BY late Saturday afternoon Eaglehawk had displaced Kyneton in the BFNL’s top five handing out a 76-point thumping to the Tigers.
Kyneton tumbled from fourth position down to sixth, booting just eight goals to the Hawks’ 20 at Canterbury Park.
A rejuvenated Eaglehawk fired by midfielders Ben McPhee, vice-captain Brodie Collins and Sam Harper squashed Kyneton in the opening term.
They took the game on as the home side attacked the Simpson’s Road goals relentlessly hardly allowing the Tigers any forward 50 entries at their end, favoured by the breeze.
Then with Shaun Knott booting three second half goals and McPhee two the Hawks finished all over the Tigers as they rolled home: 20.13 (133) to 8.9 (57).
It might have taken Eaglehawk 14 minutes to land the first goal through Koby Hommelhoff but their midfield and forward pressure stifled Kyneton.
When Matt Gretgrix nailed the first of his four goals followed by the Hawks’ third major to Gedd Hommelhoff – capping off a spot-on pass from brother Koby – the Tigers were in strife.
Eventually deep into time-on hard-running Jarrod Witnish and spearhead Mitch Scholard both goaled, with Scholard’s set shot completing a fingertip mark at bootlace level.
The second quarter was the last time Kyneton remained in touch.
Although Leigh Warne and Jarrod Andreatta battled hard to hold the Tigers’ defence together, their midfielders were carved up.
Gedd Hommelhoff and Brodie Collins, with a long rolling shot which slid home across the muddy goal square, nailed two more Eaglehawk majors.
Finally Nathan Thompson worked ahead of Tim Hill, marked on the lead and booted Kyneton’s third goal – the first of his four for the day. Thirteen minutes had elapsed.
That was it for Kyneton. Eaglehawk piled on 13 goals to four in a dominant second half.
Knott took two strong marks and floated through two goals, Brock Rogers hammered home a long shot while Jack Lawton and McPhee (courtesy of a 50m penalty) both kicked truly from inside the goal square.
Another seven last term Eaglehawk majors added to Kyneton’s misery.
When veteran Anthony Franchina bent back a 50m shot from the grandstand boundary line Kyneton’s humiliation was complete, although Thompson managed to thread through two late Tiger goals.
Eaglehawk coach Luke Monaghan conceded the withdrawal of key position player Harrison Huntley would have altered Kyneton’s match-up plans.
“But we were even across the board especially our ability to win the crucial clearances and centre stoppages.
“Our run and carry allowed our forwards to have more of an impact although we could have hit the scoreboard harder early. We still finished with 12 individual goalkickers, though.”
Apart from Gretgrix’s four goals and Knott’s three, Brodie Collins, Gedd Hommelhoff and Ben McPhee all slotted two.
Scholard booted two goals for the Tigers with Thompson’s four their biggest individual haul.
SANDHURST won the battle of the top-of-the-table Big Two, easing home at the QEO by 13 points against Golden Square.
The Dragons turned a two-point deficit at the last change into a victory with midfielder Lee Coghlan notching his second goal moments from the final siren.
Kristan Height was pivotal for the Hurst booting five second-half goals while Victoria Country representative Tom Toma nailed four goals for the Square, two of them within 60 seconds in the third term.
The Bulldogs didn’t emerge from the big match unscathed. Key defender Brayden Dorrington left the field in the second stanza with a shoulder injury while full-forward Ryan Herring was reported.
KANGAROO FLAT shored up fourth spot on the ladder easily snatching the four points, as predicted by every footy pundit, at home over winless Maryborough.
But just 13 goals from 37 scoring shots proved a bit of a worry for coach Jason Stevens, who’s announced he’s stepping down at season’s end.
Stevens will take on the new role as director of football at Bendigo Mazda Oval. He’ll be responsible for managing player contracts, the club’s budgets (with the BFNL introducing league-wide salary caps in 2017), player points supervision and the overseeing of the Roos’ extensive junior development programmes.
On Saturday, Rhys Healey and Marty Kelly each slotted three goals for the Roos with midfielders Shannon Broadbent, co-captain Corey Greer and Mitch Hough (2 goals) in their best.
Ethan Crackel and Kirk Looby were in Maryborough’s best.
CASTLEMAINE notched their sixth win for 2016 handing the inexperienced Gisborne side a 42-point defeat and restricting the young Dogs to just four goals.
Once again the Dogs couldn’t score majors, managing only one in the first half (to the Magpies’ eight) while finishing with four goals from 20 scoring shots.
The Maine’s forwards were far more productive. They landed 12 goals from 22 shots with Rhys Ford, Klai Jermyn, Jackson Hood and Justin Dorward all contributing two majors.
Skipper Jarrad Lynch was Gisborne’s best player. For the Magpies Dorward, Jarryd Graham and captain Zac Hansford were solid contributors.
STRATHFIELDSAYE welcomed back important key position players in co-captain Jayden Donaldson, Ash Trollope, co-coach Bryce Curnow and spearhead Tom Bartholomew as they defeated South Bendigo by 24 points.
Even though they went down the Bloods were again extremely competitive, trailing by just 17 points at three-quarter time.
The Storm added 2.3 to 1.2 in the final quarter with co-captain Shannon Geary (3 goals) best afield. Trent Donnan and Kallen Geary (2 goals) were also fine contributors while Brad Stringer, brother of the Western Bulldogs Jake, nailed two Strath goals.
Liam Bartels, Dayne Frew and Isaiah Miller each speared home two goals for the Bloods and were in their better players.
Final scores: Eaglehawk 20.13 (133) def. Kyneton 8.9 (57); Sandhurst 13.10 (88) def. G. Square 10.15 (75); Kangaroo Flat 13.24 (102) def. Maryborough 6.4 (40); Castlemaine 12.10 (82) def. Gisborne 4.16 (40) and Strathfieldsaye Storm 12.10 (82) def. South Bendigo 9.4 (58).
Ladder positions: Sandhurst 12 wins, 2 losses, 48 prem. points, 221%; Strathfieldsaye 12-2-48 170%; Golden Square 11-3-44, 188%; Kangaroo Flat 9-5-36 129%; Eaglehawk 8-6-48, 32, 142 %.
Sixth: Kyneton 8 wins, 6 losses, 32 points; 118%.
Round 15, all Saturday: Gisborne vs. Kyneton, Eaglehawk vs. South Bendigo, Maryborough vs. Castlemaine, Golden Square vs. Kangaroo Flat and Sandhurst vs. Strathfieldsaye (QEO).