a fantastic pick-up for us and a great club person as well," Comer said.
"She was out injured the first couple of weeks and it was only her third game back, but she looked like she had been playing in the team for a long time.
"Alex, our goal attack, is also a newcomer and those two have really gelled well together and slotted in nicely.
"It was a tough slog, but we were really able to break away in the last quarter. I'm really happy with how we are finishing off our games."
If you don't get those early wins you are playing catch up all season.- Carine Comer
Mounts will look to extend their winning run to four-in-a-row against Lockington-Bamawm United this Saturday at Toolleen.
The Cats, wooden spooners the last two seasons (2021 and 2019) and second bottom in 2018, will be no pushovers on the back of some massively improved form.
They snapped a 29-game streak without a win in their round three clash against Leitchville-Gunbower and finished within five goals of Heathcote in round two and only three goals behind Huntly in round five.
Comer is preparing for a tough encounter, with the Cats coming off a round five bye.
"They have been very competitive from what I am hearing and seeing," she said.
"There will be no easy beats this year. It's great for the league, it's a strong competition."
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