Bloods under pressure from Kyneton at QEO
by Nathan Dole
IT’S fifth against sixth on the A-grade netball ladder as South Bendigo and Kyneton meet in Saturday’s 15th round of the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League season.
The Bloods lead the Tigers by six points and based on current form will start favourite to win at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
South Bendigo won the previous showdown with Kyneton on the Tigers’ court in the sixth round by 11 goals.
Although beaten, South Bendigo played superb netball to be within four goals of the ladder-leading Gisborne in last Saturday’s away game at Gardiner Reserve.
Defeat the Tigers and the Bloods will be tough to remove from fifth place.
In the run home, South Bendigo plays at Kangaroo Flat in round 16, takes on Strathfieldsaye at Kennington’s Harry Trott Oval in round 17, and has a rest in the final round as its drawn to play at Castlemaine.
The Kyneton Tigers will be desperate for a win on Saturday and to keep the pressure on South Bendigo.
The team in yellow and black has struggled to put four quarters together in the past five rounds.
Since an 18-goal win at Golden Square in round 10, Kyneton was beaten at home by Gisborne by three goals; had a bye; was thrashed at Kangaroo Flat by 40 goals; and was outpointed, 37-56, in last Saturday’s match against Strathfieldsaye at Tigerland.
In other games on Saturday, Kangaroo Flat will start favourite on Strathfieldsaye’s court at Triple M Park in Tannery Lane; Eaglehawk should be too strong for Golden Square at Canterbury Park; and Gisborne to take the points at Maryborough’s Barkers Oval in Princes Park.
The Kangaroos and Hawks are locked in a battle for the double chance at finals time.
Although it did not take to the court last round, Kangaroo Flat jumped to the third rung as Eaglehawk was beaten by Sandhurst, 60-46, at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
For just the fourth time this season, Strathfieldsaye will be chasing consecutive victories.
Storm teamed brilliantly to win at Kyneton last Saturday, but faces a huge challenge against Kangaroo Flat.
Maryborough will be aiming to capitalise on home-court advantage, but a Gisborne line-up which has an 11-1 record is likely to be too strong.
The previous meeting between the Magpies and Bulldogs ended in 45-goal win for Gisborne at home.
A tally of 45 goals was a season-best for Golden Square in last Saturday’s match at Maryborough.
The blue and gold face a much tougher task on Eaglehawk’s court.
In this season’s action at Canterbury Park, Eaglehawk has had three wins, two draws, and one defeat.
A tough run for the Hawks into the finals is play at Gisborne, home to Kyneton, and then at Kangaroo Flat.
Round 15 will be completed on Sunday when Sandhurst and Castlemaine play at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
It’s a break for Sandhurst in A-grade, but the maroon and blue will take on the Magpies in B-grade and B-reserve at 11.30am, and A-reserve at 1pm.
Standings in the Bendigo FNL A-grade netball competition:
Gisborne 136 per cent, 52 points; Sandhurst 148, 44; Kangaroo Flat 153, 42; Eaglehawk 132, 42; South Bendigo 93, 28; Kyneton 92, 22; Maryborough 71, 18; Strathfieldsaye 79, 16; Golden Square 47, 4.