Top netball teams reign supreme in BNL

TAKING AIM: Strathfieldsaye shooter Katie Hepburn has a shot on goal.

TAKING AIM: Strathfieldsaye shooter Katie Hepburn has a shot on goal.

CATCH: Storm defender Claudia Powell grabs the ball.

CATCH: Storm defender Claudia Powell grabs the ball.

STRETCH: Rachel Mackenzie is on the move. Pictures: PETER WEAVING

STRETCH: Rachel Mackenzie is on the move. Pictures: PETER WEAVING

BENDIGO’s top netball teams flexed their muscles at the weekend.

Kangaroo Flat, Gisborne, Kyneton and Golden Square reaffirmed their status as the best four teams in the Bendigo Football Netball League, all scoring comprehensive wins.

Gisborne, the reigning premiers, scored a big win over Sandhurst at Gardiner Reserve.

After losing to the Dragons earlier this season, the Dogs were out for revenge, winning 57 to 32.

Kyneton’s impressive season continued with a 37-goal victory over Castlemaine at Camp Reserve.

The Tigers got off to a fast start, keeping Castlemaine to just seven goals in the first quarter.

Kyneton then scored 20 goals in the third quarter to help it win its 13th game of the season and secure third spot on the BFNL A-grade ladder.

Golden Square coach Lia Marrone was happy with her team’s four-quarter performance over Eaglehawk on Saturday.

Square dominated the game, winning 67 to 37 at Canterbury Park.

“We were happy with the game,” Marrone said.

“We had a slow start, but the girls really backed each other and turned it around.”

Marrone praised the efforts of young goaler Abbey Ryan, saying the attacker played a strong game.

She said her line-up was settled, with just two games remaining in the regular season.

“We have had a rocky year, but we are clicking well and the girls are hitting form at the right end of the season,” Marrone said.

“We have our line up settled but we do have a team of versatile players so we will continue to mix up the combinations to match up against the opposition.”

The top-of-the-table Roos hosted the Storm in what potentially could have been a danger game, however an imposing second half was the difference between the two sides.

Kangaroo Flat won 52 to 26.

Storm coach Maleta Roberts said it was a frustrating match.

“I feel we made a few mistakes at crucial times,” she said.

“It was a very physical match which got worse as the game went on with too many inconsistent calls, which we didn't really agree with, but there is not much you can do about that, we needed to adjust somehow.”

Roberts said despite the loss, there were some positives she could take from the match.

“The girls backed each other up as much as they could and didn't panic,” she said.

“They tried to adjust as best they could, but things just didn't go in our favour.

“Our attack end played a nice defensive game.”

The Storm are now out of the finals race, sitting in sixth position,  three wins outside of the top five.

Roberts said the A-grade team will fight hard over the final two rounds of the season.

“We need to play just smart, controlled netball and continue to believe that we are a better team than our position on the ladder reflects,” she said.

Roberts said Gisborne may be the team to beat during the finals.

“Gisborne have the edge I feel,” she said.

“They are a very smart, controlled and skilfully clean team.

“We've got them on Sunday, so it will be a tough but good match.”

In the BFNL's final game of the round, Maryborough scored a win against South Bendigo at the Queen Elizabeth Oval netball courts on Sunday.

Maryborough won 57 to 26.

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