A SURGING White Hills has ended Elmore's 23-game winning streak with a well-executed nine-goal win in Saturday's HDFNL blockbuster at Elmore.
The Demons, led by a best on court performance from dynamic goal attack Alyssa Cole, won a frenetic top-of-the-table clash 66-57 as the league marked the 60th anniversary of Heathcote District netball.
It was a 16-goal turnaround from the Bloods' seven-goal win over the Demons in the teams' round five contest on May 7.
But there is undoubtedly plenty more to play out this season between the Demons and Bloods, who have dominated the competition in 2022.
Elmore, which was without the playing services of co-coach Allira Holmes on Saturday, had not been beaten since suffering a one-goal loss to Colbinabbin in the 2019 preliminary final.
A rousing win for the Demons, who were without defender Rhi Broadbent, was built on an impressive 21-12 opening quarter.
Dual premiership coach Lauren Bowles said the win was full of character after her players withstood a bold fightback from the Bloods.
"From the end of the third and into the last there was only one of two goals in it, so they definitely got themselves back in the game, as good teams do," she said.
"But fortunately we were able to push (the margin) out in the last quarter.
"The game certainly had its ebbs and flows; it felt like a grand final. We had the reserves footballers over at the game cheering us on.
"It's nice for us just to know that they can be beaten and good for our confidence going into finals.
"They are certainly a powerhouse and we know they still have a lot more to offer. They did have a couple of players out and we're mindful of that.
"But it's important for us to enjoy this win and realise we've worked really hard for it.
"It was tough and it was hard going and we needed to bring our best to get across the line."
A full seven-player effort was led by Cole, who capped a superb performance by winning the best on court medal, presented to mark the 60th anniversary.
Bowles said no player was more deserving of the medal than her lively goal attack.
"I thought she was exceptional - she shot well and fed the ball to Liv (Olivia Treloar) well too," she said.
"She is having a really stellar year for us.
"I thought we were great all over the court - our defence worked tirelessly. But our goalers in particular shot beautifully and combined exceptionally well.
"Liv herself was solid in goals. She held really good position and shot a really high volume of goals."
At the other end of the court, joint Elmore coach Gabe Richards was at her productive best in the goal circle.
The Demons sit atop the league ladder, one win and 5.98 in percentage ahead of Elmore, but having played one extra game.
A truer reflection will emerge after next weekend when White Hills has the bye and Elmore plays Heathcote at Barrak Reserve.
Meanwhile, Mount Pleasant, led by big games from Maeve Tupper and Chantal Moore, took another big step towards sewing up third spot with a 56-36 victory over Huntly.
With four rounds remaining, the Blues hold a two-game lead over fourth-placed Colbinabbin, which defeated Heathcote 45-33.
At Atkins Street, Leitchville-Gunbower joined Lockington-Bamawm United and Heathcote on four wins after a 54-50 victory over North Bendigo.
Respective best on court medal winners were Chantal Moore (Mount Pleasant), Gemma Angove (Leitchville-Gunbower) and Tanzin Myers (Colbinabbin).
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