BFNL Netball | Grand Final PREVIEW

Bloods, Bulldogs, Dragons, Roos in netball premiership races

THE Bloods, Bulldogs, Dragons and Kangaroos could mark one or more netball premierships at Saturday’s grand finale to the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League season.

Hundreds of fans will line the court at Queen Elizabeth Oval to witness five contests.

The finale will be the A-grade clash between Sandhurst and Gisborne from 3pm.

Lead-up to the main contest will be exciting as Sandhurst chases premiership wins in four grades.

The day’s action begins at 9am when Gisborne meets Kangaroo Flat in the 17-and-under match.

It will be the first of three hit-outs for Gisborne on the netball court as the red, white and blue will also feature in B-reserve and A-reserve.


South Bendigo has made its way from an elimination final to challenge Sandhurst for the B-grade premiership.

A big day for Kangaroo Flat begins with the joeys aiming to end Gisborne’s unbeaten run in the 17-and-under and then taking on Sandhurst in A-grade.

It will be a showdown between Sandhurst and Gisborne in A-reserve.

The Beck Mullen-coached Sandhurst has won all three previous matches against Gisborne by margins of eight, one and eight goals.

Most recent meeting was in the qualifying final which the maroon and blue marked a 41-33 victory.

A week later and Sandhurst moved through to the grand final after a 47-44 victory against Kangaroo Flat in the second semi.

The Bronwyn Salter-coached Gisborne scored a 47-41 win against South Bendigo in the first semi and then beat Kangaroo Flat, 48-45 in the preliminary.

Key players for Sandhurst include Charlotte Sexton in defence, Ellie Wilson in mid-court or attack, Gabriella Greene in attack, and co-captains Kelsey Ralph and Paige Ryan.

Gisborne will look for big games from the likes of Olivia Rodda in mid-court, Charlotte Crook and Eloise Roda in defence, and an attack led by Alex Russ and Emily Zammit.


The A-reserve line-ups:

Sandhurst – Katie Dean, Gabrielle Greene, Tess Keating. Holly Lockhart, Kelsey Ralph, Paige Ryan, Charlotte Sexton, Darcy Williams, Ellie Wilson. Coach: Beck Mullen.

Gisborne – Charlotte Crook, Emily Floreani, Bianca Mackay, Georgia Murray, Eloise Rodda, Olivia Rodda, Alex Russ, Emily Zammitt. Coach: Bronwyn Slater.


Co-tenants at Queen Elizabeth Oval for many years, Sandhurst and South Bendigo meet in the B-grade decider.

The home-and-away matches went the way of the Dragons by 11 goals in round three, and by 23 in round 12.

The Tamara Gilchrist-coached Sandhurst won the second semi-final against Kangaroo Flat by five goals.

For the Janelle Hobbs and Vanessa Saunders-coached South Bendigo it’s been an exciting run to the grand final.


The Bloods won the elimination final against Strathfieldsaye by three goals and then followed up with a two goal win against Gisborne in the first semi and 50-34 victory against Kangaroo Flat in the preliminary.

Players to watch for Sandhurst include defender Briona Giddings who is a multiple winner of league best and fairest awards; Abbey and Meg McCarthy in mid-court, Aimee Deane and Elli Williams in attack.

The play of goalkeeper Bridget Turner and the experienced Erica Dalrymple-Monro at wing defence, centre or wing attack is also a key factor in the Dragons’ run.

South Bendigo’s captain is Emily Bakes.

The Bakes family have had a long and successful association with the Bloods.

A talented South Bendigo line-up includes Tegan Maddern in attack, vice-captain Imogen Kinder at wing attack, the athletic Sarah Appleby, and Georia Warne at centre or wing defence.

The Bloods also have the experience of Hollie Horbury, and defensive skills of Hayley Harrington.


Teams for the B-grade match:

Sandhurst – Erica Dalrymple-Monro, Aimee Deane, Briona Giddings, Tamara Gilchrist, Tahlia Isaac, Abbey McCarthy, Meg McCarthy, Lily Trimby, Bridget Turner, Elli Williams, Coach: Tamara Gilchrist.

