SWNFL 2023: Exciting match-ups headline return of local netball to the courts

Headshot of Carly Laden
Carly LadenSouth Western Times
Bunbury's Isabelle Szemray puts the pressure on HBL's Katie Martin.
Camera IconBunbury's Isabelle Szemray puts the pressure on HBL's Katie Martin. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

A double-header of exciting match-ups at the South West Sports Centre is set to mark the return of netball from the Easter long weekend.

With the 2023 South West Netball Football League set to return from a week off this weekend, teams will find themselves facing off against formidable opponents during the third round of competition.

This Saturday will see Bunbury go up against Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault while Eaton will take on South Bunbury at the South West Sports Centre, and Augusta-Margaret River will host Donnybrook Blackwood at the Margaret River Recreation Centre.

Despite having played only one match each in the opening two rounds, both Bunbury and HBL have made a strong start to their season, with both recording wins over Carey Park.

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However, previous meetings in the 2021 and 2022 seasons have resulted in a number of draws.

The last time the two sides met was in round 20 of the 2022 season, when the Lions prevailed over Bunbury 43-42 in a thrilling match.

Eaton's Bianca Vallelonga and South Bunbury's Amy Howard contest for the ball.
Camera IconEaton's Bianca Vallelonga and South Bunbury's Amy Howard contest for the ball. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

As one of four teams to have played two games so far, Eaton are sitting pretty on top of the ladder, having recorded victories over Donnybrook Blackwood and Busselton.

Eaton will be looking to build on that strong form but will likely find themselves up against some strong defensive adversaries in South Bunbury.

After falling short against Augusta-Margaret prior to the Easter bye, South Bunbury will be keen to bounce back and pull off an upset over the 2022 grand finalists.

The last time Eaton and South Bunbury met was during last year’s preliminary final, when Eaton defeated the Tigers 62-44.

Elsewhere, Augusta-Margaret River will be keen to continue building momentum after previously recording a win over South Bunbury before the bye.

On the other hand, Donnybrook Blackwood will be keen to return from having two weeks off with a vengeance and chase their first win of the season after falling just short against Eaton in round one.

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