PREMIERSHIP aspirant Calivil United will look to keep its solid record against top-five rivals intact when it clashes with top-side Marong on Saturday.
The Demons have emerged victorious in two of their previous three games against potential finals opponents this season and will be aiming to add a third at home.
They defeated Mitiamo, which was without its star goaler Laura Hicks, by 11 goals in round four, and beat Bridgewater in a thriller by two goals in round five.
But a round six showdown against Maiden Gully YCW delivered a 12-goal loss, with the Demons quick to rebound in a 24-goal win over Pyramid Hill last Saturday.
Joint coach Karen Pascoe is expecting her side to be at full strength for a clash against a strong Panthers.
"Drawing with Mitty and beating (Maiden Gully) YCW, there's no doubt they have positioned themselves to be one of the top sides this year," she said.
"We're hoping for a good match.
"Having all our players last week (against Pyramid Hill) there were lots of rotations and positional changes to try a few things with all eight players.
"We played well, which is obviously a good lead into Marong.
"Jasmine Condliffe played another great game, she has been playing some great netball and has certainly been an asset to our team. She and Michelle Balic have really combined well."
The Demons' season aspirations received a massive boost a fortnight ago following the return of young goal shooter Mia McCrann-Peters.
A former junior with Calivil, McCrann-Peters - who is playing 19-and-under VNL netball with Melbourne University Lightning - played earlier this season with Eaglehawk and had also previously spent time with South Bendigo.
Her return to her junior club gives Pascoe and co-coach Teigan Redwood three strong options in goals alongside the in-form Tia Steen and Amy Murfitt.
"We're pretty happy with how our season has gone so far, obviously we played Mitty when they didn't have a full strength team, so that's hard to gauge," Pascoe said.
"But we were happy with our games against both Bridgewater and YCW."
Marong will be aiming to protect an undefeated record.
The Panthers defeated Bears Lagoon-Serpentine last weekend by 37 goals to advance to 5-0-1, their only non-win a draw at Mitiamo in round three.
Meanwhile, Bridgewater will look to continue its good form and claim a top-five scalp of its own against Maiden Gully YCW.
Mean Machine coach Aimie Brown said her team would take plenty of confidence out of a come-from-behind win against Newbridge last weekend and was hopeful of regaining top recruit Carly Ladson for a much-anticipated showdown against the Eagles, who are coming off a 13-goal victory over Mitiamo.
"It's going to be tough, but we're ready," she said.
"We've got the players and the team and if we are on, I'm sure we can do it, or at least push them.
"They've looked strong and their height across the court looks hard to cover, but hopefully we have the players back to do that."
Maiden Gully YCW enters the clash with a 4-1 record, its only blemish a four-goal defeat in round one against Marong.
In the other game, Pyramid Hill hosts Newbridge, which has lost defender Meg Jennings for at least four weeks with an ankle injury.
Both teams are chasing their second win of the season.
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