Diggers Rest put on a strong first-up performance against a new-look Riddell team to start the Riddell District Netball League A-grade season.

Facing last year’s premiers, the Burras didn’t know what the Bombers line-up was like, but anticipated a tough match.

The Burras got the jump early to lead the Bombers by six goals at quarter-time.

That lead was extended to 10 goals at the main break, pushed to 12 goals at three-quarter time, and was 14 goals at the final whistle, with the Burras winning 47-33.

Burras’ playing coach Amy Carroll said she knew the Bombers had made some major changes in the off season, but said she had focused on her own side.

Carroll was the best of the goalers on court, shooting 27.

“Riddell is a very different team, but still a good team,” she said.

“It was good to have a good match-up against them. We were focused on doing what we needed to do to get the win.

“We had a few practice matches and we got better in each of the those games, and improved again on Saturday.”

The Burras have a similar line-up to last season, but have added three players for further depth. Carroll said she is confident in every line-up they put on the court and is hoping to improve on their sixth place of last season.

Every player got court time on Saturday.

Former Australian Diamond Natasha Chokjlat heads the inclusions, while former Romsey midcourter Toni Lind returns to the competition.

“We’re so much further ahead than last season,” Carroll said. “We needed to add a couple more players, and we’re happy to have expectations on us this season, with the team really coming together.

“Alicija [Marko Rawlings] did really well last year in B-grade, so we brought her up. Tash is happy to play every week and really enjoying it.

“We were lucky Toni had a few friends in the team … I played with her [at City West Falcons]; she’s a great player to add in.

“We’ve got 10 really good players who can take the court.” Carroll said she was also confident in the Burras’ other three sides, which get stronger every year.

For the Bombers, Jessica Lallo and Chloe Meulenmeesters shot 12 goals each.

In other matches, Romsey was too strong for Rupertswood, Lancefield had a big win against Woodend-Hesket, while Macedon won in wet conditions against Sunbury Kangaroos.

Melton Centrals was awarded the win against Rockbank, with the game called off just after half-time due to lightning.