Bendigo Football League…
KYNETON unleashed a blistering second half to sink Gisborne at a frigid Gardiner Reserve on Saturday.
With regular goalkicking stars Ben Weightman and Mitch Scholard well held early by the Dogs’ defence Tigers’ livewire midfielder-forward Max O’Sullivan (five goals) and youngster Tim Kirk stepped up.
Up until half-time the Bulldogs were right in a contest which was at times heated and occasionally spiteful.
Then the Tigers flicked the switch in the second half landing 11 goals to five as they rolled home by 51 points, 17.13 (115) to 9.10 (64).
Kyneton coach Luke Beattie said the onfield scrimmaging, heated exchanges and pushing and shoving hadn’t bothered him.
“The little bit of niggle was probably just the Macedon Ranges rivalry coming out. Football is a competitive sport and the people who play it are competitive beasts so I think the crowd enjoyed it,” he said.
Gisborne was right in the contest early on. With Nick Doolan and Heath Simpson blanketing Weightman and Scholard, the Dogs led at quarter time and were just 11 points down at the long break.
Beattie used big defender Harrison Huntley as the extra man in defence to great effect in the second term. Unfortunately Huntley had to leave the ground a few minutes before half-time with concussion and could be sidelined for a period.
The Bulldogs had Jake Conolan and Jaidyn Owen on target in attack before Max O’Sullivan finally sparked the Tigers.
He sank a long bomb at the pavilion end midway through the second quarter as Kyneton finally upped their tempo to snatch an 11-point half-time lead.
The Tigers came with a rush in the second half. With the lights on in the third term they added 4.6 to 2.3 as tempers boiled over.
Fintan Brazil booted the second of two goals at the creek end with his goal coming without the ball returning to the centre.
Ethan Foreman rammed home an important Kyneton major followed by another moments before the siren to Max O’Sullivan.
Tigers’ Bryce Hinneberg stamped his claim to mark-of-the-year with his second hanger of the match across the half-back line.
But the Dogs weren’t going to lie down. Conolan drilled his third major after hauling in a great mark 40m out early in the final quarter.
Clinton Young goaled from 10m out with no Tiger on the mark following yet another all-in skirmish, this time on the Gisborne forward line. Young was the recipient of the 50m penalty.
Then the Tigers ensured the final term would stretch to 35 minutes with a seven-goal burst. Rhys Magin, Scholard and Weightman bolstered the Tigers’ scoreline with the majors which iced the contest.
Weightman and Scholard finally shook off the close tags applied by Doolan and Simpson to find some space across half-forward at the pavilion end.
Beattie said the Tigers hadn’t really stuck to their game plan early on.
“But once we settled our players were able to use their foot skills and open the game up. I always felt we were stronger across a number of positions that they might have struggled with.
“It’s one of those games where I would have liked us to come out and kick seven (goals) in the first quarter, but in the end I felt our final two quarters were quite outstanding,” the Tigers’ coach added.
Gisborne coach Brad Spear independently agreed with Beattie about the “Macedon Ranges rivalry” and said he didn’t feel the on-field spats took the polish off the match.
“I think that’s not a bad thing. Rivalry between clubs is a little bit lacking in today’s footy and (that rivalry) between our two clubs is certainly not a pre-meditated thing.
“I’m sure Kyneton would agree. The game was hot and it seems to be a trend between these two clubs.
“We did run out of legs a little bit at the end, especially today when we down on a few rotations in that final quarter.
“And because we don’t have the depth where if we lose a player we’re able to pull someone off the bench with a similar sort of ability – it just doesn’t happen,” Spear said.
Kyneton 2.3 6.5 10.11 17.13 (115)
Gisborne 3.2 4.6 6.9 9.10 (64)
Goals — Kyneton: Max O’Sullivan 5, Mitch Scholard 3, Ben Weightman 2, Tim Kirk 2, Rhys Magin, Ethan Foreman, Patrick McCarthy, Fintan Brazil, Ethan Foreman. Gisborne: Jake Conolan 3, Thomas Wood 2, Clinton Young, Pat Trotta, Jaidyn Owen, Jarrad Lynch.
Best: Max O’Sullivan (best afield), Josh Govan, Billy Mahony, Michael Clancy, Bryce Hinneberg, Harry Mulqueen. Gisborne: Nick Doolan, Heath Simpson, Jack Reaper, Connor Kilbane, Jack Baker, Josh Grabham.
MARYBOROUGH broke a 47-game senior losing streak with a 58-point win over Castlemaine at Princes Park.
Even though the Maine had won the Round 1 match, the Borough iced their first victory in 1049 days by convincingly reversing that April result.
The Borough didn’t sneak home, either. They belted the Maine by close to 10 goals with 10 individual goalkickers.
As coach Shane Skontra told the Maryborough faithful in the rooms after the game: “We were 0-47. Now we’re 1-0.”
