ECHUCA is looking like a serious premiership contender in the Goulburn Valley League A grade netball competition this season.
And, like a fortnight ago against Kyabram, the Murray Bombers take on a side tomorrow which has slipped down the ladder after a number of player movements in the off-season.
Benalla was a finals team last year, but this year find themselves at the wrong end of the ladder with just the one win.
Echuca has spoken a lot this year about its goals and where it wants to end up on the ladder and has lived up to that expectation — so far.
But the Murray Bombers have to continue that work.
If they are to finish at the top end, they need to win games like this and win them easily.
■ ECHUCA UNITED has had a week’s rest and is ready to take on Tungamah away from home.
The Eagles will fancy themselves favourites for the match and will need a win to stay within striking distance of sixth-placed Cobram, which is eight points above them on the Murray league ladder.
Twelfth-placed Tungamah, one of the new sides across from the Picola and District League, is 1-3 in the season so far.
Echuca United should be ready for this match after the week’s rest and will prove they are the favourites for a reason.
■ MOAMA arguably faces its biggest test this season when it takes on Rumbalara tomorrow.
The Rumba are five and one this season, and have been playing some scintillating netball.
But the Moama machine is hard to stop.
It will have to be a highly skilled game, and Moama will have to get everything right.
This will not be as easy a task as some other wins.
But still — you’d be brave to bet against Moama.
■ TONGALA is coming off its first loss of the season — to Deniliquin — and while not ideal, it’s a learning curve for the Blues.
This wonderful team is not perfect — not that anyone within its four walls ever thought it was.
Coach Dylan Nexhip said the Blues would analyse what had happened, and use it to improve their game.
The first opportunity to show that improvement is this week against Congupna.
At one and four, The Road aren’t playing their best netball right now.
This is an early opportunity for the Blues to show what they have changed.
Expect a win here.
■ LEITCHVILLE-GUNBOWER is an interesting side this season in the Heathcote and District Netball League.
The team has five interleague players, so there has never been a question about the quality of the side.
So far, the performances have not matched up with the talent.
Leitchy have talked up their prospects as a potential premiership side this year.
We are, realistically, still awaiting some proof.
It doesn’t get any easier this week with the four and one Mount Pleasant their next opponents.
A win may not come, but a good showing is essential to build some faith.
■ LBU will take on Elmore tomorrow with the hopes of securing its first win of the campaign.
With a rough start to the season, the Cats are 0-4 and sit rock bottom of the HDNL.
In the way of breaking the drought is sixth-placed Elmore.
With a win, three losses and a draw, Elmore have a similar goal difference, but the points to back up their performances.
If there is any time for the Cats to snap the losing streak, it is round five, and it is tomorrow afternoon.
■ PICOLA UNITED is a good shot for its third win of the season when it travels to Jerilderie tomorrow in the Picola and District league.
If United wins, it will have gone three wins and as many losses from seven rounds (the team has had the bye).
In seventh, United could reach as high as fifth if it claims Jerilderie as its next victim.
Twelfth-placed Jerilderie has struggled so far this year, failing to win a match in five chances.
Expect Picola to get the job done, and convincingly, tomorrow.
■ MATHOURA has the bye tomorrow.