HDFNL Round 2 Netball Preview


Elmore faces new-look North Bendigo

ELMORE is back on its court to face a new-look North Bendigo in this Saturday’s second round of A-grade netball in the Bendigo Bank Heathcote DFNL season.

An Elmore team jointly coached by Allira Holmes and Gabe Richards tipped off the ’24 campaign by scoring a 57-52 win at home.

Stung by consecutive finals losses last September after an unbeaten run to the finals, Elmore was able to take the points against a hard-working and skilful Colbinabbin team in the opening round.

Best for the Bloods against the green and gold were the versatile Tahnee Cannan, and Cayde Hayes.

There’s at least one forced change to Elmore’s team as Maddy Keating recovers from an ankle injury.

Plenty of changes at North Bendigo where Kiralee Kinder and Stacee Kingdon are co-coaches of the A-grade team.

It’s a first look at the Bulldogs who had the first-round bye.

A new attack for the red, white and blue will be led by Abbey Grindal, a development squad player with Bendigo Strikers, and Morgan McClellan.

Both had played at South Bendigo and are now joined at the Atkins Street-based club by Bloods team-mates Matissa and Sarah Appleby, and Jeanette Ross.

Another newcomer is Emily Kinder from Eaglehawk.

The Kinder family’s involvement with North Bendigo stretches more than three decades.

It’s a big test for the Bulldogs as they aim to rise from last year’s sixth placing.

The ladder-leading Leitchville Gunbower is home at Gunbower to take on Colbinabbin.

The Caitlyn Hamilton-coached Bombers made a flying start to the season as they scored a 66-24 win on Lockington Bamawm United’s court.

Key players for Leitchville Gunbower include Macey Brereton, Claudia Collins and Ava Hamilton.

Sterner test this week against the Jen McIntyre-coached Colbinabbin which showed plenty of fight and skill in the five-goal loss at Elmore.

Heathcote will be aiming for consecutive victories when it plays Lockington Bamawm United on the Saints court at Pigeon Park in Heathcote’s Barrack Reserve.

The Brooke Bolton and Kelsey Hayes-coached Saints were in control for most of last Saturday’s match against Mount Pleasant at Toolleen.

At the final whistle Heathcote led 53-33.

In a huge blow for the Saints, Kelsey Hayes has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee.

Hayes was injured in the second quarter of the match against Mount Pleasant.

Surgery is likely and the defensive star’s season is in limbo until consultation with a surgeon.

Key players for the Saints include Brooke Bolton at centre, Jen Van Neutegem as goalkeeper, Sophie Pica in attack, and Jess Peck in attack or defence.

The Ash Cullen-coached Lockington Bamawm United will be determined to keep the heat on the Saints all match.

It may take a few rounds for LBU to gel following the recruitment of Calivil United’s Lily Buckingham, Moama’s Georgie Crowe, and Echuca United’s Jess Davidson, Georgia McGowan and Kate Pearson.

White Hills will unfurl the premiership flag before the twilight clash with Mount Pleasant starts at 5pm in the Demons den at Scott Street in White Hills.

After being in Brisbane last round to watch her brother Jayden Cowling win gold at the Australian Men’s Netball Championships, Lauren Bowles will be back to coach the red and black.

The Demons won 70-28 against the Harlowe Huntly Hawks at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve in the first round.

A strong team for White Hills includes Bridget Murray at wing attack.

The Anthea McCleary-coached Mount Pleasant will be wary of an opponent which makes the most of laspes in concentration and defensive pressure.

Huntly has the bye.

Next hit-out for the Kym Bell-coached Hawks will be on Mount Pleasant’s court on April 20 at Toolleen.

Standings in the Heathcote DFNL A-grade netball competition:

Leitchville Gunbower 275 per cent, 4 points; White Hills 250, 4; Heathcote 160, 4; Elmore 109, 4; Colbinabbin 91, 0; Mount Pleasant 62, 0; Huntly 40, 0; Lockington Bamawm United 36, 0; North Bendigo 0, 0.