BY NATHAN DOLE
SANDHURST’S winning run against Kangaroo Flat kept rolling in Saturday’s start to the A-grade netball action in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League.
The Dragons and Kangaroos met in the rematch of last season’s grand finalists on the court adjacent to Queen Elizabeth Oval.
The Tamara Gilchrist-coached Sandhurst had won its three previous showdowns after the Jaydon Cowling-coached Roos scored a 66-49 win against Sandhurst in the 13th round last season.
Since that contest the Dragons marked a 65-26 victory in the second semi-final against Flat, and then 48-33 in the grand final to achieve a fourth consecutive premiership.
It was a high-scoring contest in Saturday’s wet conditions.
At the final whistle, Sandhurst led 47-37.
Gisborne made an impressive start to the season as it took on Strathfieldsaye at Gardiner Reserve.
The Tarryn Rymer-coached Gisborne won 49-24 against the Steph Freemantle-coached Storm.
South Bendigo and Eaglehawk met at the Bloods’ new home of Harry Trott Oval in Kennington’s Neale Street.
There had been matches for premiership points involving South Bendigo at the ground in recent years, but the Bloods have made the permanent move to Kennington.
On Saturday it was the Janelle Hobbs-coached South Bendigo which proved too strong for the Hawks.
At a ground where there have been plenty of centuries scored the final score was 70-31 in favour of the red and white against the Kylie Piercy-coached Two Blues.
It was a hard-fought contest between the Magpies from Maryborough and Castlemaine at Maryborough’s Princes Park.
Jordan Macilwain marked her A-grade coaching debut with Maryborough against a strong Castlemaine team coached by Fiona Fowler and Gary Cooke.
It was Castlemaine which took the points in a 47-37 result.
Golden Square faced Kyneton at Fur Life Oval in Golden Square’s Wade Street.
The Benita Swatton-coached Golden Square worked hard, but it was the Dianne Guest-Oakley-coached Kyneton which claimed a 54-23 victory.
Bendigo FNL A-grade netball ladder:
Kyneton 234 per cent, 4 points; South Bendigo 225, 4; Gisborne 204, 4; Castlemaine 127.03, 4; Sandhurst 127.03, 4; Kangaroo Flat 78, 0; Maryborough 78, 0; Strathfieldsaye 48, 0; Eaglehawk 44, 0; Golden Square 42, 0.
Highlight of next Saturday’s second round will be the clash of two of last season’s top teams, Castlemaine and Gisborne in the Magpies’ nest at Camp Reserve.
Kangaroo Flat will aim to rebound from defeat when it takes on South Bendigo on the Roos’ court at Dower Park.
Strathfieldsaye meets Golden Square in Storm territory at Triple M Park in Tannery Lane.
Eaglehawk is at home at Canterbury Park against Maryborough.
Kyneton faces a big test against Sandhurst at Kyneton Showgrounds.