BY NATHAN DOLE
AFTER being overtaken in the third quarter, Colbinabbin struck back to beat Heathcote in Saturday’s start to A-grade netball in the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League.
The Grasshoppers and Saints played a great match on Colbinabbin’s court at M.J. Morgan Reserve.
In a clash between last year’s third and sixth-placed teams it was Colbo which led in the first half before the Saints took the lead in the third term.
The Jen McIntyre-coached Grasshoppers lifted their play in all thirds of the court to take control and then broke clear in the final term to claim a 56-41 victory.
Although disappointed with the final margin, Heathcote co-coach and star mid-courter Brooke Bolton said there were a lot of great signs for the Saints, especially in attack.
At North Bendigo’s Hibo Hotel Oval it was Mount Pleasant which took the points on the Bulldogs’ court in Atkins Street.
The Carine Comer-coached Blues made a great start to lead 17-12 at quarter-time.
Rain made play difficult throughout the second half as Mounts scored a 41-31 victory against a much-improved North Bendigo team coached by Shellie Davies.
Last season’s grand finalists, Elmore and White Hills were in hot form.
The Allira Holmes and Gabe Richards-coached Elmore was ruthless from the first pass until the last on Huntly’s court at Strauch Reserve.
Strong in all parts of the court, especially in attack, Elmore scored 74 goals.
The Kym Bell-coached Hawks worked hard to score 34 goals against a powerful opponent.
It was raining goals at Leitchville as White Hills won 88 to 21.
The Lauren Bowles-coached White Hills had recruits Karly Hynes, Amy Morrissey and Bridget Murray all play key roles.
The Demons scored 24 goals in the first quarter and the heat did not let up.
The play of Murray in mid-court and Alyssa Cole at goal attack were among the highs for the red and black.
Lockington Bamawm United had the bye.
Standings in the Heathcote DFNL’s A-grade netball competition:
White Hills 419, 0; Elmore 217, 4; Colbinabbin 136, 4; Mount Pleasant 132, 4; North Bendigo 75, 0; Heathcote 73, 0; Huntly 45, 0; Leitchville-Gunbower 23, 0; Lockington Bamawm United 0, 0.
In next Saturday’s second round, Lockington Bamawm starts its season at home against North Bendigo.
Mount Pleasant takes on Huntly on the Blues’ court at Toolleen.
Elmore is at home to play Colbinabbin in a rematch of the 2022 preliminary finalists.
Heathcote faces Leitchville Gunbower at Heathcote’s Barrack Reserve.
White Hills has the bye.