BFNL Round 10 Netball Preview | Kangaroos try to stop Sandhurst’s streak


KANGAROO Flat’s skill and self-belief will be put to the test when it faces Sandhurst in this Saturday’s 10th round of A-grade netball in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL season.

Past three meetings between these clubs, which include a second semi and a grand final have all been won by Sandhurst.

Third and first in this season’s premiership race, Kangaroo Flat and Sandhurst are back on the Roos’ court again this Saturday.

Key players in the Roos’ quest to end this season’s unbeaten run by the reigning premier include Abbey and Ashley Ryan, and Milly Wicks who all represented the Bendigo FNL at the Netball Victoria Association Championships last Sunday.

The Roos and Dragons had big wins in the ninth round.

Kangaroo Flat poured in 106 goals and held Golden Square to a tally of 19 at Dower Park.

The Dragons won 70-30 on Eaglehawk’s court at Dower Park.

Kangaroo Flat’s and Sandhurst’s line-ups have changed markedly since the Jayden Cowling-coached Roos beat the maroon and blue on July 16 last year.

On that day the Roos netted a 66-49 win against Sandhurst at Kangaroo Flat’s Dower Park.

In three meetings since last July, Sandhurst has won all three against the Roos.

The Tamara Gilchrist-coached Sandhurst beat the Roos, 65-26 in last year’s second semi-final and then scored a 48-33 victory in the grand final as the club marked a fourth consecutive premiership.

This season began with the grand final rematch in which the Dragons fired up for a 47-37 victory on its court at Queen Elizabeth Oval.

Last Sunday the Bendigo FNL was represented by six of Sandhurst’s stars and three from Kangaroo Flat at Netball Victoria’s Association Championships at Parkville.

The BFNL team had 10 wins and a draw in the preliminary rounds, but was beaten by eventual champion, Banyule in the semi-final.

Among those to wear the blue and gold were Sandhurst team-mates Shae Clifford, Heather Oliver, Charlotte Sexton, Sophie Shoebridge, Bec Smith and Meg Williams.

At the halfway mark of the home-and-away series, Sandhurst is number two for goals scored, 563, and second in defence, 267 against.

Kangaroo Flat has the number one attack, 576 for, but is fourth in defence, 321 against.

The Dragons’ winning streak started after a 47-46 loss at Castlemaine’s Camp Reserve on August 20 last year.

Another big match this Saturday will be at Triple M Park in Strathfieldsaye where Storm hosts Gisborne.

A 46-38 win at home against Kyneton last round meant the Steph Freemantle-coached Storm kept the heat on the fifth-placed South Bendigo.

Strathfieldsaye faces a big test against the second-placed Gisborne which won the season opener against Storm at Gardiner Reserve by 25 goals.

A talented Gisborne line-up coached by Tarryn Rymer includes Kirby Elliott and Claudia Mawson who represented the BFNL at the Association Championships.

Defence is a major strength of a Gisborne team which has 262 goals against in nine matches.

Eaglehawk is at home again at Canterbury Park to take on South Bendigo.

In round one it was South Bendigo which dominated in a 70-31 victory at their new home at Kennington’s Harry Trott Oval against the Hawks.

The Jannelle Hobbs-coached Bloods are on the rebound from a 44-31 defeat at Castlemaine.

This season’s superb play by Alicia McGlashan for the red and white earned selection in the Bendigo FNL open squad.

Win this and the Bloods will gain a four-point break on Storm.

Kyneton is at home at Kyneton Showgrounds to take on Golden Square.

The Dianne Guest-Oakley coached Tigers won by 31 goals at Golden Square in round one and should take the points again.

Castlemaine and Maryborough meet in the all-Magpies match at Camp Reserve.

The margin was just 10 goals in favour of ‘Maine at Princes Park in round one.

Jointly coached by Fiona Fowler and Gary Cooke, Castlemaine will not want to drop the intensity against the Jordan Macilwain-coached Maryborough.

Standings in the Bendigo FNL A-grade netball competition:

Sandhurst 210 per cent, 36 points; Gisborne 185, 28; Kangaroo Flat 179, 28; Castlemaine 124, 26; South Bendigo 112, 18; Strathfieldsaye 96, 18; Kyneton 90, 14; Maryborough 60, 8; Eaglehawk 66, 4; Golden Square 36, 0.