Bendigo Football League…
EAGLEHAWK consolidated its top four BFNL ladder position with a 26-point win over Castlemaine on Saturday.
But it didn’t come easily in front of a passionate Railway Hotel Reserve Magpie home crowd.
In fact Castlemaine dominated the middle two quarters with Justin Dorward, Tom Horne and Alex Farrow firing as the home side went into the last change seven points in front.
Then with a six-goal final term salvo the Hawks burst clear as they raced home to a 13.15 (93) to 9.13 (67) victory.
The Magpies added six goals to three in a tight struggle through the second and third terms after wiping out their 10-point quarter time deficit.
Tom Godsell nailed two second quarter goals at the pavilion end within 90 seconds although Eaglehawk’s Sam Harper also drilled a pair of majors with his first a classy set shot from the railway side flank.
Eaglehawk playmaker Glenn Daly, overall best afield for the match, kept his side in touch in the third quarter.
Constantly linking up from his half-back spot down the coaching box flank or across through the centre Daly marked a Brodie Collins pass and hammered home Eaglehawk’s sole third term major.
Meanwhile the Magpies had added three goals of their own. Mark Ramsay, the agile Horne and skipper Zac Hansford were all on target at the scoreboard end.
And yet that carefully accumulated Magpie seven-point lead was blown apart by the Hawks in the concluding 30 minutes.
Gretgrix pulled in a one-handed mark in the goal square with his major reducing the Maine lead to a single point.
Jesse and Brodie Collins, top midfielders match-long for the Two Blues, also added Hawk majors before Gretgrix hauled in the mark-of-the-day.
He hung onto a four-grab diving mark as he tumbled to the turf before driving home his third goal. It iced the game for the Hawks.
Matt Filo marked a long Koby Hommelhoff centring kick and went back and nailed his second goal for the afternoon to increase the Hawks’ lead.
Castlemaine’s sole response came eight seconds from full-time when Tom Robertson, son of coach Shane, grubbered home the Maine’s only last term goal.
The Eaglehawk defence, led by skipper Tim Hill and Brenton Conforti, had completely shut down the Magpie front half.
Eaglehawk coach Luke Monaghan praised his players for fighting back after Castlemaine had jumped out to their lead.
“With the rough-tough brand of footy that they played – a really contested style – Castlemaine controlled those middle quarters.
“We needed to open it up and in that last quarter we were able to break away and get on top, which was nice.”
Eaglehawk 4.3 6.5 7.10 13.15 (93)
Castlemaine 2.5 5.8 8.11 9.13 (67)
Goals – Eaglehawk: M. Gretgrix 3, S. Harper 3, M. Filo 2, D. Wust, J. Collins, B. Collins, G. Daly, K. Hommelhoff. Castlemaine: K. Jermyn 2, T. Godsell 2, T. Horne, J. Graham, M. Ramsay, Z. Hansford, T. Robertson.
Best – Eaglehawk: G. Daly (best on ground), B. McPhee, B. Collins, J. Collins, S. Harper, J. Neaves. Castlemaine: T. Horne, A. Farrow, J. Dorward, J. O’Brien, J. Hood, D. Stephens.
KYNETON sprung one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 BFL season with an all-the-way 27-point win over defending champions Strathfieldsaye.
At a packed Kyneton Showgrounds the Tigers led at every change and seem now to have wrapped up a Top Five spot and a berth in the September finals series.
They held the Storm goal-less in the opening term while racing out to a 26-point advantage.
Nathan Thompson booted four goals for the Tigers while Ron Best Medal contender Mitch Scholard could only land a pair. Consistent Harry Conway booted four of Storm’s miserable six goals.
Ruckman Nick Higginson and on-baller Rhys Magin controlled the stoppages for the home side Tigers.
GOLDEN Square completed one of the most one-sided wins in recent BFL history.
The Wade Street Bulldogs romped home to a 200-point victory over hapless Maryborough, consigning the Magpies to just one goal for an entire afternoon out on the paddock.
It was Maryborough’s lowest senior score since re-joining the BFL in 1992.
Billy Hawkes booted the Magpies only goal and that was in the first term.
Square’s Dylan Johnston slotted seven majors to take him to 70 for the season and a two-goal lead over Eaglehawk’s Matt Gretgrix in the race for the league’s Ron Best goal-kicking medal.
SANDHURST handed out a 98-point drubbing to Kangaroo Flat leaving the Roos with an almost impossible task to make the 2016 finals.
The end margin was a complete shock to seasoned BFL observers and with just two rounds left the Flat has to play the Storm out at Flight Centre Park in Rd. 17 before wrapping up the season with a round 18 twilight clash against improved Castlemaine.
Dragon midfielder Kristan Height was again in brilliant touch notching six goals while Matt ‘Bear’ Thornton and Lachlan Ross added three apiece.
SOUTH Bendigo won the QEO battle between two of the league’s young and improving sides with a 33-point victory over Gisborne.
The Bloods controlled the midfield with Blair Whelan and Jayden Sheean in fine form. Matt Chisari nailed three goals.
Jake Conolan was Gisborne’s only multiple goalkicker with two.
Final scores, around the grounds: Sandhurst 23.8 (146) def. Kangaroo Flat 7.6 (48), Golden Square 31.24 (210) def. M’borough 1.4 (10), South Bendigo 13.15 (93) def. Gisborne 9.6 (60) and Kyneton 10.12 (72) def. Strath Storm 6.9 (45).
Ladder: Sandhurst 14 wins 2 losses, 221%; Golden Square 13 wins 3 losses, 211%; Strath Storm 12 wins 4 losses, 155%; Eaglehawk 10 wins 6 losses, 145%; Kyneton 10 wins, 6 losses, 122%.
Sixth: Kangaroo Flat 9 wins, 7 losses, 108%.
Round 17, all Saturday: Eaglehawk vs. Sandhurst, Maryborough vs. Gisborne, Strathfieldsaye vs. Kangaroo Flat, Kyneton vs. Golden Square and Castlemaine vs. South Bendigo.