South Bendigo – Sarah Appleby, Tiana Arentz, Emily Bakes, Hayley Harrington, Annie Hockey, Hollie Horbury, Georgia Kinder, Imogen Kinder, Tegan Maddern, Jeanette Ross, Georgia Warne. Coaches: Jannelle Hobbs, Vanessa Saunders.


It’s a showdown between Sandhurst and Gisborne in B-reserve.

The Rose Gallagher-coached Sandhurst has won all three previous matches with Gisborne by margins of 39, one and nine goals.

Most recent hit-out was the second semi which the Dragons took out 57-48.

The run for the Shelley Farrugia-coached Gisborne to the grand final began with a 49-44 win against Kangaroo Flat in the qualifying final, the second semi-final defeat, and a 21-goal win against the Roos in the preliminary.

Sandhurst captain Isabelle Whiteley will be aiming to add a premiership medal to the league best and fairest award.

The Dragons have the skilful Lucy Sherriff in the centre, the versatile Ruby Walsh, Amy Coghlan at goal attack, Bec Dine and Polly Robertson in defence.

Gisborne has Tarryn Rymer and Kiara Harbridge teaming up in mid-court, the dynamic Rebecca Merrett, goaler Hannah Weier, plus Brooke Bernacki and Ellie Lord in defence.


Line-ups for the B-reserve match:

Sandhurst – Jess Baird, Amy Coghlan, Erica Dalrymple-Monro, Bec Dine, Emily East, Teresa Fitzpatrick, Chloe Hann, Polly Robertson, Milly Ruff, Lucy Sherriff, Ruby Walsh, Isabelle Whiteley. Coach: Rose Gallagher.

Gisborne – Brooke Bernacki, Kiara Harbridge, Ellie Kays, Ellie Lord, Rebecca Merrett, Jess Ponton, Tarryn Rymer, Caytlyn Walker, Alicia Ward, Hannah Weier. Coach: Shelley Farrugia.


The young guns from Gisborne and Kangaroo Flat will meet in the 17-and-under decider.

The Rylee Connell-coached Gisborne will be aiming to be undefeated premiers.

In round seven, Gisborne won 53-42 on the Kangaroos’ court at Dower Park and followed up with a 55-38 result at Gardiner Reserve in the 16th round.

Gisborne scored a 51-44 victory against Sandhurst in the second semi.

The Kath Schmidt-coached Kangaroos bounced back from a 37-42 loss to Sandhurst in the qualifying final to beat Maryborough in the first semi by 14 goals.

A thrilling preliminary final between the Roos and Dragons ended in a 43-42 win for the Flat.

A formidable Gisborne line-up includes Torie Skrijel and Emily McDonald who went one-two in the race for the Carol Sing Medal as league fairest and best.

They are co-captains of the Gisborne team.

Skrijel is a key target as goaler and McDonald’s agility and strength are a huge asset for the red, white and blue.

Other players to watch in the Gisborne team are Montana Paton and Milly Shaw in defence, Grace Azzopardi and Lulu Slater.

A Kangaroo Flat attack led by Lani Burns and Rose Kennett will test Gisborne, as will Gemma Roberts, Amaya Schmidt, Theresa Buchanan and Jorja Crothers in mid-court.

Key factor to the Roos’ chances will be the defensive play of Isabella Allan and Gemma McPhee.


Teams for the 17-and-under final:

Gisborne – Grace Azzopardi, Bella Connors, Emily McDonald, Olivia Murray, Montana Paton, Elise Pemberton, Sienna Phelan-Smith, Milly Shaw, Tori Skrijel, Lulu Slater. Coach: Rylee Connell.

Kangaroo Flat –Isabella Allan, Lindsey Andrews, Theresa Buchanan, Lani Burns, Jorja Crothers, Rose Kennett, Gemma McPhee, Gemma Roberts, Amaya Schmidt. Coach: Kath Schmidt.


Schedule for Saturday’s grand finals at Queen Elizabeth Oval:

17-and-under at 9am: Gisborne v Kangaroo Flat.

B-reserve at 10.30am: Sandhurst v Gisborne.

B-grade at 12pm: Sandhurst v South Bendigo.

A-reserve at 1.30pm: Sandhurst v Gisborne.

A-grade at 3pm: Sandhurst v Kangaroo Flat.


Written by Nathan Dole.