MATCH of the day in Saturday’s third round of A-grade netball in the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley Football Netball League will be played at John Forbes Oval in Mitiamo.
It’s the clash of the unbeaten Mitiamo and Marong who are second and third on the ladder.
The Marong Panthers have made a superb start to the season, but now face arguably the league’s biggest test.
A 46-42 win against Maiden Gully YCW under lights at Marist College Oval by the Panthers was followed by a home-court win against Bridgewater at Malone Park by nine goals in round two.
After a week’s rest because of the Easter holiday break, Marong will be keen to take it right up to a skilful Mitiamo team which has Laura Hicks, a multiple winner of the league’s fairest and best award and gun mid-courter as playing coach.
Mitiamo’s early-season run was a 32-goal win against Bears Lagoon Serpentine at home and then a 22-goal victory on Newbridge’s court at Holloway Air Riverside Park.
Another important match will be Pyramid Hill’s Mitchell Park.
Pyramid Hill’s players have endured a lengthy wait to bounce back from a first-up loss at Bridgewater as they had the bye in round two and then Easter.
The team in red, white and blue will be keen to perform well on their court against Bears Lagoon Serpentine.
Key players for the Abbey Dingwall-coached Pyramid Hill include centre Imogen Broad, Meg Layton and Jordann Broad.
The Bears are on the rebound from a 32-59 loss to Calivil United at home at Gadsden Finance Serpentine Reserve.
BLS coach Stacee Burns will look to Sharna Appleby, Georgia Harrison and Ella Hocking to lead the way.
Maiden Gully YCW takes on Newbridge at Marist College Oval in Maiden Gully.
Beaten in round one, Maiden Gully YCW then had a forfeit from Inglewood in round two.
The Christie Griffiths-coached Eagles were in top form before last season’s was abruptly ended.
A talented Eagles’ squad includes assistant coach Leisa Barry, Tiarni Baxter, Laura Butler, Rachael Gray, Meg Patterson, Jarrenhy and Tia Webb.
The run for Newbridge was a first-round bye and then a 31-53 result against Mitiamo at Riverside Park.
The Selina Holland-coached Newbridge has many new faces.
Newcomers to the Maroons’ squad include Brianna Burt, Kym Childs, Georgie Hyett and Abby Rowley.
It’s another week’s rest for Bridgewater in A-grade because Inglewood is not fielding a team.
Calivil United has the bye.
Standings in the Loddon Valley FNL A-grade netball competition:
Calivil United 184 per cent, 8 points; Mitiamo 178, 8; Marong 116, 8; Bridgewater 112, 4; Maiden Gully YCW 91, 4; Pyramid Hill 60, 0; Newbridge 58, 0; Bears Lagoon Serpentine 54, 0; Inglewood 0, 0.
Written by Nathan Dole.