BFNL Round 9 Netball Preview


Top teams clash on Gisborne’s court

TOP teams Gisborne and Kangaroo Flat meet in this Saturday’s ninth round of A-grade netball action in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL season.

The ladder-leading Gisborne has home-court advantage at Gardiner Reserve as first takes on second from 2.30pm.

In last year’s run to premiership glory, Gisborne was beaten in both home-and-away contests by the Kangaroos.

The Bulldogs’ tally of five defeats in ’23 included a 42-44 result on the Kangaroos’ court at Dower Park in round four, and 25-32 loss at home in the 13th round.

The Tarryn Rymer-coached Gisborne turned things around to beat Flat, 37-31 in the qualifying final.

A week later and the Roos premiership race was ended in a one-goal loss to Castlemaine in the first semi-final.

Just as they have done for several seasons, Gisborne and Kangaroo Flat are among the leading pack in this year’s race for premiership glory.

The unbeaten Gisborne won last Saturday’s hard-fought match at Castlemaine by 14 goals as the Jayden Cowling-coached Kangaroo Flat had the bye.

Most recent hit-out for the Roos was the Indigenous Round feature match against Castlemaine on June 1.

The Roos won by 53 goals.

It’s been a big year for Cowling who has taken on dual coaching roles.

The long-time coach of the Roos’ A-grade team is also in charge of the Bendigo Strikers 23-and-under team in the Victorian Netball League.

Cowling is not just on the sidelines.

He played a key role in Victoria’s charge to gold at the national men’s netball titles in Brisbane and was recently in Canberra for a national training camp which involved two of the Strikers train-on players in Will Whiteacre and Ollie Ryan.

In Saturday’s other matches, South Bendigo is home at Harry Trott Oval in Kennington to take on Eaglehawk.

The Alicia McGlashan-coached Bloods will be keen to bounce back after being overrun in the final quarter of the King’s Birthday holiday weekend match on Golden Square’s court at Fur Life Oval.

It was a rest for the Hawks in A-grade last week as Eaglehawk played Maryborough at Canterbury Park.

Most recent match for the Kylie Piercy-coached Eaglehawk ended in a 36-75 loss to Sandhurst at Queen Elizabeth Oval.

Sandhurst will be back on the QEO court to take on Castlemaine.

The Tamara Gilchrist-coached Sandhurst showed its flexibility in last week’s 43-goal win on Strathfieldsaye’s court at Triple M Park.

Although it was beaten the Chloe Hughes-coached Castlemaine played one of its best matches of the season against Gisborne.

It’s another big test for the young Magpies against a league power.

Maryborough hosts Strathfieldsaye in the lower grades at Princes Park, but it’s a rest for Storm’s A-grade team which is coached by Steph Freemantle.

Golden Square has the bye.

Standings in the Bendigo FNL A-grade netball competition:

Gisborne 150 per cent, 24 points; Kangaroo Flat 219, 20; Sandhurst 199, 20; Strathfieldsaye 90, 12; Eaglehawk 66, 8; Golden Square 60, 8; Castlemaine 68, 4; South Bendigo 59, 4.