SOUTH Bendigo finally claimed the top-three scalp it has long been looking for after surviving a thriller against Gisborne at the QEO on Saturday.
The Bloods rebounded from a disappointing loss against Castlemaine the previous week to defeat the third-placed Bulldogs by one goal.
It is understood to be the Bloods' first win over the Bulldogs in at least 15 years.
They led at every change, including by two goals at both half time and three quarter time, and stood firm under intense pressure from the Bulldogs in the final term to emerge triumphant 37-36.
Easily the biggest win in her five years at the club, Hobbs said the win was a reward for hard effort and would give her players plenty of belief as they head towards an exciting finals campaign.
"It was really deserved. We strung together four quarters, which is what we've needed to do," she said.
"I'm proud of them, we got the monkey off the back a bit by beating a side above us.
"As I said to the girls, it has been building for a while. It's probably the best they have played all year, so it was very pleasing."
Hobbs said her players had been super-keen to atone for their 18-goal defeat at Castlemaine.
"It definitely hurt, we are a lot better than what we showed last week," she said.
"This week's video review was really handy, just looking at different things and really breaking our game down and areas we could improve on.
"It's alright to say that, but you have to put that into action, which we did.
"All the girls played really well - they played their role and this is what happens when your work hard, the scoreboard takes care of itself."
The Bulldogs were without big names in Jordan Cransberg and Claudia Mawson for the clash.
Hobbs chose goal attack Olivia Mason as her team's best and declared her performance as her best since her arrival at South Bendigo this season.
She reserved praise for the team's youngest player, 17-year-old Ella Flavell, for a big effort at wing defence.
"Ella has really been building her game and getting used to that pressure in A-grade. It goes without saying it's a big step up from 17-and-under," Hobbs said.
"Today, some of the things she did and the little tips and intercepts she got were match-winning.
"We thought she was excellent, especially for a 17-year-old to be able to hold her head and do some really good things in a big game."
It has been building for a while. It's probably the best they have played all year.- Bloods coach Jannelle Hobbs
The win - combined with a 19-goal loss for Castlemaine against Kangaroo Flat - ensured the Bloods regained fourth spot from the Magpies.
Regardless of which team eventually snares fourth spot, the Bloods and Magpies are still on track for an elimination final showdown in the first week of finals.
Gisborne remains in third spot ahead of a massive showdown against Kangaroo Flat next weekend.
South Bendigo clashes with Strathfieldsaye in what will be Bloods goal keeper Steph Goode's 150th game.
In other games, Sandhurst defeated Eaglehawk 69-39, Maryborough made it three wins from its last four games with a 52-29 victory at home, while Golden Square produced its best effort of the season in a five-goal loss to Kyneton.
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