BY NATHAN DOLE
A CRUCIAL netball clash will be played on Castlemaine’s court in this Saturday’s second round of A-grade action in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League.
Last season’s preliminary finalists, Castlemaine and Gisborne will do battle at the Magpies’ home in Camp Reserve from 2.20pm.
Last September it was Gisborne which ended the Magpies run after a 51-48 victory in the first semi-final.
The Magpies and Bulldogs triumphed in last Saturday’s opening round of the ’23 campaign.
The Fiona Fowler and Gary Cooke-coached Castlemaine won a hard-fought match at Maryborough’s Princes Park.
At the final whistle it was Castlemaine which led 47-37 in the battle of the Magpies.
Gun defender Zoe Davies played a key role as Gisborne won 49-24 against Strathfieldsaye at Gardiner Reserve.
The Tarryn Rymer-coached Gisborne also had goalshooter Tori Skrijel, the 17-under competition’s best and fairest and a premiership winner last season take to the court.
The Gisborne attack also includes the classy Claudia Mawson.
Another big match will be at Kangaroo Flat’s Dower Park where last year’s runner-up takes on South Bendigo.
The Roos are on the rebound from defeat.
The Jayden Cowling-coached Kangaroos could not halt Sandhurst’s charge to a 10-goal win at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
South Bendigo coach Janelle Hobbs will be keen to see the team build on the momentum from a 70-31 win against Eaglehawk.
The Bloods’ pressure in defence and through mid-court will be vital against such a skilful and slick-moving Kangaroos’ line-up.
Strathfieldsaye and Golden Square meet on Storm’s court at Triple M Park in Strathfieldsaye’s Tannery Lane.
Both teams are on the rebound from defeat.
Despite a 25-goal loss at Gisborne there were plenty of positives for the Steph Freemantle-coached Strathfieldsaye which had several recruits on court.
The Benita Swatton-coached Golden Square will be determined to limit Storm’s attack and also capitalise on its moves into the goaling circle.
Eaglehawk and Maryborough meet at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park.
The Kylie Piercy-coached Hawks will be keen to hit back after a big loss at Harry Trott Oval against South Bendigo.
Maryborough’s playing coach Jordan Macilwain would have been rapt with the workrate against the highly-rated Castlemaine in the opening round.
Back-to-back wins are in the sights of Kyneton and Sandhurst as they meet in Tigerland at Kyneton Showgrounds.
The Dianne Guest-Oakley coached Kyneton won 54-23 at Golden Square, but face a much stronger opponent in the Tamara Gilchrist-coached Sandhurst which has won four A-grade premierships in a row.
Standings in the Bendigo FNL A-grade netball competition:
Kyneton 234 per cent, 4 points; South Bendigo 225, 4; Gisborne 204, 4; Castlemaine 127, 4; Sandhurst 127, 4; Kangaroo Flat 78.7, 0; Maryborough 78.7, 0; Strathfieldsaye 48, 0; Eaglehawk 44, 0; Golden Square 42, 0.