BY NATHAN DOLE
THE A-grade netball showdown between Mitiamo and Marong highlights this Saturday’s ninth round of the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley FNL season.
In the final hit-out before clubs reach the halfway point of the season, Mitiamo will be fighting to claim a place in the top three.
The Jen Wilson-coached Mitiamo will start Saturday’s game on its court at John Forbes Oval in fourth place and on 20 premiership points.
Marong is second on a win-loss tally of 5-1 and a draw.
In last Saturday’s play, Mitiamo’s mid-court and attack was in top form as the Superoos won 88-29 against Bears-Lagoon Serpentine at Gadsden Finance Serpentine Reserve.
The Sue Borserio-coached Marong won 77-49 on Bridgewater’s court.
Defences for the Superoos and Panthers will be prepared for a busy time.
It’s third against fifth as Pyramid Hill faces Newbridge at Pyramid Hill’s Mitchell Park.
A great run by the Gemma Scott-coached Pyramid Hill includes five wins, a loss, and a draw.
The Bulldogs won last Saturday’s home game against Inglewood by 29 goals.
Newbridge has worked hard to be in fifth place.
A win at Pyramid Hill will give the Maroons a one-win buffer to the sixth-placed Bridgewater which has the bye.
The Selina Holland-coached Newbridge has bounced back from a 28-goal loss at Mitiamo in round five to win its past two matches.
A high for the Maroons was the 51-48 victory against Maiden Gully YCW at Marist College Bendigo in round six.
Inglewood or Calivil United will eye a great chance to mark victory number two when they play on Inglewood’s court at Dissy Machinery Oval.
Jointly coached by Helen Ward and Dianne Wayman, Inglewood marked its return to A-grade by winning its first-round match at home against Bears-Lagoon Serpentine by eight goals.
The Blues have been winless since then, but did play well in a 33-43 result against Bridgewater at home in round three.
Calivil United is on the rebound from a 40-plus goal loss to Maiden Gully YCW.
The Demons marked a return to Raywood last round, but the Eagles were too strong.
The Chelsea Hicks-coached Calivil United has put some fine matches together.
Best have been a 37-39 loss to Newbridge at Calivil in round one, and a 42-36 result at Bridgewater in the sixth round.
It’s first against ninth as Maiden Gully YCW hosts Bears-Lagoon Serpentine at Marist College Bendigo in Maiden Gully.
The Adam Boldiston-coached Maiden Gully YCW has had just the one slip-up in its pursuit of back-to-back premierships.
Latest hit-out for the Eagles ended in a 68-26 victory against Calivil United on the Raywood Recreation Reserve court.
It’s been a tough season for the .Stacee Burns-coached team from Bears-Lagoon Serpentine.
The Bears will be doing all they can to limit the Eagles’ quick passes from defence through mid-court and into attack, but it’s a daunting task.
Bridgewater has the bye.
Standings in the Loddon Valley FNL’s A-grade netball competiton:
Maiden Gully YCW 169 per cent, 24 points; Marong 177, 22; Pyramid Hill 121, 22; Mitiamo 159, 20; Newbridge 107, 16; Bridgewater 80, 16; Calivil United 70, 4; Inglewood 44, 4; Bears Lagoon-Serpentine 48, 0.