UNDER pressure after two straight losses, Colbinabbin responded in the best manner possible, with a stirring win over North Bendigo at Atkins Street on Saturday.
The young Grasshoppers, powered by a strong goal shooting performance from Elle Palmer, defeated the Bulldogs 58-32.
They trailed by two goals at quarter time (10-12), but poured on the pressure and goals from then onward, including a game-high 17 in the final term.
A 26-goal victory was the Grasshoppers' biggest winning margin this season and drew them level on five wins with third-placed Mount Pleasant, which lost by 25 goals to top-placed Elmore.
The Blues have played one less game than the Grasshoppers, who will be out of action until June 25 against White Hills, with a bye next week and having already played their round 12 game against Elmore earlier in the season.
Colbinabbin coach Lisa Myers was rapt to see her team back on the winner's list and hoped it would lay the foundations for a big second half of the season.
"It was a win we had to have after two losses; I'm sure it will give the girls confidence," she said.
The Grasshoppers, who beat the Bulldogs in their earlier season contest by 14 goals, won for the first time since May 22 when they defeated Huntly.
Intent on a stronger second half of the season, Heathcote got the start it was looking for with a 52-35 win over Huntly at Barrack Reserve.
The Saints moved back into the top five for the first time since early in the season by reversing a 19-goal earlier season loss to the Hawks in round one with a 17-goal victory of their own.
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A thrilled Saints coach Brooke Bolton said it was the start to the second half of the season her side had desired as they look to press their claims for the likely one finals spot up for grabs.
"It was good to have our full side, that made a big difference," said Bolton, who was among the players to miss the club's earlier season loss to the Hawks.
"And I think we came out with a little more want; we had a good warm-up, a good training and came out ready to go from the start.
"I think we've struggled with that in some of our other games and have come out a little bit slow. It was great to get a really good start and things kind of just went from there.
"They got a couple of injuries throughout the game and a few of their players had been unwell as well, so that has hurt them.
"But it's nice to start the second half of the season by turning a result around."
Bolton gave plenty of praise to Jen Van Neutegem and Jess Peck for big games in defence.
"I thought it was probably the best game our defenders have played all year - they were great," she said.
"They were able to take lots of intercepts, put lots of pressure on and really gave us plenty of opportunities up the other end."
Elmore's 71-46 triumph over Mount Pleasant was the Bloods' 10th consecutive win this season and 22nd straight overall.
At Lockington, second-placed White Hills defeated LBU 60-35, with the loss sending the Cats packing from the top five.
That spot will be up for grabs next weekend when the Cats clash with Heathcote in the biggest game either club has been involved in for many seasons.
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