Storm’s second half blitz sinks game Tigers by Richard Jones

StrathstormSTRATHFIELDSAYE weathered a spirited Kyneton first half surge to outscore the Tigers 14 goals to four after the long break and win Saturday’s game by a comfortable 83 points.

Under an overcast Flight Centre Park sky the Storm ended the day with nine individual goalkickers compared with Kyneton’s four.

Matthew Ferguson topped the list with six majors for the home side as prolific possession gatherers David Gallagher, skipper Shannon Geary, Lachlan Bonney and Kallen Geary kept pumping the ball forward during the third and fourth terms.

After trailing by just 13 points at half-time the Tigers were burnt through the midfield in the second half with the Storm winning 22.20 (152) to 11.3 (69).

New Kyneton coach Luke Beattie said his players had come together very well after a difficult period at the club following the midweek sacking of former senior coach Mark Adamson.

“The players certainly came together and I believed they’d be able to do that. So in that first half those 22 blokes went out and did very well.”

Beattie added landing 11 goals at Strath was among the highest scores by an opposing club against the Storm this season, so a finals berth for the Tigers was well and truly on the agenda.

The first half provided the real excitement of the day. Strathfieldsaye led by 16 points at the first change, booting four goals at the Tannery Lane end.

Mitchell Scholard nailed two of his five Kyneton goals for the afternoon in the opening stanza with his second – a half-volley off the deck from the scoreboard flank – a ripper.

Then Ben Weightman took centre stage. The Kyneton small forward booted all four of his majors for the day in an inspired second quarter spell as he turned Kellan Smith inside out.

His second after he intercepted a terrible Strathfieldsaye defensive kick squared across the full-back line was followed by another, following a pinpoint Alik Magin pass.

The Storm managed to keep pace as Tom Bartholomew (2), Jake Hall and Ferguson drilled Storm replies.

After Weightman had landed his fourth goal, just before the siren thanks to a 50m penalty, Strathfieldsaye’s margin had been slashed to 13 points.

But that was the end of the Tiger charge, only just behind 7.2 to 8.9. Strathfieldsaye added six majors to two in the third term and a further eight in the last as they blew the eventual margin out to close on 15 goals.

Lachlan Sharp stepped up for the Storm booting two third term majors with Ferguson and Stephen Milne also providing targets up forward.

With the lights on, Strathfieldsaye added a massive eight goals in the last term at the Sheepwash Creek end. Ferguson started the onslaught with a long bomb in the opening 16 seconds while Bartholomew bent back a marvellous set shot from left to right with the Tiger defence in tatters.

Storm coach Darryl Wilson said credit had to go to Kyneton for their first half. “Their defensive mindset early on was strong while we were a bit clumsy with the ball.

“We did manage to burst their bubble in the second half and put the pressure on. They did fall away a little bit.”

Wilson said defender Ash Trollop had played his first senior game since the 2014 grand final and got through, a further boost to the Storm’s playing list.

But key forward Sam Mildren was still sidelined with ongoing problems with his paper-thin back.

goldenCOREY Jones headlined the rest of the round 15 action in the Bendigo Football League with a 16-goal haul against Maryborough.

The former North Melbourne star had eight goals beside his name by quarter-time.

He added “only” eight more in the concluding three quarters: one in the second, four in the third and three in the last.

Square’s 238-point annihilation of the Magpies was easily the biggest margin in BFL senior ranks this season, although the 16 majors landed by Jones was well short of the league’s overall best goal-kicking for a day’s work.

The league record of 24 for a single game is held jointly by Bendigo City’s Dave Mahoney (1913) and Eaglehawk’s Harry Morgan (1953).

South Bendigo’s move of big Adrian Coad into the front half paid dividends as Coad landed five goals in the Bloods’ QEO win over a disappointing Kangaroo Flat.

Coad’s five-major tally equaled the entire Roos’ tally. The loss placed the Flat’s 2015 finals hopes in jeopardy as they still face unbeaten ladder leader Strathfieldsaye and fellow top five contender Gisborne in the run home.

It was a great win for the Steven Oliver-coached South, just their third win for the year.

Eaglehawk had to fight hard on home turf at Canterbury Park to down a fired-up young Gisborne outfit by 11 points.

Trailing by the same margin — 11 points – at the long break the Hawks landed eight goals to five in the second half to stay in the fight for a top three spot.

For the second successive week classy midfielder/forward Jarrod Findlay booted five goals while BFL leading goalkicker Matt Gretgrix also nailed five, including three in the all-important third term.

Teenager Ryan Baker booted four goals for the Gardiner Reserve Dogs, his second haul of four in consecutive weeks. Matt Knox and Ben Sonogan bagged three goals apiece for Gisborne.

Final scores: Golden Square 40.20 (260) def. Maryborough 3.4 (22), Sandhurst 16.20 (116) def. Castlemaine 7.9 (51), Eaglehawk 13.12 (90) def. Gisborne 12.7 (79) and South Bendigo 12.12 (84) def. Kangaroo Flat (5.7 (37).

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