THE pressure is palpable in Eastern Regional State League 17 and under division netball after round five results left Mid Gippsland and Alberton fighting it out for fourth place with two rounds remaining before finals commence.
Mid Gippsland was competitive early and trailed by just two goals at quarter-time, but was powerless to stop the determination of Pakenham.
Alicia Scott secured 10 goals in the second quarter and 31 from 37 attempts for Pakenham to be voted best on court in a 51-34 triumph.
Gippsland laid down the foundation for victory by restricting North Gippsland to just seven goals in the first quarter and nine in the third.
North struggled to recover after a slow start and went down 61-27.
East Gippsland and Alberton battled it out in a thrilling first half with one goal the difference at the break.
In the third quarter, East was able to pull out in front as Alberton’s defence weakened, leaving players free in the goal circle.
Alberton was able to find some drive in the last quarter to close the gap to five goals but it was too little too late, falling to a 39-34 defeat.
In the open division Gippsland underlined its championship credentials, beating Alberton by 37 goals in an impressive 60-minute display.
Morwell Indoor teams went head-to-head in a well played match on Friday night.
Errors cost Morwell Red early in the first quarter as Morwell Indoor Navy slowly carved out a lead before running away with the match in the fourth as the side’s goal attack netted nine out of 12 attempts, while Courtney Garth employed stoic defence at the other end.
Gippsland and Sale will be the game to watch in the penultimate 17 and under round.
Sale is returning from the bye and both teams will be looking to keep their perfect record in tact towards the business end of the season.
The open division will showcase a round robin competition in rounds six and seven.