Hawks fly to first victory against HDFNL netball rival North Bendigo

TTHE Hawks have soared early in the HDFNL A-grade netball season.

QUICK BALL MOVEMENT: Huntly goal keeper Alex Waterman looks to clear the ball out of the Hawks' defensive area during Saturday's A-reserve clash against North Bendigo. The Bulldogs won 48-28. Picture: DARREN HOWE

QUICK BALL MOVEMENT: Huntly goal keeper Alex Waterman looks to clear the ball out of the Hawks' defensive area during Saturday's A-reserve clash against North Bendigo. The Bulldogs won 48-28. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Playing their first match of the season, Huntly defeated close rivals North Bendigo by four goals at Hibo Hotel Oval.

The Hawks' win was the first under their new coach Emily Eliades, who has switched clubs from Dunolly in the Maryborough Castlemaine District Football League.

It came over a North Bendigo team, which had its struggles early the previous week against Heathcote, but showed some terrific form in the second half.

Albeit early in the season, it was a crucial win for the Hawks, who will likely battle with the Bulldogs and Lockington-Bamawm United for a finals berth.

The Bulldogs will not get an immediate chance to atone, with a bye scheduled for next week.

Meanwhile, White Hills has started the season in ominous form with a second big win, this time over Heathcote.

The Demons, under coach Nadine Anderson, defeated the rebuilding Saints 53-11.

It followed a 64-16 win over Elmore the previous week.

The Demons look to have only strengthened themselves after a season in which they headed the ladder at the end of the minor round and finished runners-up to Colbinabbin.

The victory leaves last season's two grand finalists as the only teams with two wins from their first two games.

At Lockington, the Cats bounced back from an unexpected heavy defeat to Mount Pleasant to defeat Elmore.

Lockington-Bamawm United won 53-21, giving new coach Kristy Roulston her first win as A-grade coach.

A trip to Heathcote looms as a solid opportunity to claim two wins in a row and build some impoprtantmomentum early in the season.

In Good Friday's game, reigning premiers Colbinabbin moved to 2-0 with a hard-fought 58-50 win over Mount Pleasant.

The Grasshoppers have been pushed to the limit in both games this season, including a three-goal win over Leitchville-Gunbower, hinting at a tight-race towards the top of the ladder.

Mount Pleasant (1-1) has already shown vast improvement under new coach Belinda Pinner.

The Blues had lost their two games to the Grasshoppers by a combined 120 goals when they finished the season with a 5-11 record.

While Elmore has slipped to 0-2, there is better news on the junior front.

The Bloods head the 17-and-under ladder with a perfect 2-0 record after they defeated Lockington-Bamawm United 51-26.

It followed a win over White Hills last week.

The Demons rebounded with a 60-8 win over Heathcote, while Huntly scored a win in its first outing against North Bendigo 38-23.

In 15-and-under games, Huntly beat North Bendigo 51-17, White Hills defeated Heathcote 56-9 and Lockington-Bamawm United prevailed over Elmore 57-20.

In round three A-grade match-ups, Mount Pleasant has another tough contest against a Leitchville-Gunbower side coming off a bold showing against the reigning premiers and a bye, Huntly faces a big test against White Hills, Lockington-Bamawm United will look to make it two wins in a row at Heathcote, and Elmore hosts Colbinabbin.