THE revolving door which is fifth spot on the Bendigo Football League ladder continued to spin on the second weekend of the split 10th round. Kyneton departed – perhaps only temporarily – and Kangaroo Flat took back the Tigers’ fifth possie after an absence of a fortnight. The Roos had to work hard against bottom club Maryborough on the tight confines of Dower Park, but in the end triumphed by 32 points. In the final analysis it was the Flat’s unanswered burst of 5.4 in 12 minutes during the first quarter which sealed the victory.
Meanwhile on their own Kyneton Showgrounds venue the Tigers fell to fourth-placed Eaglehawk by 39 points. A strong first half from the Hawks was the ultimate decider – 10 goals to four by the main break. The Tigers did rally in the third term to close the gap to 19 points, but that was as close as they’d get. Realising their chances of a top three finish and the double chance would evaporate had they lost, Eaglehawk rallied in the final quarter booting four goals to one. Matt Gretgrix booted five goals for the Hawks with playmakers Brodie Filo and Brock Rogers among their best. Alik Magin was the Tigers’ standout and arguably best afield with Mitch Scholard booting three majors, but the Tigers didn’t get enough from the bottom six players on their list. They have signed former Port Adelaide SANFL skipper James Meiklejohn, 30, who has six AFL games with the Sydney Swans (2003-2004) to his name. He’s expected to bolster Kyneton’s big man stocks.
Back to Dower Park. The Roos went inside 50 15 times in the first quarter to post 7.6 by the quarter-time break. And even though the Maryborough Magpies rallied, outscoring the Roos 5.3 to 3.6 in the second stanza, they never looked like winning. Teenager Coby Perry was the Pies star in the second term slotting three goals to finish the match with five. He’d nailed six against Kyneton in Round 9. And Alex Mahony landed just about the goal-of-the-day with a super 65m major. Maryborough got as close as 18 points during the third term before the Roos iced the four premiership points with stronger marking options across half-forward. Braydan Knox, Ryan McNish and Tim Brooks all presented strongly and between them contributed 11 of Flat’s 16 majors, with Knox and McNish ramming home four each. One of Knox’s majors came from his second big hanger of the year. Earlier in the Round 5 night game against Sandhurst this season a huge grab from Knox featured on The Footy Show’s Almost Football Legends segment. He looks likely to feature once again. The Roos went to the last change 34 points clear with Maryborough managing to outscore the home side 3.4 to 3.2 in the final quarter.
At the QEO Sandhurst controlled their contest with old rivals South Bendigo from the outset before scooting home by 43 points. The Dragons led by 34 points by half-time, restricting the Bloods to just two majors. The extremely accurate South did managed to score six straight majors in the final term but they served just to narrow the gap to a reasonable figure. The Hurst had excellent contributions for gun midfielders Blair Holmes, Adam Parry and Lee Coghlan with South best Jayden Sheean and Kieran Strachan who each booted two goals. First-gamer Fergus Greene nailed three for Sandhurst.
Finals scores: Kangaroo Flat 16.18 (114) def. Maryborough 12.10 (82); Sandhurst 15.14 (104) def. South Bendigo 10.1 (61) and Eaglehawk 17.11 (113) def. Kyneton 10.14 (74). Round 11: Castlemaine v Kang. Flat, Eaglehawk v Strrathfieldsaye, Sandhurst v Kyneton, Golden Square v South Bendigo and Maryborough v Gisborne.