GOLDEN Square’s players had to dig really deep in a desperate last quarter at the Gardiner Reserve to hold off a fired-up Gisborne.
The Square actually nailed the last three goals of Saturday’s match in that final quarter to win a hard-fought contest by 22 points.
And yet the home Dogs had hit the front by a point 21 minutes into the third term when Tristan James nursed home a crucial goal at the creek end.
Adam Baird inspired Golden Square with his fourth goal of the day as time-on in the fourth term loomed and the Square eased home, 11.11 (77) to 8.7 (55).
Gisborne jumped out to a handy nine-point quarter time lead after drilling five of their eight goals in the opening term.
Daniel Weaver and James were on target at the creek end with the visitors left trailing despite Square’s best-on-the-day Adam Baird managing to keep his side within reach.
Golden Square sneaked out to a tiny three-point half-time advantage as Tom Toma and Jake Thrum booted late majors, thanks to lead-up work from Baird and Mitchell Treacy.
Toma had the chance to nail two goals in succession after snaring a 50m penalty but uncharacteristically he booted the ball straight into the man-on-the-mark.
And then the Gisborne goals dried up as the second half opened with Brayden Dorrington and Jon Coe nullifying Gisborne’s key forwards.
The home Dogs managed just two goals after the long break while the Square added five.
Big Jaidyn Owen held onto a sliding mark as the third term opened and despite lining up in a muddy patch steered home Gisborne’s seventh goal.
Travis Baird replied for Golden Square then raced back to line up across half-back. Square coach Bernie Haberman later said he’d used Baird as a running defender for 15 minutes during the third term.
When Jake Conolan sent a long ball into attack James marked and nursed home a much needed Gisborne major to hand his side a one-point lead: 8.4 (52) to 7.9 (51).
It was to be the Gardiner Reserve Dogs’ final major of the day. Although trailing by just five points at three-quarter time Tom Wood, Eamon McKenna and Liam Rodgers – all handy contributors up to the last break – drifted out of play.
Travis Baird outmarked two Gisborne defenders and steered through Square’s ninth goal to stretch the margin to two straight kicks.
Three umpires – a central, the goal umpire and a boundary – conferred after Adam Baird’s set shot soared over outstretched hands. But the ball wasn’t touched and Baird’s major stood.
Toma sealed victory with a great snap from deep on the boundary line with the Square victors by 22 points.
Haberman praised his Gisborne opponents for their tireless work ethic and their ability to match Square for intensity.
“They started better than us and they were cleaner in the contested footy area. In the end we just had a few more options forward which got us across the line.”
Haberman didn’t mention it but former Hawthorn star wingman Clinton Young had negligible impact on the contest for Gisborne.
And the interesting fact weather-wise was that the powerful winds which affected other BFL matches and lashed Victoria further south didn’t strike Gisborne, just an hours drive north of Melbourne.
The Caulfield races in the city were abandoned after just four events, but the Gisborne winds were pretty mild.
Golden Square 3.7 6.7 8.10 11.11 (77)
Gisborne 5.4 6.4 8.5 8.7 (55)
Goals – Golden Square: Adam Baird 4, Tom Toma 2, Travis Baird 2, Jake Thrum, Bailey George, Jordan Rosengren. Gisborne: Daniel Weaver 2, Tom Wood 2, Tristan James 2, Jack Scanlon, Jaidyn Owen.
Best – Golden Square: Adam Baird (best on ground), Brayden Dorrington, Thomas Toma, Braydon Welsh, Jonathan Coe, Hamish Morcom. Gisborne: Daniel Weaver, Josh Grabham, Liam Rodgers, Tom Wood, Eamon McKenna, Pat Trotta.
CASTLEMAINE won its first game since way back on April 14th when the Magpies downed fellow strugglers Kangaroo Flat by 13 points.
In a Camp Reserve match which saw a meagre combined tally of 12.29 posted for the day the opposing coaches were brothers: Derrick Filo at the Maine and Shawn Filo a co-coach with the Flat.
Both men have enjoyed long and illustrious coaching careers with Derrick leading Kyneton to two 1990s flags (including three grand finals in a row, 1995-96-97) while Eaglehawk took out a pair in 2007 and 2008 under Derrick Filo’s astute management.
