BY NATHAN DOLE
HEATHCOTE’S A-grade netball team will be aiming to stretch its winning run when it plays Colbinabbin in this Saturday’s match of the day in the Bendigo Bank Heathcote DFNL season.
The Heathcote Saints are riding a three-game winning streak as they take to their court at Barrack Reserve to take on Colbinabbin.
It’s another huge test for a team jointly coached by Brooke Bolton and Kelsey Hayes.
When these teams met in the season opener it was the Jen McIntyre-coached Colbinabbin which claimed a 56-41 win at M.J. Morgan Oval.
A 6-2 record has Colbinabbin in third place as the second half of the home-and-away series tips off.
Although they were beaten, 51-54 at White Hills last Saturday, the Grasshoppers showed plenty of confidence and skill.
A key to Heathcote’s chances of stopping the green and gold charge will be mid-court pressure.
Some lapses, although only for a few minutes, were costly for Heathcote in matches against league powers such as Elmore, White Hills and Colbinabbin.
A hat-trick of victories has lifted the Saints to the fifth rung on the ladder and a win and more than 30 per cent clear of the sixth-placed North Bendigo.
Another big match on Saturday will be at Toolleen where Mount Pleasant takes on a North Bendigo team desperate for the points.
In round one the Carine Comer-coached Mount Pleasant scored a 41-31 win on North Bendigo’s court at Hibo Hotel Oval in Atkins Street.
The Blues marked a 45-37 win at Lockington last round, while the Bulldogs were on the end of a 75-35 defeat on Elmore’s court.
Mounts has a 5-2 record and is determined to keep the heat on Colbinabbin in the fight to be third and hold a double chance at finals time.
Top teams Elmore and White Hills will start favourite to take the points in their home games.
The unbeaten Elmore began its pursuit of back-to-back premierships by scoring a 74-34 win at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve in the first round.
In eight matches Elmore has scored 589 goals and also defended well to be 317 against.
A Bloods’ line-up jointly coached by Allira Holmes and Gabe Richards has plenty of attacking power which will test the Kym Bell-coached Hawks in all quarters.
White Hills marks consecutive home games at Winslow Constructors Oval in Scott Street.
The Lauren Bowles-coached Demons take to the court against Leitchville Gunbower.
In round one, White Hills won 88-21 at Leitchville.
The Gemma Angove-coached Bombers have been refreshed by the bye, but face a huge challenge against the league’s second-highest scoring team, 546 goals, and best defence, 286 against.
Lockington Bamawm United has the bye.
Standings in the Heathcote DFNL A-grade netball competition:
Elmore 185 per cent, 32 points; White Hills 190, 28; Colbinabbin 150, 24; Mount Pleasant 92, 20; Heathcote 104, 16; North Bendigo 71, 12; Huntly 76, 4; Leitchville Gunbower 53, 4; Lockington Bamawm United 53, 4.