SANDHURST continued its red-hot start to the BFNL netball season by overpowering Strathfieldsaye at the QEO on Good Friday.
The Dragons followed up their impressive round one win over highly-touted Gisborne with a clinical and brilliant 72-28 victory over the Storm.
The result was the perfect way to celebrate two-time premiership star Kelsey Meade's 150th game and it improved Sandhurst's record to 2-0.
Meade, a BFNL team of the decade (2010-19) member and a key player in the Dragons' 2017 and '18 premierships, produced another influential performance in her milestone game.
In the absence of regular goal shooter Bec Smith, Meade spent the first half away from her usual goal attack position and excelled with 21 goals, before she added 23 in the second half at goal attack.
At the other end of the court, Imogen Sexton was at her rebounding best as she, Sophie Shoebridge and Ruby Turner traded positions in defence throughout the game.
Triple premiership coach Tamara Gilchrist could not have been happier with her side's follow up to last week's big win over Gisborne.
"We started very strong, but probably didn't finish as well as we would have liked, but nevertheless it was a great way to come off a solid win last week," she said.
"It's always important to win the early ones as you never know what the end of the season might look like.
"We have a great match coming up against South next week and that's always a challenge and then we have Kangaroo Flat the week after, so it's great to get two wins up to see where we are at."
Gilchrist was happiest to get a win on such a big day for the club, with Meade celebrating her 150th game and three other Dragons players reaching milestones in the lower grades.
"She had a cracking game and shot the lights out, especially when we needed it without Bec Smith in there," she said.
"Holly (Lockhart) and Kelsey both did a great job for us."
The Storm will look to rebound at home against Kyneton next Saturday.
A win over the Tigers would put them 2-1 ahead in the win-loss ledger.
At Canterbury Park, South Bendigo joined Sandhurst at 2-0 with a hard-fought 21-goal victory over Eaglehawk.
The Bloods, led at opposite ends of the court by young goal shooter Chloe Langley and experienced defender Alicia McGlashan, defeated the Hawks 54-33.
It was not until the second half that South Bendigo started to take full control of the contest after the Hawks were within two goals at quarter time and eight at half time.
A 21-goal win was the perfect tune-up for the Bloods' massive round three clash against Sandhurst at the QEO.
South Bendigo coach Jannelle Hobbs was rapt to notch up another win after a tough first half tussle.
"It was a good game and a tough game, we didn't really get away until after half time," she said.
"Just having 10 players with fresh legs today helped - it was pretty hot.
"While Chloe Langley was a standout, they all played their role and it kept the momentum going.
"Eaglehawk has some really good young players and I'm sure if they stick with it, they will push plenty of teams."
Langley was best for the Bloods with 41 of her team's goals from 48 attempts, while Emily Cossar was a standout in the second half at wing attack.
For the second straight week, Gracie Berryman caught the eye of the opposition coach with an impressive performance at goal attack.
She shot 16 of the Hawks' 33 goals, including several from long range.
The road does not get any easier next week for the Hawks, who will play one of the premiership favourites Kangaroo Flat at Dower Park and are still without their injured coach Elley Lawton.
Kangaroo Flat clashes with Golden Square at Wade Street on Easter Saturday.
READ MORE: Roos back at Square for second week in a row
At Maryborough, Castlemaine continued to build momentum ahead of the hopeful return of several of its stars for next week's clash with Gisborne with a narrow four-goal win over a gallant Maryborough.
In a toughly-fought contest, joint coach Gary Cooke was pleased to emerge with the points, with Castlemaine entering the match with only four of its regular A-grade line-up on deck.
Among the regulars, young centre Caitlin Richardson, defender Tara Ford and goal shooter Jane O'Donohue were the Magpies' best.
"It was a tight game, but very scrappy. I was quite impressed with Maryborough," Cooke said.
"We were pretty nervous being three or four players down in A-grade, but the A-reserve girls who had a run were fantastic. They did the job for us.
"We took control in the first half and the second half was pretty much neck and neck, luckily that first half got us the win and we held on defensively."
Maryborough coach Alicia Cassidy said she was proud of the way her players responded following a tough loss to league powerhouse Kangaroo Flat last week.
"It was a bit of a slack first quarter and we were down by four and we lost the second quarter by one (goal), so the rest of the day we were pretty even," she said.
"We just need to capitalise on our turnovers we get in defence and not throw away opportunities down the other end.
"Credit to Castlemaine, they have an A-grade this year, which is exciting for them.
"They have a very tall, young midcourt and they performed very well."
The Magpies were powered by another strong game in defence from Eliza Roughead and a big game at wing attack from Chrissy Hooper, who missed last weekend's clash while on her honeymoon.
In the Friday night game, Gisborne bounced back from a first-up loss to Sandhurst by defeating Kyneton 65-31.
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