KYNETON weathered a third quarter challenge from Sandhurst to win Saturday’s massive Showgrounds feature match by 21 points.
Spearhead Mitch Scholard nailed three of his five goals in a huge last quarter effort as the Tigers outlasted a hard-working Hurst.
The Dragons chipped away at Kyneton’s 28-point half-time lead right through the third term as speedy half-forward Lachlan Zimmer slammed home three goals.
Zimmer’s third narrowed the Kyneton lead to just eight points before the Tigers steadied in the last quarter to win, 13.10 (88) to 10.7 (67).
On the chilliest footy day this winter the Tigers started brightly booting three goals to one in the opening term.
Ace goalsneak Ben Weightman had versatile Sandhurst defender Codie Price by his side while Scholard found Arthur Rootsey as his opponent.
With the Tigers ahead by three goals, Mitch Dole finally sank the Hurst’s opening major at the 22-minute mark.
In the second quarter Kyneton opened up the biggest break of the game adding four goals to two as key defender Harrison Huntley shut down Zac East in the Sandhurst attack.
Tiger on-baller Max O’Sullivan finished off a move involving Rhyce Magin and Fintan Brazil while Weightman and Scholard managed to break their tags to score further Kyneton majors.
Brodie Montague steered through a vital Sandhurst goal, judging the wind perfectly to nail a major from the grandstand flank.
It was going to need a huge second half effort for the Dragons to close the gap in a low-scoring clash.
Enter Lachlan Zimmer. He ran onto a spilled mark for his first major, took one bounce and steered through his second at the scoreboard end and then marked over the back of a small pack to nail his third from a set shot.
That reduced the margin to eight points: 8.9 to 7.7. The Dragons were starting to breathe fire.
Seconds from the siren and sensing the threat Nicholas Brazil accepted a teammate’s hand-off and sank a long Kyneton bomb at the town end.
Brazil’s major handed the Tigers a 14-point last change lead.
Montague and youngster Jack Bouwmeester nailed Sandhurst majors in the opening nine minutes, but Scholard wasn’t going to let the last quarter slip away before making his mark.
He drilled two set shot majors in between Montague’s and Bouwmeester’s goals. And then after Sandhurst’s best-on-the-day Lachie Ross, a livewire at both ends of the Showgrounds, had taken a Blair Homes pass and kicked a Dragon reply Scholard made his mark, again.
He soared high over two Hurst defenders at the 21-minute mark to haul in a great grab. Scholard’s fifth major of the day wrapped up the four premiership points for the Tigers and a one-game ladder break over the Dragons.
Kyneton 3.5 7.8 9.9 13.10 (88)
Sandhurst 1.3 3.4 7.7 10.7 (67)
Goals — Kyneton: Mitch Scholard 5, Ben Weightman 3, Max O’Sullivan 2, Daniel Davie 2, Nicholas Brazil. Sandhurst: Lachlan Zimmer 3, Brodie Montague 2, Mitch Dole, Zac East, Jon Coghlan, Lachlan Ross, Jack Bouwmeester.
Best — Kyneton: Harrison Huntley (best afield), Rhyce Magin, Hamish Govan, Nicholas Brazil, Max O’Sullivan, Mitch Scholard. Sandhurst: Lachlan Ross, Codie Price, Joel Wharton, Galen Munari, Arthur Rootsey, Blair Holmes.
EAGLEHAWK stunned BFL followers, especially the local footy scribes, with a 26-point win over previous ladder leaders Golden Square.
Plus the victory was achieved on Square’s home deck and without the Two Blues’ injured spearhead Matt Gretgrix who was forced off the field early in the second term with a serious hand injury.
Nothing was to deter Eaglehawk, though. They booted the final nine goals of the match: the concluding three in the third term and all six in the last.
In the absence of the G-Train Gretgrix three Hawks’ players stood up, each contributing three goals: vice-captain Brodie Collins, former Square player Riley Saunders and mid-season recruit Trent Bacon.
Travis Baird booted five of Square 12 goals and now has 46 for the season.
Lachlan Sharp returned to form for the Strathfieldsaye Storm booting 8.7 and taking his 2017 goals tally to 72.
The Storm belted Gisborne by 91 points to emphasise the chasm between the top six clubs and the bottom four.
And Gisborne is not in the cellar or just above it. The Graveyard Dogs have won four games and sit seventh on the 10-club ladder.
But the Storm were keen to atone for loses in rounds 11 and 12 and shore up a Top Three spot — and a double chance in the finals.
Gisborne trailed by six goals at the long break before the Storm added 14 goals to five in the second half with Alex Powell snaring three Storm goals and earning the best afield nod.
IN other games Kangaroo Flat notched their third win of the season and shrugged off their perceived lack of forward power by booting 20 majors against Maryborough while South Bendigo did as everyone expected they would by disposing of Castlemaine by 47 points at the QEO.
But the Bloods were woefully inaccurate. They landed just 11 majors from 33 scoring shots with no South player able to exceed two individual goals.
Brock Harvey, so dynamic against Gisborne at the start of the month, nailed just a pair along with Liam Bartels.
Simon Seddon was the Maine’s leading goalkicker with a pair, also.
At Dower Park the Kangaroos had Jack Bower (6) and Mitch Collins (4) among the goals while for Maryborough Cameron Rinaldi nailed three against his old club.
Jayden Templeton also bobbed up with three for the Princes Park Pies.
Reliable Kangaroo Flat swingman Jonathan Lanyon was best afield at Dower Park.
Final scores: Eaglehawk 16.15 (111) d Golden Square 12.13 (85), Strathfieldsaye 23.12 (150) d Gisborne 8.11 (59), South Bendigo 11.22 (88) d C’maine 6.5 (41) and Kangaroo Flat 20.12 (132) d Maryborough 13.12 (90).
Ladder: Eaglehawk 11 wins, 2 losses, 44 points, 151.5%; Strathfieldsaye 10-3, 40, 171.6%; Golden Square 10-3, 40, 155.0%; South Bendigo 9-4, 36, 145.9%; Kyneton 8 wins, 1 draw, 4 losses, 34 prem. pts, 154.17%
Sixth: Sandhurst 7-1-5, 30, 146.5%.
Goalkicking: Ben Weightman (Kyn) 3, 75; Lachlan Sharp (Storm) 8, 72; Matthew Gretgrix (E’hawk) 0, 65; Travis Baird (GS) 5, 46.
Round 14 (all Saturday): Maryborough v Strathfieldsaye, Castlemaine v Kang. Flat, Kyneton v South Bendigo, Eaglehawk v Sandhurst, Gisborne v G. Square.