BFNL Netball | Qualifying Final PREVIEW

Dragons fire up for showdown with Gisborne

STUNG by a one-goal loss which sent it toppling from top spot on the A-grade netball ladder, Sandhurst takes on Gisborne in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s A-grade qualifying final on Saturday.

The Tamara Gilchrist-coached Sandhurst is back on the Queen Elizabeth Oval court where it has achieved so much success, particularly in finals.

A run at a fourth consecutive premiership begins with not having a week’s rest in the first week of the finals, which the maroon and blue did have in the premiership winning seasons of 2017, ’18 and ’19.

Defeat at Castlemaine in the final round, albeit 46-47, was not the ideal lead-up to finals, but the Sandhurst line-up will not panic.

The Dragons won both of their showdowns with Gisborne in the home-and-away series.


In round one, Sandhurst dominated play on Gisborne’s court at Gardiner Reserve to win 66-33.

Final margin in the 10th round clash between the clubs at the QEO ended in a 53-37 victory for Sandhurst.

Key players for Sandhurst include Sophie Shoebridge and Meg Williams.

Gisborne’s form has lifted markedly in the past month.

A highlight for the Bulldogs was a 45-40 victory against Kangaroo Flat in the 16th round at Gisborne.

In its past five matches, Gisborne has achieved a win-loss tally of 4-1.

The play of Claudia Mawson and Maddy Stewart will be a key factor in the chances of the Tarryn Rymer-coached Gisborne beating Sandhurst for the first time in ’22.

Winner of the qualifying final advances to a second semi-final against Kangaroo Flat on September 3.

The defeated team will face Castlemaine or South Bendigo in the first semi-final on September 4.


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

The Dragons finished second on the ladder with a record of 14 wins, 1 loss, and one draw.

Gisborne’s run was 12-4.

Both matches between the teams in the home-and-away series were won by Sandhurst.

The maroon and blue won 51-43 at Gisborne in the season opener.

Although beaten, the Bulldogs will have gained confidence from a 40-41 result against Sandhurst in the 10th round at the QEO.


The ladder-leading Kangaroo Flat awaits the winner in a second semi-final showdown.

Based on their past two hit-outs, Kangaroo Flat and Gisborne could be set for another thriller in B-grade.

The Roos won the round seven match on their court at Dower Park, 43-41.

Nine rounds later and Kangaroo Flat marked a 42-41 victory at Gisborne.

Winner of Saturday’s clash will take on Sandhurst, 16-2, in the second semi.


In the B-reserve competition, Gisborne takes on Kangaroo Flat on Saturday.

The Bulldogs won the first-round clash, 49-43, and then marked a 53-48 victory at home against the Roos.

Either the Dogs or Roos will meet Sandhurst in the second semi.

First match in the finals series will be the 17-and-under qualifying final between Kangaroo Flat and Sandhurst.

The Roos won the fourth round showdown at Dower Park by five goals, and then scored a 38-29 victory at the QEO in the 13th round.

It’s a rest for Gisborne which ended the regular season on top of the 17-and-under ladder.


Schedule for Saturday’s qualifying finals at QEO:

17-and-under at 10am: Kangaroo Flat v Sandhurst.

B-reserve at 11.20am: Gisborne v Kangaroo Flat.

B-grade at 12.40pm: Kangaroo Flat v Gisborne.

A reserve at 2pm: Sandhurst v Gisborne.

A-grade at 3.20pm: Sandhurst v Gisborne.


Written by Nathan Dole.