Bendigo FL round nine…
SOUTH Bendigo rounded out the first half of their 2017 season with a 77-point thumping of Kangaroo Flat on Saturday.
The pacy, hard-tackling Bloods restricted the Roos to a meagre four goals on their Bendigo Mazda Oval home deck.
With midfielder-forward Liam Bartels and deep forward Brock Harvey contributing nine goals between them South extended their lead the further the match went.
Only in the third term did the Flat keep pace in the goal-kicking stakes as the clubs booted just a pair of majors each before the Bloods raced home to a 17.8 (110) to 4.9 (33) victory.
Things looked bleak for the Flat by the 20-minute mark of the opening quarter.
After Bloods’ coach Brady Childs had marked five metres out from the Station Street end and steered through the first goal with less than three minutes played, South then added four more before quarter time.
Will Keck collected a Mitch Hocking handball and shot truly, Harvey marked inside the forward 50 and nailed a low, flat shot for South’s third followed by a Daniel Johnstone set shot from just inside the arc.
Big ruckman Kieran Strachan marked an Alex Hywood kick forward and sank South’s fifth from just 30 metres out.
The Roos’ only response had come at the 13-minute mark when Kansas Varker had marked on the scoreboard end’s old caravan park flank and steered through a Flat major.
South’s defence led by Brad Wright, Zac Hare and Alex Howe shut down the Roo attack. But with their midfield overrun by Bloods’ Blair Whelan (who was outstanding), Bartels (five goals for the day) and Hocking there were limited options to allow the Roos to work the ball forward.
After another five-goal burst from South in the second term the Roos at least kept pace in the third term.
Jonathan Lanyon and Alex Pearson were the Flat’s hardest workers as finally the home side found some spark.
Dylan Klemm and Jack Bower at the opposite ends of the quarter –Klemm’s in the first 50 seconds and then Bower on the three-quarter time siren – goaled for the Roos.
But South’s go-to scorers in Bartels and Harvey rammed home South’s majors with the Bloods 48 points up at the last break.
Five last stanza South goals to nil emphasised the difference in class between the two clubs. Isaiah Miller added his name to the Bloods’ goal-kicking list while Harvey marked and then nailed his fourth with the last kick of the day after the final siren had sounded.
Childs praised the commitment and concentration of his backmen. “They deserve a bit of recognition,” he said.
“Not only do they defend hard they run off well and I think all good sides need solid running backs.”
Childs also said it was pleasing to “get back on the winner’s list” after consecutive losses to Square and Storm.
South Bendigo 5.2 10.4 12.5 17.8 (110)
Kangaroo Flat 1.2 2.2 4.5 4.9 (33)
Goals –South Bendigo: Liam Bartels 5, Brock Harvey 4, Brady Childs 2, Daniel Johnstone 2, Blair Whelan, Kieran Strachan, Isaiah Miller, Will Keck. Kang. Flat: Dylan Klemm, Jack Bower, Kansas Varker, Jonathan Lanyon.
Best –South Bendigo: Blair Whelan (best afield), Mitch Hocking, Liam Bartels, Brad Wright, Brock Harvey, Zac Hare, Jake Smythe. Kang. Flat: Jonathan Lanyon, Alex Pearson, Liam Collins, Liam Ly, Dylan Klemm.
STRATHFIELDSAYE showed Kyneton how to best use the massive spaces of its Tannery Lane deck by accounting for the Tigers by 30 points.
Top team Storm didn’t have things all their own way, though. The sixth-placed Tigers trailed by 25 points at quarter-time then worked their way back into the game to close the gap to nine points by the long break.
Again midway through the third term the gap was in single digits. Kyneton got back within five points before Strath steadied through a pair of majors.
Of that pair, Josh Formosa landed one of the standout majors of the contest.
Strathfieldsaye then burst away to a 44-point advantage midway through the final quarter with five-goal forward Lachie Sharp (now on 58 for 2017), Jacob Heavyside and Brad Stringer pushing the gap out.
Kyneton battled back but the leeway was too great. Running half-back Rhys Magin, Ben Weightman (four goals, 47 for the year), and Josh Govan were Kyneton’s best.
Keelan Payne was exceptional in defence for the Storm while Sam Heavyside was lively in the front half.
Dual Storm premiership player, midfielder-forward Jake ‘Stingray’ Hall, injured his hamstring in the first quarter and took no further part in the game.
He could be sidelined for two weeks, maybe more. The Storm face fellow flag aspirants Sandhurst and Square on the next two Saturdays.
EAGLEHAWK, led by veteran spearhead Matt Gretgrix, went on a goalkicking blitz at Maryborough’s Princes Park ending up with 30 majors.
Gretgrix bagged 11 to move to 42 goals for the season. He’s snagged 27 majors in his past three games alone.
There was to be no lead at the last change for the Magpies as there had been a week earlier against Gisborne.
That’s because the Hawks kicked 13 of their 30 goals in a brutal third quarter salvo which turned a 63-point half-time lead into a 133-point blowout by the last change.
Still, led by Ash Noonan, the Magpies outscored the Hawks 5.2 to 4.5 in the final term as the match petered out.
Midfielders Ben Thompson and Gedd Hommelhoff (three goals) and running half-back Dylan Hanley were in Eaglehawk’s best.
Maryborough has a big chance to open their 2017 winning account this Saturday when they face disappointing Castlemaine at Princes Park.
GOLDEN Square belted hapless Castlemaine at the Wade Street oval, once again handing out a 100-plus point defeat to the Magpies.
At their home Wade Street Oval the Bulldogs had to soak up a second quarter challenge from the Maine, holding just a 14-point half-time advantage, before unleashing a dominant second half.
Jake Thrum and Travis Baird landed five goals each for the Dogs. And in only his second senior game of the season key linkman Hamish Morcom snared two goals while ruckman Matt Compston added a career-high three majors in his 114th game.
Jordan Rosengren also bagged three goals for the Square.
Box Hill-listed VFL player Tommy Horne overcame an early shoulder concern for the Maine to be the best for the Magpies.
Castlemaine’s only BFL inter-league player Kallan Huntly again played well landing three of Maine’s six goals.
SANDHURST had to work hard after their trip down the Calder Highway to account for Gisborne at the Gardiner Reserve by 43 points.
But the Dragons only stamped their mark on the Round 9 contest at the 20-minute mark of the final term.
With time-on looming and the Bulldogs just seven points behind the defending premiers slotted the last six goals of the game to seal their victory.
The final margin flattered the Hurst.
Dragons’ coach Wayne Primmer said midfielder Pascale Craig was his best with Craig’s work-rate and pressure top notch.
Codie Price was again great off half-back while Michelsen medallist Kristan Height snared five goals, including four of the final six, to stamp his name among the Hurst’s top six.
Gisborne’s best were Patrick Trotta, Connor Kilbane and skipper Jarrad Lynch as coach Brad Spear bemoaned two early injuries and “running out of legs” as Gisborne just couldn’t finish the game off.
Final scores: Sandhurst 17.11 (113) d Gisborne 10.10 (70), Eaglehawk 30.19 (199) d Maryborough 10.6 (66), Golden Square 22.11 (143) d Castlemaine 6.6 (42) and Strath Storm 14.10 (94) d Kyneton 9.10 (64).
Top Five: Strath Storm, Golden Square, Eaglehawk, Sandhurst, South Bendigo.
Round 10, all Saturday: Sandhurst vs. Strathfieldsaye, Maryborough vs. Castlemaine, Eaglehawk vs. South Bendigo, Gisborne vs. Kyneton and Golden Square vs. Kangaroo Flat.