Bendigo Football League…
KANGAROO Flat co-captain Corey Greer snapped his fifth and most important goal of the day two minutes from the final siren to boot the Roos home by three points over Kyneton in a Bendigo Football League thriller on Saturday.
The Tigers had led all day – apart from a brief second term period when scores were level – and the players’ dismay was there for all to see as the siren sounded at Bendigo Mazda Oval.
Alik Magin had four of his six goals on the board by the first change and then Ben Weightman stepped up with three second stanza majors to hand the Tigers a 14-point half-time buffer.
The Roos kept chipping away with Ryley Barrack, Greer, and Tim Brooks all on target in the Flat’s 15.18 (108) to 15.15 (105) surprise victory.
As the first three quarters unfolded there was no hint of the drama to be played out in the last.
Even with Matt Wiegard shutting down Mitchell Scholard, the Tigers still had forward targets in the first half.
Alik Magin kicked goals from set shots or from clever snaps, Weightman finally broke away from Ross Turner and Rhys Magin was elusive around the forward 50.
The Roos also had to find forward options as Harrison Huntley, who nailed a fine running goal in the third term, nullified Cameron Rinaldi.
Up stepped Brooks and Barrack along with Greer who landed three second quarter majors. His second for the term levelled the scores at 6.6 apiece.
The Tigers hammered home four goals to three in the third term as Simon Davies and then Brooks kept the home side within reach.
After early final quarter goals to Kyneton’s Alik Magin and Darren Chambers, the Roos finally flicked the switch.
They nailed the last five goals of the match, including two from the boots of co-captain Nick Lang and Ryan McNish following 50m penalties.
Those two majors, followed by Barrack’s third from the bowling green pocket, reeled in the Tigers.
Just three points separated the sides as the clock ticked into time-on. The Tiger defence was stretched to the limit with the ball locked in the Roos’ half for the majority of the term.
Then Greer landed the goal-of-the-day. From a big pack in the Station Street end goal square he somehow got boot to ball and snapped a ripper major to hand the Roos the lead for the first time all match.
Flat coach Jason Stevens said considering the club’s extensive injury list the win was a tonic for the Green and White brigade.
“We’ve used nine senior debutants including two for this match, and 40 players overall, so it was a huge win for our club.”
Although Stevens didn’t quite acknowledge the Roos’ finals hopes had gone with the Tigers still a game and percentage clear in the vital fifth spot, he did say he was looking forward to the concluding home and away match for 2015 against Gisborne.
“There’s been a lot of criticism of us both internally here at the club and around Bendigo – and myself as a coach – but we’ve set ourselves up now for a really good finish to this season against Gisborne at home next week and use that as a springboard for next season,” said Stevens.
Kangaroo Flat 2.5 7.6 10.12 15.18 (108)
Kyneton 5.5 9.8 13.11 15.15 (105)
Goals – Kang. Flat: Corey Greer 5, Tim Brooks 3, Ryley Barrack 3, Simon Davies, Nick Lang, Ryan McNish, Mitch Hough. Kyneton: Alik Magin 6, Ben Weightman 4, Rhys Magin 2, Mitch Scholard. Darren Chambers, Harrison Huntley.
Best – Corey Greer (best on ground), Simon Davies, Tim Brooks, Liam O’Keefe, Mitch. Hough, Ryley Barrack, Jarryd Wiegard. Kyneton: Harrison Huntley, Alik Magin, Joel Stevenson, Jake Hyland, Campbell Kirk, Jordan Collins, Rhys Magin.
GOLDEN Square exposed Sandhurst’s shortcoming with an 84-point thumping in the battle between the BFNL’s second and third-placed clubs.
At the QEO, the Bulldogs’ superstar Corey Jones outscored the Hurst on his own: he kicked 8.2 (50) while the Dragons managed just 7.5 (47).
The MyJet Oval Bulldogs had raced away to a 40-point lead by the eight-minute mark of the second term: 7.6 to 1.2.
In the finish it was the Dragons’ biggest loss since going down to Gisborne by 90 points in Round 2, 2012.
Square and Sandhurst will clash again at the same venue in the BFNL’s qualifying final, most likely in a Saturday evening fixture under lights.
At Maryborough’s Princes Park Eaglehawk spearhead Matt Gretgrix nailed his second 11-goal haul in five weeks in the Two Blues’ demolition of the BFNL’s winless cellar dweller.
Down at the Camp Reserve Castlemaine kept its very slender finals hopes alive with a 33-point win over South Bendigo and reached its season goal of landing six wins for the season.
The six victories doubles the Magpies’ tally of 2014.
It didn’t go all the Magpies’ way on Saturday. After trailing by 29 points at half-time South Bendigo closed to within four points in the final term and seemed to have all the momentum.
But the Magpies responded by spearing home the last five goals of the day with Jason Cordy (in only his second senior game for the year) hammering home seven majors and spearhead Mark Ramsey four.
For the Maine to finish in fifth spot and make the 2015 finals they need two last round upset results – they need to beat second-placed Golden Square while winless Maryborough would need to down Kyneton.
Under the newly-installed Gardiner Reserve lights, top team Strathfieldsaye downed Gisborne in a twilight match by 80-points.
And the new electronic scoreboard twinkled on the half-forward flank as the visitors stormed home.
With the 2015 finals only a fortnight away, it was the Storm’s 34th consecutive victory, a winning streak which stretches back to early 2014.
Scores: Castlemaine 17.13 (115) def. South Bendigo 12.10 (82), Eaglehawk 32.20 (212) def. Maryborough 4.2 (26), Golden Square 20.11 (131) def. Sandhurst 7.5 (47) and Strathfieldsaye 19.19 (133) def. Gisborne 8.5 (53).
Final round, all Saturday: Golden Square vs. Castlemaine, Eaglehawk vs. Sandhurst, Maryborough vs. Kyneton, South Bendigo vs. Strathfieldsaye (at Harry Trott Oval) and Kangaroo Flat vs. Gisborne.