Panthers win derby

Sarah Brennan puts a shot up.(Jacob Pattison)329130_03

Despite not getting a win, it was a positive start for Melton in its return to the Ballarat Netball League A-grade competition on Saturday.

After not having a team last season due to a lack of numbers, the Bloods pushed Melton South all the way in the local derby.

The Panthers, who played finals last season, were able to sneak home, winning 34-30 despite missing captain and last season’s league best and fairest winner Soli Ropati through a knee injury.

Loia Tuafafo shot 18 goals for the Panthers, with Akira McCormack named their best.

Maryrose Vitale shot 19 goals for the Bloods, with Emma Vitalone being named their best.

Darley started the season with a big win against Ballarat.

Last season’s runners-up had no issues at all in the match, winning 52-27.

The Devils weren’t at full strength and turned to a couple of under-19s goalers to get the job done.

Ella Closter and Greta Gorman-Jacobs teamed up in the circle, showing the future is bright for the club.

Bacchus Marsh had a tough start to its season, losing to Sebastopol 72-14.

Rebecca Power shot nine goals for the Cobras.

In other matches, North Ballarat was able to hold off the Sunbury Lions in their return to the A-grade competition.

The Lions, who were missing several players, pushed last season’s premiers, but lost 53-47.

Redan had no issues at all against Lake Wendouree, winning 40-17.

East Point had the bye.

Next week, the local derby between Darley and Bacchus Marsh is on, with the Devils to enter the match as favourites.

Melton South will play East Point, while Melton will play the Sunbury Lions.