BARBETS player Alex Kentish admitted her side's 35-28 win over UNE on Saturday was the ‘first time we've gelled together as a team’ this season.
Sitting mid-table in the university netball competition, the Barbets dominated UNE early on to take a commanding lead.
But the Barbets faded after an impressive first half display and UNE fought back in the second period, coming within striking distance of their opponents.
Despite her side holding on for a confidence-boosting win, Kentish blamed the second half turnaround on a lack of concentration.
"In the first quarter we came out on fire but lost it in the middle and they came back very strongly towards the end of the match," she said.
"We lost a bit of focus, made a few bad passes and they were able to take advantage of that."
Kentish said everyone played a role in the crucial win but singled out the versatile Mel Trappell for special praise.
While she confessed the Barbets had underperformed so far this season, Kentish said the strength of the other sides was a positive sign for the five-team tournament.
Robb and Albies have been the standout teams of the competition, with the Barbets, UNE and Armidale Blues all trailing them.
"We haven't done as well as we'd like, but Robb and Albies are very difficult to beat at the moment," she said.
"It's making it really competitive with the strong uni teams going up against the town sides."
Meanwhile, the Barbets' second grade side also recorded a win on Saturday against Drummond and Smith College.
Kentish said the victory was a good result for the side in a "very tough" eight-team competition.