It had been a long two months between victory huddles, but Penola is finally back on the winner’s list in the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League.
Playing against Kybybolite the Eagles pounced at the crunch moments and secured their first win since round 1.
With both sides only securing one win each, there was always going to be a lot on the line in a fight to avoid the wooden spoon at McCorquindale Park and that proved to be the case.
The pendulum swung side to side throughout the contest and only one point was the difference at half time.
But the hosts appeared to have held the edge during the third term as Brock Egan and Sam Klemm pushed Penola to a game high 15-point lead.
With a solid lead and Adam Merrett (pictured) in full flight in front of goal, the Eagles were flying towards a breakthrough success, but Stephen Craig had other ideas.
Craig’s bag of six goals almost singlehandedly dragged Kyby back in the contest, but to the relief of the home crowd, Penola finished its eight-game wait with an 81-72 win.
The keeps the Eagles within touching distance with Lucindale, Bordertown and Naracoorte as the fight for the final five intensifies.
Elsewhere Mundulla knocked Keith off second spot on the ladder after a first-half blitz cemented a 31-point win.
Thanks to strong efforts from James Hinge and Daniel Noll, Mundulla had doubled the Crows’ score by the main break.
The game almost slowed to a stand-still afterwards as just three goals were scored in the entire second half.
The loss was the Keith’s second in three games.
Bordertown almost gave ladder-leader Kingston a significant scare.
Armed with the home crowd, the Roosters led at the first and second breaks and would have believed in a miracle upset trailing by just three points at three-quarter time.
However, Ben Warner and Thomas Rogers came to the fore when it mattered to keep the Saints marching on, winning by 15 points.
Padthaway and Lucindale were the other KNTFL winners after overcoming Border Districts and Naracoorte respectively.
Success was also seen on the netball courts for Penola after it overcame a challenging Kyby.
The visitors battled hard early before a late burst put the Eagles in front before quarter time.
But Penola struggled to break free as Kybybolite’s shooting circle kept things interesting across the mid part of the game.
Eventually the shooting clinic put on by April Possingham, who scored 53 goals at almost 100% accuracy proved too strong.
The Eagles flew clear, increasing their seven-goal lead to 21 before the final whistle.
Ladder leaders Keith and Border Districts maintained their respective undefeated campaigns with wins over Mundulla and Padthaway respectively.
The Naracoorte v Lucindale encounter was a low-scoring affair won by the latter.
Penola takes on a fresh Bordertown outfit away from home in the 10th round this Saturday.