Kyneton is using this year’s Bendigo Netball League season as a new beginning for the club.

The Tigers are fielding just two sides this season, A-grade and B-reserve, instead of a full complement of five teams because of a shortage of players.

It has meant a number of players have stepped up grades or are playing new roles.

Coach of both teams, Dianne Guest-Oakley, said while it had been tough, she had nothing but praise for both sides.

“Credit to these girls,” she said. “It has been a tough gig for both sides as we’re looking to the future.

“Hopefully we can recruit some players leading into next year and get players to fill a full complement of teams.

“We’re trying to get solid commitments from players for the next couple of years.”

Guest-Oakley said the A-grade team, while last on the ladder after 11 rounds, was improving every week.

She said the return of Michelle Fletcher in the past few rounds had helped at the attacking end.

“We’ve been building and getting closer and closer to a win. Hopefully it comes before the end of the season.”

She highlighted Tayla Callaway as one of the big improvers.

“Her defence has definitely improved … she’s also been moved into centre and wing attack, which she’s not used to, and really stepped up to the challenge.”

On Saturday, the Tigers lost to Maryborough 62-54

The B-reserve side has six wins and sits sixth on the ladder. On Saturday, they smashed Maryborough 56-9.

Guest-Oakley said it’s been a jump up to senior level for most of the players, many are under-17 girls.

“We take it week by week and quarter by quarter.”

Karlie Plowman [former coach] has returned to the court and is providing experience.

Guest-Oakley, who is in her first year as coach at the club, said while it had been challenging, it had also been enjoyable.

“The football-netball culture is different, but I’ve had some really great support and that has made a difference.”

In other A-grade results, Gisborne was no match for South Bendigo, going down 42-27, but still remain third on the ladder.

In football, Gisborne fell just short of South Bendigo, losing 14.14 (98) – 12.15 (87), while Kyneton smashed Maryborough to the tune of 114 points. The 24.15 (159) – 6.9 (45) margin was the biggest of the round.