Purnells have moved into a top four position in Charlestown’s A Grade after a 46-38 win over table-rivals Watters, another independent team threatening to clinch one of the playoff positions in 2019.
After the eight-goal victory, Purnells have just a single point buffer over their defeated opponents, and move within two of third-placed Job Done above them in the standings.
After qualifying for the 2018 finals off the back of another team withdrawing, Purnells coach Breanne Bryant said the team wants to “get in this year off our own ability, which we all believe we can do 100 percent.”
“Charlestown is always a very close competition year after year, so it’s hard to get into the top four,” she told the Chronicle. “We have a long way to go from here, but we’re hoping to keep hold of our position that we have now and make the finals.
“Our aim is to get that top four spot again, and if we can go further than last year that would be great. Having our new lineup and getting used to each other now means our season can only improve from here.”
After their 2019 roster came together over the opening weeks of the competition, including the return of wing defence Lauren Burrows just two weeks ago, Bryant revealed the team is finally “settled” into the rhythm of the season.
“We’ve got that new-look lineup this year, and this week it finally feels like we’re coming together as a team and getting a real feel for how everyone plays out on the court,” she said.
“The whole team is happy with the Watters result, they’re always enjoyable games against those girls. After this we’re really beginning to feel positive about our finals chances.”
Also on Saturday, Central Leagues kept control of first place with a perfect 5-0 record thanks to a 55-35 win over third-place Job Done, while United Illusion scored their second win of the year with the narrowest of 48-46 wins against fellow United team Misfits.
Second-place United Impact had the sixth round bye.