Before a smaller than usual Canterbury Park crowd the Hawks’ on-ball contingent led by Jarrod Findlay, Chris Hudson, Brodie Filo and Damien Wust pumped the ball relentlessly into attack all afternoon. In the back half Joshua and Lachlan Ryan along with Brenton Conforti – who stifled the Magpies’ key forward Mark Ramsey – let very few balls past. Findlay, Matt Gretgrix and Wust contributed 12 of Eaglehawk’s total goal tally in the 18.11 (19) to 3.9 (27) belting.
As a contest the game was all over early in the second stanza. After Eaglehawk had used the breeze favouring the town end for six goals in the first quarter, Findlay’s second term major from an acute angle into the breeze at the Simpson’s Road end was one of the day’s standouts. He eased the shot home and then after Gretgrix had driven home his third goal, Eaglehawk’s ninth, the Magpies had two chances to slash the margin as the second quarter wound down. Twice premier midfielder Justin Dorward fluffed gettable shots. He chased a rolling ball into the town end goalmouth but Dorward’s attempted soccer shot off the outside of his boot barely made contact. Then, after that attempt had slid through for a minor score, Dorward’s set shot moments later from straight in front also faded for just a point. The Hawks added 5.4 to two behinds in a lop-sided third term.
Joshua and Lachlan Ryan, particularly Lachlan as a loose man in defence, shut down Castlemaine’s tentative forward thrusts. Wust drove home his third goal for the Hawks from right on the 50m arc. Hayden Collins squared the ball to Findlay in a better scoring position and Findlay also steered home an Eaglehawk major. Brock Rogers strolled across the half-forward line with not a Magpie defender in sight and slotted home Eaglehawk’s 14th major. Then with the breeze fading Castlemaine finally found a goal. Ramsay marked a pass from big Mark Oxley, who battled hard in the ruck all day against Chris Hudson, and finally drilled a Maine major.
The final quarter had run five-and-a-half minutes when he goaled. Adam Robinson and Ramsay with his second, following a long bomb from Brian Mustafa in centrefield, nailed the other Maine majors. The Hawks added four goals of their own in the final stanza with Ryan Wellington (two), Gretgrix and Ben McPhee all answering Castlemaine’s mini-revival. “After being very ordinary against Castlemaine last time (beating them by one behind) we needed to prove a point,” Eaglehawk coach Luke Monaghan said. “So against a side which is still fighting for a finals spot we wanted to make a big show. I thought it was a good team effort – we didn’t have a passenger and we were able to get into space and spread and run really well,” Monaghan said. Eaglehawk had to make a late, match-day change. Big man Cody West came out of the 22 and was replaced by Kevin Archbold.
Eaglehawk 6.3 9.5 14.9 18.11 (119) Castlemaine 0.1 0.5 0.7 3.9 (27)
Goals – Eaglehawk: Jarrod Findlay 5, Matt Gretgrix 4, Damien Wust 3, Brock Rogers 2, Ryan Wellington 2, Ben McPhee, Brodie Filo. Castlemaine: Mark Ramsey 2, Adam Robinson.
Best – Eaglehawk: Jarrod Findlay (best on ground), Joshua Ryan, Chris Hudson, Glenn Daly, Brodie Filo, Lachlan Ryan, Brenton Conforti. Castlemaine: Kalan Huntly, David Stephens, Mark Oxley, Justin Dorward.
AROUND the grounds and in a weekend of Bendigo Football League blowouts the only reasonably close game was played at Gisborne’s Gardiner Reserve. The Graveyard Dogs had just the one goal on the board by the long break, to South Bendigo’s three, but upped the ante in the second half. Gisborne slammed home eight goals to one to win: 9.16 (70) to the Bloods 4.3 (27). Coach Rodney Sharp was delighted with Gisborne’s defensive pressure as the Bulldogs applied 102 tackles for the day, led by senior players Tom May and Ollie Messaoudi. Calder Cannons-listed Ryan Baker booted four of Gisborne’s nine majors. Senior player Michel Tonkin nailed two of South’s four goals. Golden Square needed a ten-goal last quarter burst to shake off the persistent Tigers at the cold Kyneton Showgrounds. Former North Melbourne forward Corey Jones, who nailed five of his seven goals in that last term burst, inspired the MyJet Oval Dogs. The Tigers, who had trailed by just 16 points at the last change, were blown away by Square’s intensity in the concluding 30 minutes. Scores: Golden Square 21.15 (141) def. Kyneton 11.7 (73), Sandhurst 18.17 (125) def. Kangaroo Flat 5.9 (39) and in Sunday’s Bendigo F.L. fixture Strath. Storm 25.14 (164) def. Maryborough 4.2 (26) at the Magpies’ Princes Park. The Storm-Borough clash was a mis-match between the first-placed Storm and the winless, last-placed Magpies.