GISBORNE CEMENTS TOP SPOT ON BFNL LADDER
GISBORNE consolidated top spot on the Bendigo Football and Netball League senior ladder with a comfortable 47-point win over Maryborough on Saturday.
In a scrappy match which never reached great heights the Bulldogs used the breeze favouring the scoreboard end to ease out to a 25-point lead by the first change.
The Magpies were woeful all day in set shots for goal. Not only were a number of kicks sprayed wide, many didn’t even make the distance.
Strangely, the home side’s best quarter was the third after heavy showers had belted down on Princes Park during the long break.
With centre half-back Anthony Belcher blanketing the Pies’ main forward Cameron Rinaldi and Tim Walsh and Jarrad Lynch mopping up deeper in Maryborough’s forward line, the Pies managed just two first half goals.
Meanwhile Lachlan Crosbie, veteran midfielder Ollie Messaoudi and wily small forward Darren Farrugia were on target for Gisborne in the opening term.
Matt Bond grubbered through Maryborough’s only first term goal at the 24-minute mark.
Tom Waters, the VCFL’s No. 1 follower this season who had a great duel in the ruck contests against Maryborough’s Tyson McIlwain, steered through his first of two goals in the second stanza.
Hamish Govan followed suit with a wobbly, 30 metre snap.
It was a different Magpie outfit in the damp, slippery third quarter. Adding 3.4 to the Dogs’ 1.5, the Pies were sparked by co-coach Joel Malone, Cameron Skinner and Michael Noonan.
Skinner and Rinaldi booted back-to-back Magpie goals after Farrugia had finally found the big sticks for Gisborne with 17-minutes gone in the third quarter.
The last quarter was all Gisborne as the Dogs attacked constantly. A return of 3.6 didn’t do justice to the hard work of on-ballers Messaoudi, Casey Summerfield and Hamish Govan, but as supporters and committeemen remarked at 5 pm --- a win is a win.
Gisborne coach Luke Saunders said Maryborough was always a tough side to play against.
“They have a lot of big bodies and I thought around the contests they were really good,” he said.
“At the end of the day it’s good to have come here and got the result we did, because you always have to fight hard to get a win at Maryborough.”
Magpies’ co-coach Joel Malone said that even though his forwards had missed a number of opportunities, so too did Gisborne’s players.
“We were pretty competitive for the first part of the last quarter after a good third term, but the strong sides just seem to get on top of us when we drop away a bit,” he said.
Halftime scores: Gisborne 8.6 (54), Maryborough 2.2 (14).
Full-time: Gisborne 12.17 (89) def. Maryborough 6.6 (42).
Major goalkickers – Gisborne: Darren Farrugia 3, Hamish Govan 2, Ollie Messaoudi 2, Tom Waters 2. Maryborough: Cameron Rinaldi 2, Matthew Bond 2.
5: Anthony Belcher (Gisborne)
4: Jarrad Lynch (Gisborne)
3: Joel Malone (Maryborough)
2: Ollie Messaoudi (Gisborne)
1: Michael Noonan (Maryborough)