GOLDEN Square coach Lia Marrone admits she has been surprised with how strong Kyneton has begun the season.
After more than five years out of the A-grade Bendigo Netball competition, Kyneton returned to the top level in emphatic style, with the Tigers only dropping one game in their first four rounds.
“I thought it would be difficult for them to pull together such a competitive side in their first season back in A-grade, but I am happy to see that they are doing so well,” Marrone said.
Golden Square is also in a similar spot after losing its only game to last year’s runners-up Kangaroo Flat.
This weekend Golden Square and Kyneton will face-off in what will be the round five game of the round.
“I am expecting this to be one of our toughest matches,” Marrone said.
“They have done well against some good sides so far and proven themselves as a top contender.”
Golden Square will be without key player Kath Basilewsky.
The shooter ruptured her Achilles in the last few minutes of their victory against Gisborne last weekend.
She had surgery this week.
“This injury will put her out for the season, but she is keen to get into the rehab and be back as soon as possible,” Marrone said.
“This will be a big loss for our team, but we are confident that we have the depth to continue to put a strong team on the court.”
Marrone said last week’s seven-goal victory over the reigning premiers was a confidence boosting win.
“We changed our line-up slightly for the Gisborne game,” she said.
“We went into the game with the mindset that we needed to be really strong at the ball and stay focused.
“We knew it would be a high pressure game right to the end.
“This win has certainly given us a boost.”
Kyneton coach Dean Erdman said the game against the Bulldogs would be a test for his team.
“It will be a big challenge for the team,” he said.
“Their form has been pretty good.
“We will need to step up.
“We will be ready for the game.”
The undefeated Kangaroo Flat will come up against Sandhurst in its round five game.
The Roos sit on top of the Bendigo League ladder, boasting a percentage of more than 200 per cent.
Sandhurst, on the other hand, sits in seventh place on the ladder with one win.
Reigning premiers Gisborne will look to bounce back after its loss last week.
They will host South Bendigo, which is yet to win a game in 2014, on Saturday afternoon.
Bendigo Netball League round five:
Sandhurst v Kangaroo Flat, 2.30pm, Queen Elizabeth Oval
Golden Square v Kyneton, 3.20pm, My Jet Oval
Gisborne v South Bendigo, 3.20pm, Gardiner Reserve
Eaglehawk v Castlemaine, 3.20pm, Canterbury Park
Maryborough v Strathfieldsaye, 3.20pm, Princes Park