NETBALL – Returning stars help Square to win over Gisborne | BFNL

FOCUSED: Sandhurst goal-shooter Rebecca Smith prepares to take a shot against Maryborough on Saturday. The Dragons won 77-51 at the QEO in a result that stretches their overall winning streak to 18 in a row. Pictures: DARREN HOWE
FOCUSED: Sandhurst goal-shooter Rebecca Smith prepares to take a shot against Maryborough on Saturday. The Dragons won 77-51 at the QEO in a result that stretches their overall winning streak to 18 in a row. Pictures: DARREN HOWE

AN injection of past players to help fill numbers propelled Golden Square to a hard-fought three-goal win over Gisborne in Bendigo league A-grade netball on Saturday.

Square was missing a total of 17 players across its netball teams, forcing the club to call on a number of past players for the trip to Gardiner Reserve.

With the Bendigo Braves women having a SEABL bye, the trio of star shooter Gabe Richards, Kelly Wilson and Andrea Wilson were among those who returned to the court for Golden Square, which moved back into the top five with a 46-43 victory.

“It was an exciting result for us given we had so many players out and it was a struggle to field our sides,” Square coach Kendyl Hopley said.

“However, we had some loyal past players come back in to help us out and we managed to come home with the win.”

As well as the Wilson sisters and Richards lining up for Golden Square, the team also had Bree Heiden, Millie Donegan, Julie Fennell and Alira Holmes all back in the side.

BATTLE: Maryborough's Maggie Tranter defends Sandhurst's Heather Oliver.

BATTLE: Maryborough's Maggie Tranter defends Sandhurst's Heather Oliver.

In what was an enthralling contest, the biggest margin that separated the two sides at any of the breaks was the four-goal advantage Golden Square held at half-time.

• South Bendigo won its first game of the season with a comprehensive 68-38 victory over Strathfieldsaye at Tannery Lane.

Aiming to average 15 goals per quarter, the Bloods scored 17 in the first, 14 in the second, 19 in the third and 18 in the last.

“A 30-goal win is fantastic for the girls, who played a really good game,” Bloods coach Janelle Hobbs said.

“A performance like this has been coming for a while. The girls have been working super hard, so it was a great result for them.”

PASS: Sandhurst's Emma Tindal looks to dish off to a team-mate.

PASS: Sandhurst's Emma Tindal looks to dish off to a team-mate.

In a strong team effort, captain Brianna Maddern played a superb leader’s game in the centre, while Paige Randall shot 53 of the Bloods’ 68 goals.

• Eaglehawk consolidated second position with an impressive 62-44 victory over Kangaroo Flat at home.

• Reigning premier Sandhurst maintained its unblemished record, defeating Maryborough 77-51 at the QEO, costing the Magpies their position in the top five.

The flag favourite Dragons broke the game open with a 23-12 second quarter following a tight first term.

………………………………..

Ladder:

Sandhurst – 32

Eaglehawk – 28

Gisborne – 20

Kangaroo Flat – 20

Golden Square – 20

Maryborough – 16

South Bendigo – 12

Strathfieldsaye – 8