A REINFORCED South Bendigo started the 2022 BFNL netball season in blazing fashion with a 46-goal victory over Golden Square at the QEO on Saturday.
The Bloods, bolstered by several new recruits and emerging youngsters, took control of the contest early and never relented on their way to an imposing 69-23 victory.
They were brilliantly led by defender and joint skipper Steph Goode and wing attack Chloe Gray, who has joined the Bloods from Riddell District club Wallan and looks set to play a big role in their push for a top-three berth.
Coach Jannelle Hobbs used 10 players in total, pleasingly finding game time for impressive youngsters Amy Morrissey and Ella Flavell, who played a half each at wing defence.
The loss came at a cost for Golden Square, which lost top recruit goal shooter Jane Reid with a knee injury.
The former Newbridge premiership player had been a strong target for the Bulldogs before leaving the court.
A remarkably consistent effort for the Bloods produced 16 goals in the opening quarter, 17 in the second and 18 in each of the third and fourth terms, with Hobbs shuffling newcomer Olivia Mason, Chloe Langley and the returning Jamie-Lee Clohesy through the goal circle with tremendous effect.
"We had the luxury of having 10 very good players, so we rotated them on and off and they all did their bit," Hobbs said.
"It was very pleasing to start that way.
"We really pushed hard and wanted to be consistent over the four quarters and were able to reach all the targets we set ourselves.
"We haven't even all trained together yet, having the two Melbourne girls it's been pretty hard, and COVID as well.
"Hopefully this Tuesday night we can all get a session in together."
Hobbs said she would continue to run with three shooters to give the line-up plenty of flexibility.
"We've spoken about having 10-players and the girls have been really good about it," she said.
"Everyone understands they have a role to play, whether that be half a game or a full game, or whatever.
"It's good to have those three players who can come on and have an impact."
The Bloods will look to consolidate their momentum on Good Friday at Eaglehawk, while the road for Golden Square doesn't get any easier, with a second round clash against Kangaroo Flat, which defeated Maryborough 66-28 at Dower Park.
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