GOLDEN Square ensured its hoodoo streak over Kangaroo Flat would extend into a 15th season with an all-the-way 70-point win over the Roos on Saturday. At Bendigo Mazda Oval the Bulldogs did not allow the Flat a goal until the 11-minute mark of the second term on their way to a 30th straight victory (dating back to Round 8, 2001) over the Green and Whites.
With playmaker Corey Jones drilling seven goals and flankers Tom Toma and Sam Harper adding three each the Dogs were in complete control of the midfield spread. The Roos did double their last change total with a four-goal final quarter before the Square cantered home to a 17.19 (121) to 7.9 (51) victory.
The writing was on the wall – and on the scoreboard – for the Roos by quarter-time. The Square had registered eight scoring shots to two and led by 16 points as Jones and Toma nailed goals at the Station Street end. Even when James Saville capitalized on an Ash Benbow handball to land the Roos’ opening goal, the Bulldogs responded with majors to Steve Kairn and Harper as half-time approached. Tim Brooks did manage to land two Kangaroo Flat goals with accurate set shots but three majors for a half of football was poor return for the Kangaroos.
Six third term goals to a solitary Flat behind steamrolled Square to an imposing 63-point lead by three-quarter time. Jones and Harper speared home two goals each in the third stanza as regular full-back Dale Young added his name to an expanding Bulldogs’ scoring list. Young made an extra man across the centre and drilled a rare, personal major with a long shot. Young and Jon Coe shut down Flat’s dangerous forwards Jeremy Lambden and Cam Rinaldi, respectively, barely allowing them a possession.
The Roos looked a lot better in the final term. The Flat midfielders eventually managed to grab possessions across the middle of the ground rather than in the back half. Sam Kennedy drilled two goals from set shots, the first from the timekeepers’ box flank, while Mitch Holt took full toll of a 50m penalty to pop through a major from point blank range. Corey Jones, after an early major from the scoreboard pocket, then stepped up again. He drove home his sixth and seventh goals of the day for the Bulldogs as time ran out.
Square coach Nick Carter said he and his team had worked on midfield structures a fair bit over recent weeks. “The last two or three weeks we’ve done a lot of work on our midfield structures, especially around stoppages. We’d felt we hadn’t quite got them right but during the last couple of weeks we’ve definitely seen some real improvement and today was an example of that,” Carter said. “Today we just altered the (player) positionings a little bit and we ended up getting a lot more of the footy.” Bitterly disappointed Roo coach Jason Stevens said Golden Square’s entries into their forward 50 “would nearly have doubled ours and their forwards got far, far better service. “If you give them time and space on a small-ish ground like ours – well, we allowed Square far too much room to move.” In a hushed dressing room, Stevens addressed his side immediately after the final siren had sounded. He told them in no uncertain terms they had to play as a combination desperate to hunt the other team rather than the other way round.
Golden Square 2.6 6.12 12.16 17.19 (121)
Kangaroo Flat 0.2 3.6 3.7 7.9 (51)
Goals – Golden Square: Corey Jones 7, Sam Harper 3, Tom Toma 3, Dale Young, Steve Kairn, Matt Rice, Mitch Edwards. Kangaroo Flat: Sam Kennedy 2, Tim Brooks 2, James Saville, Mitch Holt, Jeremy Lambden.
Best – Golden Square: Corey Jones (best afield), Jack Daley, Jonathan Coe, Tom Toma, Dale Young, Sam Harper, Jack Geary. Kangaroo Flat: James Saville, Mitch Holt, Jeremy Lambden, Liam Murphy, Ryley Barrack.
TWO matches decided by less than a kick highlighted the other Saturday action in the BFNL’s 12th round. Strathfieldsaye Storm just clung onto their undefeated record scraping home over second-placed Sandhurst by five points. And down at the Kyneton Showgrounds the Tigers burst back into the top five – albeit just for Saturday night and then until 5 pm Sunday — with a thrilling two-point victory over old rivals Gisborne. In the Sunday games Eaglehawk accounted for South Bendigo at the Bloods’ new suburban venue, the Harry Trott Oval in Kennington, while Castlemaine did a slingshot over Kyneton and leapt into the Top Five with a 104-point win over bottom club Maryborough. Fifth spot has turned into a weekly yo-yo as first the Flat, then Kyneton and now Castlemaine climb all over each other to reach the coveted ladder position. The Magpies displaced the Kyneton Tigers who had held the fifth spot on the ladder for a mere 24 hours – from the close of play Saturday evening until the exact same time slot 24 hours later.
Final scores: Strathfieldsaye 12.14 (86) def. Sandhurst 12.9 (81), Kyneton 14.12 (96) def. Gisborne 13.16 (94), Eaglehawk 16.10 (106) def. South Bendigo 5.6 (36) and Castlemaine 20.17 (137) def M’borough 5.3 (33). Ladder, top 5: Strath Storm 48 prem. pts., G. Square 40, Sandhurst 36, Eaglehawk 32, Castlemaine 20, 99.0%. Outside the Five: Kyneton 20, 82.19%, Kang. Flat 20, 78.76%, Gisborne 16, South Bendigo 8, Maryborough 0. Next round: Victorian Country v Vic. Metro at QEO, Saturday 11 July. No BFNL home and away matches.