Crucial showdowns on three netball courts
by Nathan Dole
SHOWDOWNS at Gisborne, Kangaroo Flat and Kyneton highlight this Saturday’s eighth round of A-grade netball action in the Bendigo Bank Football Netball League.
Match of the day is at Gisborne’s Gardiner Reserve where it’s second against first.
Gisborne is on the rebound from a one-goal loss at Eaglehawk, while Sandhurst is unbeaten in its quest for a hat-trick of A-grade premierships.
They are opponents this Saturday, but just three weeks ago several of the stars from Gisborne and Sandhurst joined forces to represent the Bendigo FNL in the AFL Victoria Community Championships clash with AFL Outer East.
The Bendigo team won by 15 goals as Gisborne’s Madeline Stewart was adjudged best on court in her goal at goal defence and goalshooter Clare Vearing was in hot form.
Sandhurst stars to represent the league were mid-court ace Meg Williams, Brianna Dalrymple-Monro in the centre, and goalkeeper Imogen Sexton.
Another of Sandhurst’s gun players, Heather Oliver did not play the inter-league match because of injury.
In a season where it has scored 372 goals and conceded 199 in six matches, Sandhurst will be tough to beat.
Being at home is an advantage the Gisborne line-up will be keen to capitalise on.
Another big match will be Kangaroo Flat against Maryborough on the Kangaroos’ court at Bendigo Mazda Oval in Dower Park.
The Roos have a win-loss record of 4-2 and are determined to earn the double chance for September’s finals.
Maryborough played well to achieve a 50-all draw in last Saturday’s home clash with Kyneton at Barkers Oval in Princes Park.
A win for Maryborough would be one of the upsets of the season, so the Jayden Cowling-coached Kangaroo Flat knows it must keep the pressure on across every quarter.
Kyneton hosts Eaglehawk in Tigerland at Kyneton Showgrounds.
In its return to A-grade, Kyneton has achieved a win-loss tally of 2-3 and a draw.
Kyneton’s most recent home game in the sixth round ended in a 42-53 loss to South Bendigo.
Last week’s hard-fought win by Eaglehawk was the team’s best this season.
A talented Hawks’ line-up includes BFNL representatives Abbey Ryan in attack, Ashley Ryan in the centre, and Allira Holmes at goalkeeper.
South Bendigo could improve its wins tally to three, or Strathfieldsaye could mark a second victory when the Bloods and Storm clash at Triple M Park in Strathfieldsaye’s Tannery Lane.
Storm had a rest last round, while South Bendigo was beaten by 33 goals in Sunday’s clash with Kangaroo Flat to complete Indigenous Round.
A 48-all draw at Eaglehawk and a win at Kyneton show what South Bendigo is capable of.
Castlemaine and Golden Square will contest the lower grades on the Magpies’ court at Camp Reserve, but the blue and gold has a rest in A-grade this round.
Bendigo FNL A-grade netball ladder:
Sandhurst 186 per cent, 28 points; Gisborne 136, 24; Eaglehawk 115, 22; Kangaroo Flat 149, 20; Kyneton 108, 14; Maryborough 76, 14; South Bendigo 83, 10; Strathfieldsaye 70, 8; Golden Square 49, 0.