THEY did not walk off the court as victors, but after pushing the more experienced Bulldogs Verdelho all the way in their A grade match before going down 37-34, the Panthers Agriwest players were satisfied.
Having made the step up to the top flight this season after being crowned A reserve I premiers in 2018, the young Panthers know they will face plenty of challenges.
But if they can continue to show the fight and heart they did against Bulldogs on Saturday, wins will come for Agriwest.
Having trailed 12-4 at the end of the first quarter, Argiwest got within two of the lead in the final period.
"That's what I love about my kids, they have all got a fair bit of mongrel in them and they bring it on the court," Agriwest coach Angela Best said.
"When you need those important turnovers, they can do it. I am absolutely excited with how they played.
"It was amazing, my little ones played so beautifully. They're young and have a lot of potential.
"The team has been together for a pretty long time, but A grade is a pretty big step up for them. They are struggling with the contact, but I think they are doing a really good job."
In the opening quarter the Bulldogs stamped their authority on the contest as they secured the turnovers, quickly drove through centre court and fed their shooters Amy Powell and Alisha Glasgow well.
But Agriwest switched things up positionally for the second quarter and began their fightback. Wing attack Tessa Welsh and centre Maddy Coombes provided the drive as they outscored Bulldogs for the period.
At half-time Bulldogs held a narrow 21-17 lead and they nudged it out to a five-goal gap with a quarter to play.
While Courtney Puzicha moved into centre and secured some nice turnovers for Bulldogs, their young rivals kept pushing.
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Agriwest goal defence Molly McCrossin also secured turnovers as her side at one stage put on five unanswered goals to get within reach at 35-33, but the experience of Bulldogs came to the fore as they held on.
Having impressed in defeat, Best is excited about what lies ahead for her young side as they continue to learn and develop their skills.
"I'm really proud of them for a young bunch of girls, they're 14, 15-year-old kids. All but two of them play rep and this is amazing for their rep netball too," Best said.
"It's just going to go from strength to strength from here."
In other A grade games played on Saturday, Collegians Mystified beat Bulldogs Hurricanes 64-14, Panthers A grade downed Panthers Mustangs 52-34 and CSU Hawkes got home 46-39 over Mana.