Bendigo Football League
GOLDEN Square re-grouped after a sluggish first half to boot 11 goals to Kyneton’s one after the main break and close out a crushing 78-point victory on Saturday.
At a miserably wet and cold Kyneton Showgrounds the Tigers were competitive in the first half.
They trailed by just 14 points at half-time before the Bulldogs, inspired by skipper Jack Geary who collected 16 possessions in a dominant third quarter, skipped away.
Spearhead Dylan Johnstone booted five goals, all after half-time, while forward pocket Clayton Anderson finished with four majors as the Dogs roared home: 15.16 (106) to 3.10 (28).
Kyneton’s inaccuracy and inability to win possessions around the stoppages were their problem areas in the opening two terms.
They had registered 10 scoring shots to Square’s nine by half-time yet only Hugh Schiavello – with a low kick which he bent back from right to left – and Max O’Sullivan could boot majors.
Square’s Anderson already had three goals to his name by the long break. Two came from set shots while his second, four minutes into the second term, was screwed home after the small forward had taken a pass from Tom Toma.
Square coach Nick Carter said later he planned to keep Anderson in the front half unless a match-up with an opposition forward during the finals necessitated a switch to defence.
The Tigers were constantly off-line at the scoreboard end.
Leading BFNL full-forward Mitch Scholard tried a checkside kick but only a point resulted, O’Sullivan’s set shot was cleared off the line while three other set shots ended up as rushed behinds.
Out came the Bulldogs for the third term and with Geary on fire assisted by Adam Baird, Simon Rosa and impressive young wingman Isaac Miller that was the end of the contest.
They added 6.7 with Geary and Baird in charge at the stoppages as Johnstone slotted three goals with Anderson, the busy Toma and Roberts all adding one apiece.
Square’s only blemish was their inaccuracy. Kyneton defenders Leigh Warne and Jarrod Andreatta were under duress although Tiger skipper Mick Rainey stepped up after a quiet first half to find Schiavello for a much-needed Kyneton major.
Another four Square goals in the final term as the light faded and the rain squalls resumed bolstered Square’s advantage.
Johnstone added two of those four majors, with the second a 55 metre bomb with the sodden ball.
Carter said his players had got things together in the second half after a patchy first half.
“To their credit they really got going after half-time. Jack and the leaders looked each other in the eye – they’re the ones who drive the action on-field and they really took it on.”
SOUTH Bendigo won the closest match of the round just hanging on away at Castlemaine by a single point.
The Bloods were 20 points up midway through the final stanza before the Magpies unleashed a three-goal burst to cut the deficit to one point.
Five minutes remained on the clock but neither side was able to add to their totals handing South just their third win of the season.
It was retiring Maine coach Shane Robertson’s final home game at the Camp Reserve. He’ll bow out on Saturday night – as will Kangaroo Flat’s Jason ‘Jughead’ Stevens also – when the two clubs meet under lights at Bendigo Mazda Oval in the BFNL’s concluding fixture for round 18.
Stevens will take up the new position as Roos’ director of football for 2017 and beyond.
Michael Tonkin booted two goals for the Bloods with on-baller Mitch Rogerson their best. Mark Ramsay nailed three goals for the Maine with Kalan Huntly named the Magpies’ best.
STRATHFIELDSAYE snapped a two-game losing streak as they belted sixth-placed Kangaroo Flat at Flight Centre Park.
The Roos have looked anything but a finals prospect in recent weeks and seem certain now to miss out on the 2016 series.
The Storm led by five goals at the main break and then restricted the Roos to just one more major for the game.
The home side added 6.7 in terms three and four to run out convincing 64-point winners.
Harvey landed five goals for the Storm with Jake ‘Stingray’ Hall adding four. Midfielders Trent Donnan, Sean Johns and Kallen Geary were Strath’s best.
Co-captains Corey Greer and Nick Lang were the Roos’ best in a disappointing effort overall.
GISBORNE registered their third win of the season although host club Maryborough posted one of their highest scores of 2016.
Twice in the second half the young Magpies closed the gap to 20 points, but each time the almost-as-youthful Bulldogs steadied to race away and in by 26 points.
Pat Trotta was the Dogs’ best with his captain Jarrad Lynch nailing for goals.
Templeton, Hawkes and reliable follower Andrew Siekai — who regularly features in the Borough’s major goalkickers – all drilled three majors.
JUST like Square, Sandhurst started slowly against Eaglehawk as the Two Blues booted four of the match’s first five goals.
Defending Ron Best Medallist Matt Gretgrix was on fire for Eaglehawk early. He booted four of his eight goals for the day before quarter time.
However, the Dragons steadied to level the scores by the first change and then added four goals to two in the second stanza.
Sandhurst kept the Hawks goalless in the third quarter as they opened up a 25-point lead by the last change and went on to win by 31 points.
Joel Wharton booted three Hurst goals while prolific midfielder Kristan Height Koe Ngawati and Nick Stagg added a pair each.
AND in the most bizarre central Victorian Tribunal case in recent years Marong player Damian Webb has copped a two-year suspension.
The Loddon Valley League tribunal handed Webb a two-match suspension for making contact with his head to a Bridgewater opponent during the league’s final home-and-away game.
Frustrated by the verdict as the finals were just around the corner, Webb threw a chair towards the Tribunal panel after the fortnight’s scrubbing had been announced.
The chair didn’t strike any of the three panel members but Webb was instructed to re-appear the following evening.
At the second hearing 24 hours later Webb was rubbed out for misconduct for two seasons. He will not be able to play right through 2017 and 2018.
Final scores: Sandhurst 16.15 (111) def. E’hawk 12.8 (80); South Bendigo 10.9 (69) def. C’maine 9.14 (68); Strathfieldsaye 15.10 (100) def. Kang. Flat 5.6 (36); Gisborne 17.9 (111) def. Maryborough 13.7 (85) and G. Square 15.16 (106) def. Kyneton 3.10 (28).
Top five: Sandhurst 15 wins, 2 losses, 60 prem. points, 214%; Golden Square 14-3, 56, 215.9%; Strath Storm 13-4, 52, 159.9%; Eaglehawk 10-7, 40, 138.9%; Kyneton 10-7, 40, 115.3%.
Sixth: Kang. Flat 9-8, 36, 103.32 %.
Round 18, all Saturday: G. Square vs. Eaglehawk, Sandhurst vs. Kyneton, Gisborne vs. Strathfieldsaye, South Bendigo vs. Maryborough (at Harry Trott Oval), Kangaroo Flat vs. Castlemaine (Bendigo Mazda Oval, night).
Qualifying and eliminations finals, Queen Elizabeth Oval: Saturday and Sunday, 3 and 4 September.