Echuca has made a rampaging start to the Goulburn Valley League netball season and will look to continue its hot form against Benalla this weekend.
The Murray Bombers hit top gear in a wicked dismantling of Euroa last weekend, smashing the Magpies 75-40 and have announced themselves as one of the league’s premier contenders with a 4-1 record.
They would fancy their chances even away from home against the Saints, who have had a difficult year.
Benalla is languishing at 10th on the ladder, its only win coming against fellow battler Euroa in round four.
But signs were positive last weekend, giving league-leader Mooroopna a decent push, losing by just seven goals.
Tamara Nicholls and Holly Long were standouts for Echuca last weekend and the duo will have a fair say in this weekend’s outcome.
At Kyabram, two of last season’s powerhouses will square off when reigning premier Kyabram hosts Shepparton.
The teams met in last season’s qualifying final — the Bombers triumphing by four goals in a classic — but it has been a different story for the reigning premier, sitting at 1-4.
Shepparton, on the other hand, is on fire, 5-0 with no team getting within 10 goals of it yet.
Kyabram co-coach Holly Butler acknowledged the enormity of the challenge.
“It’s a matter of sticking to our game structure, we expect a challenging and fairly physical match-up,” she said.
“We don’t want to let them dictate how we play, we’re just building on getting towards four quarters of good netball and doing better this week to close that margin.”
Seymour will host Mansfield in a winnable game, the 4-1 Lions looking strong while the Eagles have struggled to make an impact.
The Lions crushed Rochester by 29 goals last weekend and might expect a similar result this weekend, Mansfield only scoring more than 20 goals twice in five games.
Last year’s vanquished grand finalist Shepparton United will host the Tigers tomorrow in what should prove a straightforward affair.