It was the biggest result and biggest story from Rd. 10 in the BFL with the Princes Park Pies increasing their lead at every break and every goal in the final term greeted with huge cheers from the club faithful.
The only downside for Maryborough came seconds before three quarter-time. Magpie playmaker Ash Noonan was slung to the ground in a tackle with his head crashing into the turf.
He was knocked out and an ambulance was called to Princes Park. Noonan’s neck was placed in a brace by paramedics who were on the oval and he was driven to Ballarat Base Hospital.
The three-quarter time break was extended to 30 minutes as ambulance officers attended to Noonan.
Oh, and one fact must be revealed. A lad with a whiteboard had to stand on the main bench in the winner’s room so the players would know the words as they belted out — or tripped over, from time to time — the Maryborough theme song.
After all, no one at Maryborough had sung the song since Rd. 16 in 2014 when they beat South Bendigo.
The lad with the board had to elbow out a few supporters in the packed rooms just to find a spot to hoist his song-line chart.
It was the Princes Park Pies’ highest score since Rd. 9, 2014 when they booted 22.22 (154) against Kyneton.
STRATHFIELDSAYE answered every challenge from Sandhurst in the top-of-the table clash at the QEO as the Storm cemented top spot on the ladder.
They’re still one clear game ahead of the chasing pack and extended their winning streak to eight.
From the second quarter onwards Strath kept their noses in front and always had the response to the Dragons who have now dropped a game-and-a-half outside the Top Three.
Two late goals in the final three minutes before half-time to Harry Conway and Lachie Sharp handed the Storm a 15-point buffer at the long break.
Again in the third stanza the Storm was able to drill the steadying goal each time the Hurst got close. A return of 1.4 by the Dragons from the first five scoring shots of the third term was to prove costly.
The Storm was held scoreless for the first 18 minutes of the ‘premiership quarter’ but responded with two majors in two minutes to skip back out to a 17-point advantage.
The second Strath goal was an important one. Lachlan Ratcliffe on debut had a moment he’ll never forget when he pounced on the ball, got a bouncing kick away and snared a lucky leg-break as the ball rolled through.
It was Ratcliffe’s first senior goal. The Dragons fought back with important majors to key forwards Matt Gray and Matt ‘Bear’ Thornton to leave Sandhurst just one kick down at the last break: 8.7 to 9.7.
But the ladder leaders drilled the first two goals of the final term through skipper Shannon Geary and Jake Heavyside with Heavyside cleverly roving a defensive clearing punch from the Hurst’s Codie Price.
Lee Coghlan ended up bagging three of the Dragons’ nine goals while backman Josh Hann did a great job restricting the BFL’s leading goalsneak Lachlan Sharp to just two majors.
Emerging ruckman Alex Powell was in the Storm’s best especially considering he nailed Strathfieldsaye first two goals while midfielders Jamieson Sheahan and Jake Moorhead were also impressive.
GOLDEN Square and Eaglehawk won the other two matches of Round 10 with the Square restricting Kangaroo Flat to just one goal for four quarters of footy.
Travis Baird hammered home eight of Square’s 20 majors to be best afield as the Dogs thumped the hapless Roos by 124 points.
It was the Bulldogs’ 34th straight win over the Flat with Square and Vic Country star Jack Geary on fire with a brilliant game through midfield.
Braydon Welsh and Tom Toma also impressed while teenager Rhys Mutch landed three Square goals.
The 1.7 (13) was Flat’s lowest score since they kicked an identical 1.7 (13) against Maryborough in Rd. 18 in 1999.
While Baird was booting goals from everywhere at Wade Street, Eaglehawk veteran Matt Gretgrix had a big day out against South Bendigo at Canterbury Park.
The G-Train also landed eight and should probably have finished in double figures. He missed a couple he’d normally nail with his eyes closed.
Midfield dynamo Ben McPhee was named the Hawks’ best for the third time in his past six games. Dylan Hanley was great across half-back with Matt Filo turning in another solid midfield display.
South’s lack of forward power hurt them. Liam Bartels was again good as he’d been against the Flat a week earlier while rangy Kieran Strachan dominated the ruck hit-outs and took many telling marks across the ground.
Final scores: Maryborough 17.12 (114) d Castlemaine 8.8 (56), Golden Square 20.17 (137) d Kang. Flat 1.7 (13), Strath Storm 11.11 (77) d Sandhurst 9.8 (62) and Eaglehawk 13.16 (94) d Sth. Bendigo 11.7 (73).
Top Five: Strathfieldsaye 9-1; Golden Square 8-2; Eaglehawk 8-2; Sandhurst 6-1-3; South Bendigo 6-4.
Sixth: Kyneton 5-1-4.
Round 12, all Saturday: Kang. Flat v Eaglehawk, C’maine v Sandhurst, South Bendigo v Gisborne (Harry Trott Oval), Kyneton v Maryborough and the top-of-the-table clash, Strathfieldsaye (1) v Golden Square (2).