Storm cloud descends on hapless Tigers by Richard Jones

StrathstormSTRATHFIELDSAYE scooted home to a massive 100-point victory over the Tigers on a sodden but tip-top playing surface at the Kyneton Showgrounds on Saturday.
Fired up early by key forward Matthew Ferguson and later by spearhead Sam Mildren, the Storm controlled the game as misty rain tumbled down virtually match-long.
The visitors’ clever midfield brigade led by David Gallagher, Shaun Everington and Michael Pilcher kept the Storm in attack for extended periods of play.
And with Mildren (seven goals) and Ferguson (4) up front to spear passes to, Strathfieldsaye had excellent targets in their 20.18 (138) to 5.8 (38) victory.
It took the Tigers until the dying seconds of the first term to land their first major.
Alik Magin soccered home Kyneton’s only goal at the scoreboard end as the quarter-time siren was sounding.
By then Strathfieldsaye had registered 14 scoring shots with Ferguson hammering home four goals – three from set shots and the other as he stayed upright and snapped accurately as two Tiger defenders toppled over around him.
Early in the second term Mitchell Scholard steered through Kyneton’s second major. It was one of the rare occasions the Tiger forward beat his direct opponent in Kane Airdrie and the Tiger forward was rarely seen for the rest of the afternoon.
Airdrie, Lachlan Bonney and Tommy Dowd dominated the Storm back half.
Even though the Storm players were able to spread and continually find loose men down the outer wing, the Tigers did rally mid-term.
Darren Chambers and Andrew Aiello combined to land the ball with big man Joel Stevenson and the Tiger ruckman nailed a Kyneton goal. It was the home side’s best passage of play for the day.
Mildren replied for the Storm with two ripper set shots from the scoreboard flank to hand Strathfieldsaye a 54-point half-time lead.
Just before the Showgrounds lights were switched on eight minutes into the third term Stevenson’s direct opponent, Michael Pilcher, had evened the goal-kicking ledger. His long shot at the town end floated over the outstretched fingers of Tiger defenders.
Matthew Duffy, Mildren (2) and Bonney added more Storm goals as only Alik Magin with a bouncing shot deep in time-on could reply for the Tigers.
Gallagher patrolled the grandstand wing and flanks in the final term as the rain continued to tumble. His linkwork was outstanding considering the slippery conditions while Everington was similarly adept with his anticipation and ball use.
Storm’s lead ballooned towards the 100-point mark not long after a Jake Hyland major for Kyneton.
Mildren’s seventh goal from a downfield free at the 27-minute mark handed the Storm their century margin for the match.
Strathfieldsaye coach Darryl Wilson said he was pleased with the way his players had handled the conditions and their use of the ball in difficult conditions.
“We were able to run and switch a lot so given our (extensive) injury list to get through a game against Kyneton in the rain was very pleasing.”
Wilson said Ferguson had been taken off mid-ihird quarter with a slight hamstring twinge, but he’d be right to play in round seven.

Strathfieldsaye          7.7        11.11       16.14       20.18 (138)
Kyneton                     1.1         3,5             4.6            5.8     (38)

Goals – Storm: Sam Mildren 7, Matthew Ferguson 4, Matthew Duffy 2, Sean Johns 2, Shaun Everington, Tom Bartholomew, Michael Pilcher, Kellan Smith, Lachlan Bonney. Kyneton: Alik Magin 2, Joel Stevenson, Mitchell Scholard, Jake Hyland.
Best – Storm: David Gallagher (best on ground), Shaun Everington, Sam Mildren, Michael Pilcher, Jake Moorhead, Matthew Ferguson, Lachlan Bonney. Kyneton: Alik Magin, Josh Houlden, Jordan Collins, Darcy Kelly, Joel Stevenson.

kangarooflatAROUND the grounds in round six Bendigo FNL action and Kangaroo Flat staged a desperate last quarter rally to head improved South Bendigo by 16 points.
The Roos had trailed for 95 of the match’s 112 minutes and were still 25 points down as time-on began in the third quarter.
South had been so good early but allowed the home side to kick the concluding six goals of the fixture, played at Bendigo Mazda Oval,
Gisborne is just a mere shadow of the glory combinations of the mid-2000s. And it has to be remembered the Dogs were just one kick away from the 2014 grand final, almost pulling off a surprise preliminary final victory.
But they have collapsed back into the bottom three as Eaglehawk made a mockery of the previously known ‘Graveyard’ at Gisborne’s Gardiner Reserve.
The Hawks belted the Bulldogs by 73 points.
Golden Square ensured there would be no repeat of 2014’s upset result at Princes Park by flogging Maryborough. The MyJet Oval Bulldogs inflicted the season’s biggest belting to date: 146 points.

Final scores: Kangaroo Flat 11.9 (75) def. South Bendigo 8.11 (59); Golden Square 27.26 (188) def. Maryborough 6.6 (42) and Eaglehawk 19.17 (131) def. Gisborne 9.4 (58).

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