BY NATHAN DOLE
NEWBRIDGE will face Calivil United’s heat in Saturday’s 10th round of A-grade netball in the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley FNL season.
For the first time this season Newbridge is on its court at Holloway Air Riverside Oval.
Renovations following flooding meant Newbridge has spent the first half of the season on the road.
The Selina Holland-coached Newbridge will be determined to mark a winning return.
It’s a crucial game for the Maroons and Demons.
At the halfway mark of the home-and-away series, Newbridge is fifth on a 4-4 record.
The Maroons will be desperate to take the points against Calivil United and also stay clear of the sixth-placed Mitiamo.
In round one, Newbridge scored a 39-37 victory on Calivil’s court.
The Chelsea Hicks-coached Demons went into the league’s break for the King’s Birthday holiday weekend after a 22-goal win on Inglewood’s court at Dissy Machinery Oval.
Two of Calivil United’s best matches were in consecutive rounds where it was beaten 42-36 at Bridgewater in round six, and then finished within 14 goals of Mitiamo on the Roos’ court.
Another big match will be at Bridgewater where the Mean Machine takes on the third-placed Mitiamo.
The Aimie Brown-coached Bridgewater has a 4-4 record, but is more than 20 per cent adrift of the fifth-placed Newbridge.
It’s been an extended break for Bridgewater which had the bye in round nine.
When the season tipped off the Jen Wilson-coached Mitiamo beat the Machine by 35 goals on the Superoos’ court at John Forbes Oval.
Runner-up last season, Mitiamo showed it’s a team to be reckoned with in a 62-53 victory against Marong in the ninth round.
It’s first against fourth as Maiden Gully YCW heads across to Marong’s Malone Park.
The Adam Boldiston-coached Maiden Gully YCW won the first-round clash with Marong by nine goals on the Eagles’ court at Marist College Bendigo.
Coached by Sue Borserio, Marong will be determined to strike back from its loss to Mitiamo before the break.
It could be a drought-breaking win for Bears-Lagoon Serpentine or a second victory of the season for Inglewood when these teams meet at Gadsden Finance Serpentine Reserve.
In round one it was Inglewood which marked a successful return to A-grade by scoring a 47-35 win on its court at Dissy Machinery Oval.
Jointly coached by Helen Ward and Dianne Wayman, Inglewood has had a tough run.
Among the highs for the Blues were the 33-43 result at home against Bridgewater in the third round.
The Stacee Burns-coached Bears will be aiming to maintain a high level of defensive pressure and also cap off their moves into the atacking third.
Pyramid Hill has the bye.
Standings in the Loddon Valley FNL A-grade netball competition:
Maiden Gully YCW 189 per cent, 28 points; Pyramid Hill 152, 24; Mitiamo 152, 24; Marong 160, 22; Newbridge 101, 16; Bridgewater 80, 16; Calivil United 78, 8; Inglewood 45, 4; Bears-Lagoon Serpentine 44, 0.