GOLDEN Square snapped Strathfieldsaye’s 39-game winning streak with a dogged four-quarter effort at MyJet Oval on Saturday.
The Bulldogs registered one less scoring shot than the Storm but were far more efficient in their front half while their defenders led by Brayden Dorrington and 150-gamer Dale Young shut down their opponent’s attack.
Ryan Herring booted three majors for the Dogs and the home side had a more even spread of goalkickers than Strathfieldsaye who missed injured Lachlan Sharp’s presence in the vital last quarter.
Even with co-coach Bryce Curnow switching from half-back when Square used the Maple Street end breeze and then going forward when it was Storm’s turn with the wind the Bulldogs added six goals to two in the second half on their way to a 12.7 (79) to 7.13 (55) win.
Skipper Jack Geary sparked the Dogs in the first term. They didn’t spray a single shot with the fifth major – an across the body shot from Comanche Walls after he’d baulked around an opponent – one of the goals-of-the-day.
Strathfieldsaye turned in its best quarter of the day in the second, adding 3.4 to 1.1.
Now in attack, Curnow orchestrated the forward moves as Sharp, Harry Conway and Jake Hall added goals.
Hall’s was an absolute gem. He roosted a long rolling shot towards the Maple Street goals and not one of three chasers, including a Square backman, could lay a fingernail on the ball.
That was the end of Strathfieldsaye’s rally. Just one point down at half-time they weren’t able to add another goal until a further quarter-and-a-half had been played.
Golden Square kept on working hard. Adam Baird landed a ripper goal from the swimming pool flank while Lachlan Woodward hauled in the pack mark-of-the-day and nursed home his shot from the opposite flank.
Although midfielder Trent Donnan, clearly Storm’s best afield, kept trying to lift his side he had few helpers.
Even by three-quarter time Strath looked cooked. There was no spark and seemingly little enthusiasm for the task at hand.
Herring capped off enterprising work from Tom Toma and Hamish Morcom to land his second major and when Square first gamer Braydon Welsh drilled a set shot at the Wade Street end it was all over for the Storm.
Eventually Storm’s Harry Conway belatedly goaled from a free kick before Herring iced the game with his third major for the Bulldogs.
Square coach Nick Carter said the big theme leading into the match had been “energy”.
“I thought our energy and intensity gave us a chance plus we did well with not only our attacking structures but also our defensive ones, as well.”
Carter said he thought Dorrington had been extremely effective while in attack Herring had pulled in 12-plus marks and skipper Jack Geary continued in his ‘bull around the contests’ role.
Storm’s senior co-coach Darryl Wilson said goalsneak Lachie Sharp could miss the rest of the season with his left knee injury probably requiring a complete re-construction.
“He went up for a mark in the third quarter, landed awkwardly and heard his knee go ‘pop’,” Wilson added.
Referring back to the match the co-coach said Square had completely outplayed his side.
“They were very good. They played their home ground well and when we did get the pill we butchered it.
“We did well to hold them to 12 goals overall but when we got the ball we couldn’t hit the scoreboard,” said Wilson.
It was the Storm’s first loss in senior BFNL ranks since Rd. 5 2013.
Golden Square 5.0 6.1 8.4 12.7 (79)
Strathfieldsaye 2.2 5.6 5.11 7.13 (55)
Goals – Golden Square: Ryan Herring 3, Tom Toma 2, Clayton Anderson, Adam Baird, Lachlan Woodward, Hamish Morcom, Dylan Johnstone, Braydon Welsh, Comanche Walls. Strath Storm: Lachlan Sharp 2, Harry Conway 2, Sean Johns, Kallen Geary, Jake Hall.
Best – Golden Square: Brayden Dorrington (best on ground), Jack Geary, Chris Ryan, Ryan Herring, James Walsh, Hamish Morcom, Adam Baird. Strath Storm: Trent Donnan, Kallen Geary, Zane Hoiles, Jake Hall, Harry Conway, Bryce Curnow.
In other matches, Kangaroo Flat scored a morale-boosting 85-point win over old nemesis Gisborne under lights at Bendigo Mazda Oval.
The Roos recorded their biggest win over the Graveyard Dogs since Gisborne entered the BFNL in 2000. Rhys Healey (5), Tim Brooks and Cameron Rinaldi (4 each) were Flat’s main goalkickers.
Castlemaine returned to the winners’ list with a nail-biting seven-point victory over Kyneton at the Showgrounds.
The Tigers led by five goals at half-time but an eight-goal-to-one third term from the Magpies turned the game on its head.
Rhys Ford slotted seven goals for the Maine.
At Maryborough, Eaglehawk snatched a 2-1 win-loss record, the same as the Maine, the Tigers, Storm and the Flat, by dispatching the home ground Magpies by 70 points.
Former Carlton midfielder Anthony Franchina hammered home six goals for the Hawks with Damian Wust adding four.
And after a low-scoring but even first half in which just six goals (three to each club) were scored the Sandhurst Dragons burst away from arch-enemies South Bendigo to record an impressive 62-point win.
The Hurst booted 10 goals to one in the second half.
The Dragons were without three senior players, all members of local band Jack and The Kids which was performing a kilometre or two away at the 2016 Groovin’ The Moo concert at the Bendigo Showgrounds.
Final scores: Castlemaine 18.6 (114) def. Kyneton 15.17 (107), Sandhurst 13.14 (92) def. South Bendigo 4.6 (30), Kang. Flat 23.16 (154) def. Gisborne 10.9 (69) and Eaglehawk 20.14 (134) def. Maryborough 9.10 (64).
Top Five: Golden Square, Sandhurst, Kangaroo Flat Strathfieldsaye and Eaglehawk.
Round 4: Strathfieldsaye vs. Eaglehawk, Gisborne vs. Sandhurst, Maryborough vs. Kyneton, South Bendigo vs. Kang. Flat and Castlemaine vs. Golden Square.
All five matches to be played Saturday afternoon.