Bendigo Football League…
SOUTH Bendigo unleashed a stunning four-goal final quarter burst late on Saturday to reel in Kyneton’s 20-point advantage and win by a straight kick.
With Leroy Miller unstoppable in the concluding 13 minutes as he nailed three goals the Bloods ran over the top of the fading Tigers to record their second win of the season.
Jut as importantly it was South’s first victory from six starts at their suburban Harry Trott Oval and demonstrated just how even the BFNL competition is.
And even though star full-forward Mitchell Scholard slotted eight majors for the Tigers he received little goal-kicking support as the Bloods held on for their 13.11 (89) to 12.11 (83) win.
The first half was an even hard-fought contest. Skipper Michael Rainey nailed Kyneton’s first goal early but Leroy and Isaiah Miller were busy in South’s front half.
Leroy eased home the first of his six for the day and when Cohen Balnaves slid through South’s third scores were level, 24 minutes in.
The Bloods sneaked out to a five-point lead by half-time. Skipper Aaron Connaughton was inspirational, grubbering through a major from the scoreboard end goal square and then marking a Kyneton defensive miskick for another goal.
The Tigers weren’t going away, though. Scholard nailed two set shots from opposite flanks at the cricket nets end while Ben Weightman managed to elude South’s 200-gamer Brad Wright, fall back into an open zone and keep Kyneton in touch.
The Govans, Josh and Hamish, continued to run hard through the midfield for Kyneton. But they had to try and shark the taps from Bloods’ ruckman Kieran Strachan, the game’s dominant big man.
Three majors to Scholard including the goal-of-the-day during the third term handed the Tigers an eight-point lead at the last change.
Scholard’s major was amazing. His mid-air soccer scissors kick sailed through at the scoreboard end.
After the Tigers had skipped out to a 20-point lead with almost half the final term gone Leroy Miller stamped his authority on the game.
Three big shots were all on line and absolutely crucial. First of all Miller tied up the game at 12.8 apiece. And then his third for the quarter handed South the lead as time ran out for the Tigers.
South coach Brady Childs said in the game’s lead-up he’d emphasised ‘concentration’ to his players.
“I kept harping on about manning up, winning each contest and being accountable and for the forwards to play in front.
“I believed if our concentration was there and we focussed on those basics then the scoreboard would take care of itself,” he said.
The Bloods coach said Connaughton and Daniel Frew continued to rack up hard-ball possessions to lead by example and inspire their teammates to keep going.
Kyneton coach Luke Beattie said it was a credit to South “to keep on persevering” as they’d done all match.
“I think the smaller ground suited them as they kept the ball in nice and close,” he said.
“And even though positions on the ladder around fourth and fifth and sixth are close I don’t think our season’s on the line just yet.
“But we really can’t afford to lose to sides below us so the Castlemaine game next round will be vital. I know the boys are disappointed about this game,” Beattie said.
South Bendigo 3.2 7.4 9.5 13.11 (89)
Kyneton 3.4 6.5 10.7 12.11 (83)
Goals – South Bendigo: Leroy Miller 6, Aaron Connaughton 3, Brayden Torpy, Cohen Balnaves, Daniel Frew, Josh Whelan. Kyneton: Mitchell Scholard 8, Ben Weightman 2, Michael Rainey, Harrison Huntley.
Best – South Bendigo: Aaron Connaughton (best afield), Charlton Hindle, Leroy Miller, Kieran Strachan, Isaiah Miller, Blair Whelan. Kyneton: Mitchell Scholard, Josh Govan, Hamish Govan, Rhys Magin, Ryan Carafa, Jarrod Andreatta.
SEVENTH-placed Eaglehawk was the other upset winner of the BFNL’s 10th round, trouncing Kangaroo Flat (4th) by 63 points on the Roos’ home deck.
Kangaroo Flat caught Eaglehawk’s kicking-for-goal yips and landed just eight majors from 25 scoring shots.
The Hawks, though, straightened up after poor efforts in the past three rounds. Full-forward Matt Gretgrix drilled six majors and he received great support in attack from Cam McGlashan.
Down back skipper Tim Hill and reliable Glenn Daly were also in the best for the Two Blues.
The other matches went to script with Strathfieldsaye comfortably downing Castlemaine at Flight Centre Park, Sandhurst scoring a massive 194-point win over Maryborough and Golden Square belting the young Gisborne side in the Battle of the Bulldogs by 151 points.
In those three games forwards had a day out. Chris Ryan (7), Hamish Morcom (4) and Dylan Johnstone (4) led the Square’s goalkicking list while at Maryborough’s Princes Park Dragon midfielders Nick Stagg (7 majors), Lee Coghlan (6) Adam Parry (5) and Kristan Height (5) contributed 23 of the Hurst’s enormous 37-goal haul.
Storm key forward Tom Bartholomew had his kicking boots back on again after a miserable few weeks. He landed four majors and so, too, did skipper Shannon Geary and under-18 gun Matt Harvey.
For the Maine Magpies Mark ‘Rambo’ Ramsay slotted four goals and full-forward Rhys Ford three.
Final scores: Sandhurst 37.18 (240) def. Maryborough 7.4 (46), Eaglehawk 20.8 (128) def. Kang. Flat 8.17 (65), Strathfieldsaye 17.15 (117) def. C’maine 10.7 (67) and G. Square 31.14 (200) def. Gisborne 7.7 (49).
Top five: Golden Square 36, Strathfieldsaye 36, Sandhurst 32, Kangaroo Flat 24 and Kyneton 20.
Goalkicking: Matt Gretgrix (Eh) 6, 42; Mitchell Scholard (Kyn) 8, 42; Dylan Johnstone (GS) 4, 39; Ryan Herring (GS) 0, 30; Rhys Ford (Cm) 3, 29; Ben Weightman (Kyn) 2, 27.
Next round, 9 July (there’s a general bye on 2 July): Eaglehawk v Maryborough, Gisborne v Kang. Flat, Sandhurst v South Bendigo (QEO), Strath Storm v Golden Square (match of the round) and Castlemaine v Kyneton.