Bendigo Football League…
SANDHURST celebrated skipper Blair Holmes’ 100th senior match for the Dragons with a thumping 76-point win over Kangaroo Flat on Saturday night.
For the second, successive week – and this time on their home deck at Bendigo Mazda Oval – the Bendigo Football League’s Roos were scarcely able to bother the goal umpires all match.
Lee Coghlan (5 goals) and Matt Thornton (4) outscored the Flat’s feeble tally of seven majors on their own in the Hurst’s 17.24 (126) to 7.8 (50) belting.
The first quarter was played at a frenetic pace. The Dragons bombarded the Station Street end goals in the opening eight minutes but managed just two goals: to Joel Wharton and Coghlan.
Sandhurst’s worrying trend of landing a bagful of minor scores in three of their five games played so far was on show all night, starting in the opening term.
Kangaroo Flat steadied after the Dragons’ opening onslaught. With goals to Cameron Rinaldi (2), Ash Benbow and Liam Murphy the Roos went to the first break a point in front.
But from that point on Lachlan Ross shut down Rinaldi. Unfortunately for Ross his teammates had their cement boots on early in the second term.
Following a willing melee in front of the interchange grid, the Dragons added three straight behinds with posters to Wharton and Koe Ngawati and a miss by Ben Anderson.
Coghlan and Thornton broke the goal drought with two majors apiece and Ryan Haythorpe notched his second as he slid in to mark and banana-ed through a clever set shot.
Mitch Holt drove home the Roos’ only reply as he goaled on the run from the timekeepers’ flank.
The Dragons owned the second half. They added 8.9 and held the Roos to a miserable 2.5.
Haythorpe had been moved to a high half-forward role, but he was shadowed by Roo defender Isacc Douthie who was resolute all evening.
Sandhurst’s Thornton drilled two more set shot majors before Harry O’Meara speared home the goal-of-the-night: a long bomb from the point of the 50m arc.
A match which had promised so much petered out in the closing quarter. The Dragons added 4.5 while Ross, O’Meara and Codie Price allowed the Roos just a solitary major.
That came from an outstanding highlight, however. Flat forward Brayden Knox climbed high over a Dragon defender in the bowling green pocket to clutch the mark-of-the-night.
He landed heavily on his buttocks and lower back, but after a short delay was able to go back and nail the Flat’s final goal.
Sandhurst coach Brett Fitzpatrick said the Dragons were wary going into the match given that the Roos’ form against Eaglehawk had been a bit questionable and they were expected to rebound.
“We couldn’t put them away early even though we thought we had control. At quarter time we mentioned we had to follow Blair Holmes’ example, putting our heads over the contests, and then we were able to go away with it.”
Sandhurst 3.6 9.15 13.19 17.24 (126)
Kangaroo Flat 4.1 5.3 6.6 7.8 (50)
Goals – Sandhurst: Lee Coghlan 5, Matt Thornton 4, Ryan Haythorpe 2, Zac East, Nick Stagg, Harry O’Meara, Joel Wharton, Galen Munari, Jake Twycross. Kangaroo Flat: Cameron Rinaldi 2, Ash Benbow, Billy White, Liam Murphy, Brayden Knox, Mitch Holt.
Best – Sandhurst: Lee Coghlan (best afield), Lachie Ross, Matt Thornton, Adam Parry, Harry O’Meara, Codie Price. Kangaroo Flat: Isaac Douthie, Carl Rohde, Corey Greer, Nick Lang, Billy White.
Votes — 5: Lee Coghlan (Sh). 4: Lachie Ross (Sh). 3: Matt Thornton (Sh). 2: Adam Parry (Sh). 1: Isaac Douthie (KF).
In front of a vocal Camp Reserve crowd, the Magpies closed the margin to one behind when key playmaker Jarryd Graham banged home a major with just moments left to play.
The Maine had led at each quarter break but not when it counted following the Hawks’ three goals to one in the final stanza.
After Matt Gretgrix’s heroics in Round 4 with his 12 goals, this round it was he consistent Sean Williams’ turn to star. He booted six of the nine Two Blue goals to take his 2015 tally overall to 17.
Another real downer for the Magpies, however, was the forfeit of their under-18 division game.
Castlemaine senior coach Shane Robertson said it was “bitterl;y disappointing” not to have sufficient numbers to field an under-18 side in a major league.
“It’s a sign of the times with numbers. I think it’s an embarrassment for the kids who left Castlemaine and have gone out to minor league clubs because of the age difference.
“They’re under-17s out there so the kids play easier footy. Hopefully they’ll come back in next year.”
“To see their home club not to be able to put an under-18 side out on the park is really disappointing,” said Robertson.
The Bloods scored their first win of the season, trouncing Gisborne at the QEO by 61 points.
South won all four quarters and left the dazed Bulldogs in their wake. There are serious questions now about Gisborne’s ability to make the finals, given their lack of recruiting over the summer months and their inability to play four-quarter footy.
Dogs’ coach Rodney Sharp said it was “bitterly disappointing” that his players could not hit targets going inside the forward 50 and were let down by shoddy disposal all afternoon.
“And South’s intensity was twice as good as ours,” said a morose Sharp.
Bloods’ coach Steven Oliver was delighted for his young players.
“It’s good for the boys to get some rewards,” he said. “It was our first four-quarter performance of the year and you’ve got to do just that in this league if you’re going to be competitive.”
Final scores: South Bendigo 12.19 (91) def. Gisborne 4.6 (30); Eaglehawk 9.15 (69) def. Castlemaine 10.8 (68); G. Square 17.10 (112) def. Kyneton 7.6 (48) and Strath Storm 24.24 (168) def. Maryborough 5.2 (32).