THE top two on the A-grade netball ladder, Sandhurst and Eaglehawk face-off in Saturday’s 16th round of the Bendigo Football Netball League season.
The match on the Canterbury Park court in Eaglehawk could be a grand final preview.
Both line-ups are in great form and will be keen to gain a psychological edge.
In round seven, Sandhurst beat the Borough by seven goals at the QEO.
The Hawks played well to win last Saturday’s clash with South Bendigo, while Sandhurst had a rest as Kyneton does not field an A-grade team.
South Bendigo’s run for a top-five finish could be derailed by Kangaroo Flat.
The seventh-placed Bloods are locked on 28 points with Golden Square, 5th; and Maryborough, 6th; ahead of a big game on the Kangaroos court at Dower Park.
A loss to the third-placed Flat would make it extremely difficult for South to feature in the A-grade finals as it plays Strathfieldsaye at the QEO and then at Gisborne in the last two rounds.
The Bloods are on the rebound from a loss to Eaglehawk at Harry Trott Oval last week, while Kangaroo Flat fought on to score a five-goal victory at Golden Square.
In round seven, Kangaroo Flat defeated South Bendigo by 28 goals.
Golden Square will start favourite against the winless Strathfieldsaye at Tannery Lane.
The blue and gold beat Storm by 31 goals in round seven at Wade Street.
In the run to the finals, Golden Square is at home to Gisborne next round, and then has the bye in the 18th as its drawn to play at Kyneton.
Maryborough has a break this round, but the lower-grade teams play at Kyneton, and Gisborne has a rest in the top flight as the red, white and blue host Castlemaine at Gardiner Reserve.
A tough run for Maryborough is Sandhurst at Princes Park in the 17th round, and then at Eaglehawk to complete the home and away series.
Bendigo FNL A-grade netball ladder:
Sandhurst 54 points, 150 per cent; Eaglehawk 52, 131; Gisborne 48, 137; Kangaroo Flat 42, 116; Golden Square 28, 87; Maryborough 28, 82; South Bendigo 28, 76; Strathfieldsaye 16, 54.