WALLAN, Lancefield and Romsey all seemed to struggle to shake off the rust of a nearly month-long COVID-19 layoff in the return of Riddell league netball on Saturday, each recording double-digit losses.

The Magpies had been among the league’s top sides through their first six games, but received a rude awakening in their first match back against ladder leader Riddell.

The Bombers grabbed an early advantage with a 12-7 opening quarter, forcing Wallan coach Chris Cameron to make adjustments.

Sidonie Moore stepped into centre for Chloe Coffin in the second term, while starting goal shooter Chloe Meulenmeesters was benched in the third quarter in favour of a goal-ring combination of Tahnysha Salanoa and Chloe Gray.

Meulenmeesters returned in the last quarter to no avail, as the Bombers extended their lead at every break to win 60-32.

Wallan’s percentage took a hit as a result of the loss, with the 5-2 Magpies now only one win ahead of fifth-placed Macedon.

Erin Jay was one of Wallan’s best players after stepping into goal defence in the first quarter, while Gemma Grimmond was a standout at wing defence and Gray played hard at wing attack and goal attack.

Romsey came close to its maiden win of the season, losing 44-34 to the Western Rams after trailing by only two goals at three-quarter time.

The Redbacks were neck-and-neck with the Rams in the opening term before falling behind by five goals at the long break, but fought back to make the margin 28-26 at the final change.

Coach Kiara Taylor led from the front, playing in goal attack and goal shooter during the match, but Rams shooter Sanita To’o’s 23 goals were enough to get her team across the line.

Lancefield was outmatched by Woodend-Hesket losing 60-29 in a match at Woodend.

Brianna De Haas worked hard at wing attack, feeding the ball to Jordan Furness, who had 28 of the Tigers’ 29 goals, while Amanda Bruce made the best of a tough match-up against Hawks goal shooter Deanne Tuppen.

The Tigers will host Melton Centrals on Saturday, while Romsey will travel to take on Macedon and Wallan has a bye.