BY NATHAN DOLE
A BIG match will be played on Kangaroo Flat’s netball court at Dower Park in Saturday’s fourth round of A-grade action in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL season.
Kangaroo Flat takes on Gisborne as the league marks Pat Cronin Foundation Round.
The Roos and the Bulldogs feature in the game of the round as more than 1800 players across the league wear yellow armbands, colour of the Melbourne-based anti-violence charity.
The day also recognises and promotes the vital work the Pat Cronin Foundation has done and will do to highlight the dangers of the coward punch.
For the Jayden Cowling-coached Kangaroo Flat it’s a massive test after big wins against South Bendigo and Maryborough.
The Roos were beaten in the rematch of the ’22 grand final when Sandhurst again triumphed, 47-37 at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Gisborne has made an impressive start to the season.
The Tarryn Rymer-coached Bulldogs beat Strathfieldsaye at Gisborne’s Gardiner Reserve in round one and won a closely-fought contest at Castlemaine a week later.
The team in red, white and blue goes into this match after a 23-goal win at home against Eaglehawk last Saturday.
Last time the Roos played Gisborne was in the ’22 preliminary final.
Kangaroo Flat won 52-49 to progress to the season decider.
Strathfieldsaye is at home at Triple M Park in Tannery Lane to take on Sandhurst.
Another massive test for the Steph Freemantle-coached Storm which has improved in many areas, but just not been able to put four quarters together.
Storm has a 1-2 record, but has faced two of last year’s finalists in Gisborne and Castlemaine in away games.
A red-hot Sandhurst passed the century mark in last Saturday’s showdown with Golden Square on Ron Best Memorial Shield day.
The Tamara Gilchrist-coached Sandhurst looks to have too much attacking flair for Storm to stop.
Kyneton and Maryborough meet in Tigerland at Kyneton Showgrounds.
The Dianne Guest-Oakley coached Tigers will be determined to mark their second win and keep the heat on those in fourth and fifth place.
After a slow start against South Bendigo, Kyneton did lift but the Bloods’ eight-goal buffer it gained in the first term proved too much.
At the final whistle the Tigers were down 44-48 at South Bendigo’s new home at Harry Trott Oval in Kennington.
Key players for Kyneton include Bec Ingleton, Brooke and Rachelle Mangan, Michelle Fletcher and Tilly Shepherd.
The Jordan Macilwain-coached Maryborough has a 1-2 record and will be keen to show it learnt plenty from last week’s hit-out against the powerful Kangaroo Flat team.
Golden Square is at home to face South Bendigo at Fur Life Oval in Wade Street.
The Benita Swatton-coached Golden Square will have worked a lot on defensive skills and strategy in the lead-up to this match.
South Bendigo has a 2-1 record and will be determined to build on last week’s hard-fought win against Kyneton.
A talented Bloods’ line-up coached by Jannelle Hobbs includes the classy Chloe Gray in mid-court, Steph Goode and Alicia McGlashan.
Eaglehawk is up against Castlemaine at Canterbury Park.
The Kylie Piercy-coached Hawks have played South Bendigo, Maryborough and Gisborne so far.
A big test for the Two Blues against a Castlemaine team which Caitlin Richardson and Jane O’Donohue in top form.
Magpies’ coaches Gary Cooke and Fiona Fowler will not want a drop in standards leading into the round five match against Kangaroo Flat at Camp Reserve.
Standings after three rounds in the Bendigo FNL’s A-grade netball competition:
Sandhurst 204 per cent, 12 points; Gisborne 165, 12; Kangaroo Flat 150, 8; South Bendigo 124, 8; Castlemaine 116, 8; Kyneton 113, 4; Strathfieldsaye 105, 4; Maryborough 76, 4; Eaglehawk 55, 0; Golden Square 31, 0.