BY NATHAN DOLE
THIRD place on the A-grade netball ladder is up for grabs as Kangaroo Flat faces Castlemaine in Saturday’s 14th round in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL season.
Separated by just two points, the fourth-placed Kangaroo Flat is on its court at Dower Park to take on the third-placed Castlemaine.
When these teams met in round five it was the Fiona Fowler and Gary Cooke-coached Castlemaine which controlled most of the play after quarter-time to score a 55-39 victory.
Kangaroo Flat is on the rebound from a 25-32 loss on Gisborne’s court at Gardiner Reserve.
Win and the Roos jump above Castlemaine to the third rung.
Will not be an easy task for the Flat against a Magpies’ line-up which won its latest home game at Camp Reserve against Eaglehawk by nine goals.
It’s the clash of Sandhurst and South Bendigo at the Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Unbeaten in its pursuit of a fifth consecutive A-grade premiership, Sandhurst takes on its previous co-tenant at the iconic venue.
It’s also “Back To Day” for Sandhurst FNC where it thanks all those who have contributed to the club’s success since it formed in 1861, and also welcomes the next generation of footballers and netballers.
There are thousands who have links to the Dragons as players, supporters, administators, volunteers, sponsors, or friend of the club.
The day includes complimentary entry for the junior netball and football families from Sandhurst’s traditional feeder clubs, St Therese’s and Quarry Hill.
On the netball court, the Tamara Gilchrist-coached Sandhurst won the round five clash, 62-22 at South Bendigo’s new home at Harry Trott Oval in Neale Street, Kennington.
Sandhurst goes into this Saturday’s match following an 84-41 win against Strathfieldsaye at the QEO last round.
The Jannelle Hobbs-coached South Bendigo won 93-26 in its home game aginast Golden Square.
Heat from the Sandhurst Dragons will be much higher in all thirds of the court.
Eaglehawk is at home to play Strathfieldsaye at Canterbury Park.
When these teams met in round five it was Storm which claimed a 46-35 victory against the Hawks at Triple M Park in Strathfieldsaye’s Tannery Lane.
The Kylie Piercy-coached Eaglehawk has improved markedly since then and will be confident of chalking up its fourth win of the season.
Will not be an easy task for the Two Blues against the Steph Freemantle-coached Storm which must win to keep the heat on South Bendigo and Kyneton in the race to decide fifth place.
Kyneton is back at Tigerland in Kyneton Showgrounds to take on Gisborne.
The Dianne Guest-Oakley coached Kyneton kept finals hopes alive by winning last Saturday’s match at Maryborough’s Princes Park by 29 goals.
The Tigers are up against the Tarryn Rymer-coached Gisborne which played superb defence to restrict Kangaroo Flat to 25 goals last round.
Previous meeting between the Tigers and Bulldogs ended in a 28-goal win for Gisborne on its court at Gardiner Reserve.
It will be a breakthrough victory for Golden Square or a third by Maryborough when they clash at Fur Life Oval in Golden Square’s Wade Street.
The Jordan Macilwain-coached Magpies won 73-53 at Princes Park in round five.
That match was the highest tally the Benita Swatton-coached Golden Square has achieved this season.
The blue and gold will be fired up for a big game as a tough run home includes Gisborne, away; Castlemaine, home; Eaglehawk, away; and Kangaroo Flat, home.
Maryborough will also be keen to strike back after a 29-goal loss at home last round.
Standings in the Bendigo FNL A-grade netball competition:
Sandhurst 216 per cent, 52 points; Gisborne 177, 44; Castlemaine 129, 38; Kangaroo Flat 161, 36; South Bendigo 117, 26; Kyneton 96, 22; Strathfieldsaye 92, 22; Eaglehawk 73, 12; Maryborough 55, 8; Golden Square 34, 0.