Derrick Filo had gun on-baller Simon Seddon play a loose man in defence for the final term with the Camp Reserve Pies clinging to a slender 10-point advantage.
The ploy worked. Both sides added just two goals in the tense final stanza with the Maine’s Kalan Huntly again best afield.
John Watson and youngster Jack Chester booted two goals each for the Maine. Jonathon Lanyon was the Roos’ best.
EAGLEHAWK consolidated top spot on the ladder and might almost have sunk Sandhurst’s flag defence with a 46-point belting of the Dragons.
The Hurst are now six premiership points out of the Top Five, dual Michelsen medallist Tim Martin was assisted off the ground by two trainers with a recurrence of his knee injury and half-forward Pascale Craig was yellow carded in the dying moments for “careless contact” with a central umpire.
In the absence of long-term full forward Matt Gretgrix (broken hand) livewire small forward Riley Saunders stepped up for the Hawks.
He bagged five goals while teammate Tyler Miles held dangerous Hurst forward Andrew Collins.
The Dragons might have seen the last of big follower Martin for the season. “Hopefully the injury to the knee is just bone bruising,” Martin said in the rooms after the game.
“I don’t have a posterior cruciate ligament in that knee anymore after rupturing it last season. We’ll just have to see after I have a scan in Melbourne on Monday whether it’s bone bruising and all the structural stuff is okay.”
Just as they’d done a week earlier against Square Eaglehawk booted a big percentage of the last goals kicked.
Last round it was all of the final nine. Against Hurst the Borough boys snagged eight of the last 10.
IN the other games Kyneton saw off South Bendigo at their second Showgrounds home game in succession while Strath Storm registered a 124-point percentage booster over Maryborough.
Goalsneak Lachlan Sharp jumped back to the head of the BFL sharpshooters’ list with 12 majors but surprisingly was named only fourth best by his club coaching staff and selectors.
Sharp had just the one goal to his name by half-time. He’d been reported and yellow carded at quarter time before returning with an 11-goal salvo in the concluding two terms.
Joshua Martyn bagged three Storm goals with Jamieson Sheahan, skipper Shannon Geary, teenager Lachlan Gill and Josh Formosa named – along with Sharp – in Storm’s best.
Andrew Siekai kicked two of Maryborough’s six goals with consistent midfielder Ashley Noonan named the Magpies’ best.
Kyneton continued their trend of high-scoring encounters as Mitchell Scholard (5 goals) and Ben Weightman (3) continued their excellent run in front of the big sticks.
This time it was South Bendigo which felt the pinch. The Bloods managed a meagre eight majors for the day which against a free-scoring outfit like the Tigers was never going to be enough.
With five victories in a row the Tigers have recorded their best winning streak since 1999.
The Bloods had more than their fair share of injury worries. Ace ruckman Kieran Strachan was benched with an ankle injury while skipper Aaron Connaughton joined Strachan on the bench with a back complaint.
In his first game for South Nathan Newlan was forced off the field with concussion.
Coach Brady Childs said South was down to just one fit player on the bench from midway through the second term.
Kyneton had top contributors in the Govan brothers Josh and Hamish, Bryce Hinneberg and defender Taylor Kelly.
For South Leroy Miller booted three of their eight goals. Tom Brereton, dependable Brad Wright and Mitch Rogerson were in their best.
Final scores: Castlemaine 7.5 (57) d Kang. Flat 5.14 (44), Eaglehawk 14.10 (94) d Sandhurst 6.12 (48), Strathfieldsaye 24.18 (162) d Maryborough 6.2 (38) and Kyneton 13.13 (91) d South Bendigo 8.16 (64).
Ladder: Eaglehawk 48 prem. points, 153.7%; Strath Storm 44, 182.7%; G. Square 44, 154%; Kyneton 38, 153.4%; South Bendigo 36, 139%.
Leading goalkickers: Lachlan Sharp (Storm) 12, 84; Ben Weightman (Kyn) 3, 78; Matt Gretgrix (Eh) 0, 65; Travis Baird (GS) 2, 48 and Mitchell Scholard (Kyn) 5, 46.
Round 15, all Saturday: Strathfieldsaye v C’maine, Golden Square v Maryborough, Gisborne v Eaglehawk, Kangaroo Flat v Kyneton and Sandhurst v South Bendigo (pre-game announcement of South’s impending 125-year celebrations for next season (1893—2018).