Roos’ finals hopes flattened by Storm power by Richard Jones

Bendigo Football League…

StrathstormKANGAROO Flat’s slim hopes of snatching fifth spot and a finals spot were shredded by a dominant Strathfieldsaye in Saturday’s one-sided cakewalk at Flight Centre Park.

Top Bendigo Football League team Storm booted 24 majors, involving 12 individual goalkickers, while the Roos managed just one goal in the opening three quarters and two in the last.

For the second consecutive week Strathfieldsaye’s Matt Smith and Kallen Geary dominated the midfield battles, Ash Trollop shut down Flat’s danger forward Cameron Rinaldi while in attack Matthew Ferguson, Jake Hall and Tom Bartholomew ran rings around Flat’s defenders.

The one bright light in the back half for the Green and Whites was Ross Turner who restricted Stephen Milne, the league’s leading goalkicker in 2014, to a solitary major in the Flat’s 3.6 (24) to 24.17 (161) drubbing.

After an early goal to Ryley Barrack the Roos just stuttered along. Meantime, the Storm bolted to a 61-point half-time lead as Hall (two of his match-high five majors in the first half), Ferguson and Everington drilled excellent second term goals.

Everington speared home the goal-of-the-day. Accepting a searing handpass from Kallen Geary the Storm centreman bounced home a scintillating shot at the Tannery Lane end.

Another eight goals in the third term had the Storm supporters in raptures. Big ruckman Michael Pilcher started the avalanche early on while Sean Johns (after the three-quarter time siren) wound up the third term blitz.

Main interest as supporters and hangers-on traipsed off the playing arena as the three-quarter time huddles dispersed was how big the Storm’s final margin would be.

And could the Green and Whites nail another goal to add to their solitary major.

Well, finally, the Roos added two more majors. No. 1 ruckman Nick Lang marked and goaled for the Roos 15 minutes into the final term. Ash Benbow landed a 55 metre bomb with 46 seconds left on the clock.

But classy Storm inside midfielders Matt Smith and Kallen Geary had kept driving the ball forward and with Bartholomew, Ferguson, Hall and Milne – finally, from a forward pocket shot – all nailing goals the Storm bolted home by 137 points.

It’s a sad tumble for the Flat from definite Top Five contenders only a few short weeks ago to third from the bottom with just two games to go to round out the season.

Strathfieldsaye        5.3       10.9      18.12        24.17 (161)

Kangaroo Flat          1.2        1.2         1.4            3.6   (24)

Goals – Strathfieldsaye: Jake Hall 5, Matthew Ferguson 4, Tom Bartholomew 2, Shaun Everington 2, Sean Johns 2, Kallen Geary 2, Lachlan Bonney 2, Michael Pilcher, Stephen Milne, Shannon Geary, Fergus Payne, Jayden Donaldson. Kangaroo Flat: Ryley Barrack, Nick Lang, Ash Benbow.

Best – Strathfieldsaye: Matt Smith (best on ground), Kallen Geary, Jake Hall, Ash Trollop, Harry Conway, Kellan Smith, Shaun Everington. Kangaroo Flat: Ross Turner, Ryan McNish, Tim Brooks, Mitchell Hough.

sandhurstSANDHURST and South Bendigo were the other winners in the first half of the split 16th round.

Although wildly inaccurate, the Hurst virtually laid Gisborne’s finals hopes to rest with the Bulldogs listed to face the unbeaten Storm on 22 August.

Gisborne managed just six scoring shots to the Dragons’ 20 by the long break and had only Matthew Knox (2) as a multiple goalkicker on the day.

Sandhurst’s Nick Stagg and Braidon Blake (in his senior debut) landed three goals each with Matt Thornton adding two. But a wasteful second term when they added 2.9 emphasised once again the Dragons’ wayward kicking this season. 

For South it was the first time they’d won two games in a row since 2013. The Bloods conceded only three goals after quarter-time as they landed their fourth victory for 2015.

Michel Tonkin speared home five goals for South with Charlton Hindle adding three. Bendigo Pioneer-listed Bailey Edwards was Maryborough’s best.

Final scores: Sandhurst 12.20 (92) def. Gisborne 6.9 (45) and South Bendigo 21.19 (145) def. Maryborough 6.9 (45).

Next weekend, completion of Rd. 16: Golden Square (3rd) vs. Eaglehawk (4th) and Kyneton (5th) vs. Castlemaine (7th).

 

 

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