Bloods up pressure against Pies at Maryborough
by Nathan Dole
SOUTH Bendigo faces a tough fight to hold fifth place on the A-grade netball ladder when it plays on Maryborough’s court in this Saturday’s 10th round of the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League season.
Despite not taking to the court last round because Castlemaine is not fielding a team, South Bendigo stayed fifth as closest rivals Maryborough and Kyneton were defeated.
The Bloods will up the pressure on Maryborough’s court at Barkers Oval in Princes Park.
When these clubs met in round one, Maryborough scored a 60-52 victory at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
The Bloods’ run since round six is a 53-42 at Kyneton, loss to Kangaroo Flat at the QEO, and nine-goal win on Strathfieldsaye Storm’s court at Triple M Park in Tannery Lane.
Maryborough is desperate to end a four-game winless streak.
The Magpies were outpointed at Gisborne in the sixth round, fought for a 50-all draw at home against Kyneton the next week, and endured a 21-goal loss on Kangaroo Flat’s court at Bendigo Mazda Oval in Dower Park.
A 43-56 loss to Strathfieldsaye at Maryborough really clipped the Magpies’ wings.
There is plenty for Maryborough and South Bendigo to play for.
A Bloods victory will give them a two-win buffer on Maryborough, and just as importantly hold a four-point lead on Kyneton which should win Saturday’s showdown with Golden Square.
Another big match on Saturday will be Queen Elizabeth Oval where the ladder-leading Sandhurst takes on the third-placed Kangaroo Flat.
At the halfway mark of the season, Sandhurst has a 7-1 record and Kangaroo Flat’s tally is five wins, a draw, two losses, and the forfeit from Castlemaine.
The season began with the Roos hosting Sandhurst at Bendigo Mazda Oval.
A top contest ended in a 43-38 victory for the maroon and blue.
Kangaroo Flat had a great chance to leap Eaglehawk into third place last week, but a 49-all draw at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park meant the Two Blues stayed put.
The ‘Hurst and Roos have plenty of skill in all thirds of the court.
Kangaroo Flat has played well, but yet to beat any of the three teams ahead of them in the premiership race.
Eaglehawk takes on Strathfieldsaye at Canterbury Park.
The Hawks won 55-40 on Storm’s court in the opening round.
Storm stung Maryborough last round, so the Hawks will need to be on their game.
Kyneton has a great chance to end its winless streak when it plays at Golden Square’s Fur Life Vet Oval in Wade Street.
The Tigers scored a 59-19 victory against Golden Square in round one, but have had just the one victory since then.
It’s been a tough season for the young Golden Square line-up.
Best performance by the blue and gold at home this season was a 44-46 result against Maryborough in round five.
Gisborne is drawn to play Castlemaine at Gardiner Reserve.
There will be no A-grade match, but the lower grades will be contested.
Standings in the Bendigo Bank-backed BFNL A-grade netball competition:
Sandhurst 156 per cent, 32 points; Gisborne 141, 32; Eaglehawk 118, 28; Kangaroo Flat 141, 26; South Bendigo 87, 18; Kyneton 96, 14; Maryborough 74, 14; Strathfieldsaye 78, 12; Golden Square 50, 4.