EAGLEHAWK confirmed its pre-season status as a Bendigo Football League Top Five contender with an emphatic 102-point Good Friday belting of South Bendigo.
In front of a huge and vocal Canterbury Park crowd the Hawks added 16 goals to two after the first break with key forwards Sean Williams and Matt Gretgrix contributing seven majors between them.
The Bloods were competitive for the first half of the opening term.
After skipper Aaron Connaughton had landed the opening goal of the day at the six-minute mark South defenders Adrian Coad, Alex Hywood and Joel Swatton kept Eaglehawk at bay.
Attacking the Simpson’s Road end goals in the second term, the Hawks finally clicked into gear. Tim Hill, Tyler Miles and Brenton Conforti shut down the Bloods attack and the home side added 7.8 in a dominant display.
Brodie Filo landed the goal-of-the-day with a long running shot from the edge of the centre square. The ball just rolled and rolled and went through.
Williams capitalized on perfect Miles’ passes to land a pair of majors, while Brock Rogers, Damien Wust and Cameron Milward also split the big sticks.
The Bloods’ first gamer Cohen Balnaves, a 17-year-old, snapped a beauty out of a pack at the 23-minute mark to nail South’s second.
The Hawks continued on their merry way in the third term adding four goals to one. Gretgrix was on target as he nursed home two set shots while Wust and Hayden Collins nailed the others.
The last term turned into a scoring fest for Eaglehawk as South’s players seemed powerless to stop the onslaught.
The home side added 5.5 and held the Bloods goalless, with Williams (2) and Rogers from an around-the-corner corker landing majors as the Hawks steamed home.
Eaglehawk coach Luke Monaghan paid credit to South’s impressive start.
“They used the footy much better than we did and our decision-making early on was slow.
“Fortunately we lifted our skill level – and most importantly our intensity – after quarter time and got on top,” he said.
Monaghan was pleased with the efforts of recruits Chris Hudson, Nathan O’Brien and Ben Tolman.
“Hudson presented strongly at centre half-forward, O’Brien was very consistent across half-back while Holman played a variety of roles as a key position player, giving us a bit of height at either end and also on the ball,” he said.
Eaglehawk 2.4 9.12 13.14 18.19 (127)
South Bendigo 1.2 2.3 3.4 3.7 (25)
Goals – Eaglehawk: Sean Williams 4, Matt Gretgrix 3, Brodie Filo 2, Brock Rogers 2, Cameron Milward 2, Damien Wust 2, Ben McPhee, Hayden Collins, Ben Holman. South Bendigo: Aaron Connaughton, Cohen Balnaves, Jake Miller.
Best – Eaglehawk: Tim Hill (best on ground), Tyler Miles, Brodie Filo, Brenton Conforti, Ben McPhee, Josh Ketterer, Sean Williams. South Bendigo: Adrian Coad, Jayden Sheehan, Alex Hywood, Joel Swatton.