GISBORNE'S big guns fired to take down Castlemaine in an intriguing BFNL A-grade netball battle at Gardiner Reserve on Saturday.
The skilful Bulldogs moved to 2-1 after prevailing by nine-goals in an arm-wrestle on their home court against a plucky Magpies.
Castlemaine, bolstered by the inclusion of several of its recruits, led the Bulldogs by a goal at both quarter time and half time.
The Bulldogs were able to gain a slight ascendancy towards the end of the third quarter and led by two-goals at the final change before they finished full of running to claim a confidence-boosting 43-34 victory.
It was a performance that delighted Bulldogs coach Tarryn Rymer and certainly put her side's disappointing round one loss to Sandhurst well and truly in the rear vision mirror.
"We only got that breakaway towards the end of that third quarter, but it was enough to give the girls a little bit of a taste for the win," she said.
"It really was goal-for-goal for a while, both defensive ends were creating lots of turnovers and it came down to which attacking end got it together and luckily that was us.
"We really didn't want to fall to two out of three losses and I'm sure Castlemaine will be one of the teams to beat in this league.
"They were super-impressive across all grades and have really stepped it up."
The charge was led by the Bulldogs stars - Betty Thompson medallists Maddy Stewart and Tiana Newman and new goal attack Claudia Mawson.
"I don't think you could go past that three," an emphatic Rymer said.
"Claudia is still very young, but there's a lot of experience there with that group of girls."
The Bulldogs were without their star new recruit Jordan Cransberg, who received a call-up to be part of the bench for the Melbourne Vixens against the Adelaide Thunderbirds on Saturday night.
Goal shooter Rylee Connell also missed the game with an ankle injury, her place in the team taken by Ella Finemore, while Holly Doricic was rested.
The Bulldogs will look to continue their momentum against Maryborough, which will be on a high after scoring its first win of the season against Golden Square on Saturday.
For Castlemaine, a home clash against Strathfieldsaye (1-2) awaits.
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