Bendigo Football League…
KYNETON and Golden Square played out the second draw of the 2017 BFL season locked on 71 points apiece at the final siren.
The draw left the Tigers firmly anchored in fourth ladder spot with the Bulldogs 10 premiership points ahead in third spot and with the finals double chance securely locked away.
The final five is settled with one home and away round to be played as sixth-placed South Bendigo plunged out of contention following a 115-point belting from Strathfieldsaye in the late game under the Storm’s new lights.
Kyneton had the home Dogs on the ropes in the final quarter but somehow they allowed the Square to boot the final three goals of the day to pinch a draw.
The Tigers have had five games decided by seven points or less, including two draws, this season. They’re yet to nail the four premiership points in any.
Square coach Bernie Haberman conceded Kyneton had been the better team.
“They smashed us around the stoppages and contested footy. But to be three goals down with only eight minutes left and come back to snatch the draw I think our guys showed some resilience.”
Ruckman Matt Compston was best for the Square. Braydon Welsh and Michael Dalrymple down back were also good.
Again the Tigers’ best were their midfielders. Josh Govan, Rhys Magin and Billy Mahoney stood out for the Tigers.
LADDER leader Eaglehawk cruised to their 12th successive win with a 10-goal spanking of Castlemaine.
At Canterbury Park with the 2007 premiership side looking on the Hawks had 12 individual goalkickers on their list.
But the victory wasn’t as effortless as the final scores might indicate.
Had the Magpies kicked straighter – they booted 9.16 after quarter-time – they might have remained in contention.
Eaglehawk was far more accurate. The home side added 11.9 after the first break with the three Macs in regular best-six player Ben McPhee (four goals), Riley McIvor and Cam McGlashan leading the way.
Brodie Collins was also in the Hawks’ best four while Magpie regulars Simon Seddon, Kalan Huntly and Braidon Blake were solid contributors for the Maine.
Eaglehawk plays strugglers Maryborough in the final home-and-away round for the season and their second in succession at Canterbury Park.
Castlemaine will host Square and can only hope to remain competitive against another Top Three club.
SANDHURST’S 73-point win over out-of-contention Kangaroo Flat came at a cost.
The injury-plagued Dragons lost defender Liam Ireland for the remainder of 2017 (broken collarbone) while Lachlan Ross (hamstring) and Zac East (ankle) added to their escalating injury list.
Coach Wayne Primmer was still able to look on the bright side.
“I suppose what it means now with a finals spot guaranteed is that we can rest a few sore players for the final round game against Gisborne,” he said.
Primmer’s side lost Ireland and Ross in the opening 10 minutes.
But there were some bright spots for Sandhurst. Former Carlton and Richmond half-forward Andrew Collins booted six goals for the Hurst, the biggest individual tally by any Dragon this season.
Bendigo Pioneer-listed Rourke Turner also impressed Primmer playing a midfield-forward role while skipper Blair Holmes in his 150th senior match was in his side’s best.
The Roos were able to manage just 2.8 in the first half and their hopes plummeted in the third term when Nathan McHugh was automatically benched for 15 minutes with a yellow card.
Best for the Flat was on-baller Jonathan Lanyon who laid a massive 15 tackles.
STRATHFIELDSAYE’S prolific small forward Lachlan Sharp bagged another nine goals in the Storm’s 115-point belting of South Bendigo.
With the new Tannery Lane lights on after a 5.30 pm start Sharp and his teammates started on their demolition of the injury-ravaged Bloods.
And it wasn’t just Sharp who lit up Tannery Lane. Matt Harvey (4 majors), Kallen Geary (2), Josh Formosa (2) and Jake Moorhead (2) all hit the scoreboard.
The Storm are the first BFL club since Gisborne 11 years back to kick more than 150 points in five straight matches.
Veteran Brad Wright booted six of South’s nine goals to show his teammates how to play in the forward line. Wright has played most of his footy on the last line of defence.
Sharp now has the 2017 Ron Best goal-kicking medal firmly in his keeping. He has booted 113 goals with one home-and-away round remaining.
Second-placed Ben Weightman of Kyneton landed four goals in the Wade Street oval drawn match. He now has 89 goals for the season and is closing in on the magical century mark.
The two players will be at opposite ends of the Kyneton Showgrounds in the big Rd. 18 match this Saturday.
GISBORNE had to fight hard on a muddy deck at Gardiner Reserve to hold off wooden spooners Maryborough.
Just as Square did at Wade Street the Gisborne Dogs had to nail the last three goals of the day, but they eked out their win whereas the Square Dogs had to settle for a draw.
The Magpies closed the gap in the final quarter, booting the opening two goals but were unable to go on with it as Gisborne rallied.
Gisborne coach Brad Spear said he’d fielded the club’s least experienced side of the season with two under-16 players in the side.
Skipper Jarrad Lynch through the midfield, vice-captain Eamon McKenna in defence and Trent Crosbie were Gisborne’s best.
Maryborough was best served by their premier midfielder Ethan Crackel with Connor O’Shea and James Macer also prominent.
Final scores: Strathfieldsaye 26.19 (175) d South Bendigo 9.6 (60), Gisborne 8.10 (58) d Maryborough 5.10 (40), Sandhurst 19.13 (127) d Kangaroo Flat 7.12 (54), Golden Square 10.11 (71) dr Kyneton 9.17 (71) and Eaglehawk 20.15 (135) d Castlemaine 10.16 (76).
Last round, Round 18 (all Saturday): Kyneton v Strathfieldsaye, Sandhurst v Gisborne, Castlemaine v Golden Square, South Bendigo v Kangaroo Flat (at Harry Trott Oval), Eaglehawk v Maryborough.