Castlemaine triumphs in return to A-grade netball finals
CASTLEMAINE marked a successful return to the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s A-grade netball finals on Sunday.
The Magpies took on South Bendigo in the elimination final at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Although the Bloods had beaten the Magpies by 15 goals at the QEO in round five, Castlemaine’s confidence was high after a 47-46 victory against Sandhurst at Camp Reserve a week out from the finals.
The Bloods’ run to the finals included a 37-36 win against Gisborne in the round 15 match at the QEO.
In its return to the league’s top grade, Castlemaine is jointly coached by Fiona Fowler in a playing role, and by Gary Cooke, a multiple premiership-winning coach in the Central Highlands Football Netball League.
In the Bendigo FNL elimination final it was Castlemaine which was in control for a lot of the contest with the Jannelle Hobbs-coached South Bendigo.
At the final whistle, Castlemaine led 58-30 and will now prepare to face Gisborne in next Sunday’s first semi-final.
Elimination final day for South Bendigo included four teams in action.
The Bloods took on Castlemaine in the A-reserve match.
South Bendigo had lost to Castlemaine by nine goals in round five at the QEO, but hit back for a 35-29 victory on Castlemaine’s court at Camp Reserve in the 14th round.
Latest showdown between the red and white and black and white ended in a 48-37 win for South Bendigo.
The Bloods will meet Gisborne in the first semi.
South Bendigo also took out the B-grade elimination final against Strathfieldsaye.
In round seven, the Bloods beat Storm by 15 goals at the QEO.
Next time around it was a 44-43 win for South Bendigo on Storm’s court at Triple M Park in Tannery Lane.
It was another thriller in the elimination final as the Bloods fought for a 37-34 victory to advance to the first semi against Gisborne.
The B-reserve elimination final ended in a 49-40 win for Eaglehawk against South Bendigo.
The Hawks had beaten the Bloods by six goals in the Good Friday match at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park, and by 14 goals in the 11tth round at the QEO.
Elimination final day began with the 17-and-under match between Maryborough and Golden Square.
The rising stars for the Magpies and Bulldogs played out a great contest in which Maryborough stayed in the premiership race after a 48-43 victory.
Schedule for Saturday’s second semi-finals at Queen Elizabeth Oval:
17-and under at 10am: Gisborne v Sandhurst.
B-reserve at 11.20am: Sandhurst v Gisborne.
B-grade at 12.40pm: Sandhurst v Kangaroo Flat.
A-reserve at 2pm: Kangaroo Flat v Sandhurst.
A-grade at 3.20pm: Kangaroo Flat v Sandhurst.
Schedule for Sunday’s first semi-finals at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
17-and-under at 10am: Kangaroo Flat v Maryborough.
B-reserve at 11.20am: Kangaroo Flat v Eaglehawk.
B-grade at 12.40pm: Gisborne v South Bendigo.
A-reserve at 2pm: Gisborne v South Bendigo.
A-grade at 3.20pm: Gisborne v Castlemaine.
Written by Nathan Dole.