Wrap of Bendigo footy, round three…
South Bendigo opened its 2018 winning account with a 43-point win over Maryborough at Princes Park on Saturday. The winless Magpies stretched South all the way closing the gap to just 13 points seven minutes out from half-time. But the Bloods added seven goals to three after half-time to eventually win by 43 points. In other games Sandhurst restricted Kangaroo Flat to a single goal for four quarters of work at the night QEO match while Golden Square held Castlemaine to just two majors under lights at the Camp Reserve. Eaglehawk rebounded from an ordinary opening three quarters with a nine-goal last quarter burst against Gisborne while in the league’s third night game Strathfieldsaye overcame Kyneton’s daunting home ground advantage to register a 17-point victory.
Maryborough turned in easily its best performance of the season at one stage creeping within three kicks of South. That came at the 20-minute mark of the second quarter. The Bloods steadied in the third term with small forward Kaiden Antonowicz slotting three of his six goals for the day as South gradually forged ahead. Not needed by Essendon’s VFL side this round big centre half-forward Kieran Strachan nailed three goals for the Bloods. Jayden Templeton finished with four of the Magpies’ nine goals and as coach Ben Lavars said he’ll prove a headache for all clubs this year. “He’s 195 cm tall, marks very strongly and moves extremely quickly for a big forward,” Lavars said. South coach Brady Childs was pleased with his young, running defenders Brayden Torpey and Tom Brereton along with on-ballers Mitch Rogerson and Liam Bartels.
Without injured playing coach Troy Coates and at least five other starting players – including 2017 Michelsen and Ron Best goal-kicking medallist Lachlan Sharp – Strathfieldsaye downed the Tigers under lights at the Kyneton Showgrounds. Kyneton led by three points at three-quarter time yet the Storm booted five of the last seven goals to win their second game of 2018. Key to the victory was the Strath shutdown of Ethan Foreman and Max O’Sullivan who had contributed 14 goals in the Week 2 win over Kangaroo Flat. O’Sullivan was the only one of the pair to kick a major and he managed just one. Lachlan Bonney tagged Foreman and shut him down completely. Coates said his side had used the scoring end to perfection in the last term despite having four injured players sitting on the bench, leaving the club without a rotation.
Sandhurst playing coach Andrew Collins booted eight of his side’s 23 goals as the Dragons obliterated Kangaroo Flat at the floodlit QEO. Zeb Broadbent bagged three in his first senior outing with the Hurst while pacy Nick Stagg added three goals, as well. The Roos’ only goal came in the third quarter when Darcy Hogarth was on target. The final tally of 1.6 (12) was the Roos’ equal lowest score since entering the BFL in 1982. They managed 2.0 (12) against Gisborne in 2012 and just surpassed those grim tallies with 1.7 (13) against Golden Square last year and Maryborough back in the Magpies’ premiership year of 1999.
Golden Square also had a swag of goal kickers in their 125-point romp over Castlemaine. Jack Geary, Adam Baird and Jayden Burke all kicked five goals despite the Maine outscoring the Bulldogs 1.5 to 1.4 in the last term. The Dogs had looked set for a 25-goal plus win at the last change but on their home deck at the Camp Reserve the Maine defence held firm in the final quarter. In just about the only positive for Castlemaine three of their promising youngsters in Jack Chester, Braidon Blake and Zac Denahy were in their side’s best players.
Eaglehawk had to turn in an inspired second half at Canterbury Park with Gisborne ahead by 26 points at the main break. The Graveyard Dogs held the Hawks to just two goals as the usual skills of the Hawks eluded them. It was a revamped Hawks’ line-up in the second half as they managed a 73-point second half turn-around and added 13 goals to two. Just as they’d done the previous week against Castlemaine the Hawks’ most productive term was the last. They piled on 9.5 to end up 47-point winners. Ruckman Jonty Neaves plus on-ballers Brodie Collins and playing coach Josh Bowe kick-started the Hawks’ revival while Matt Gretgrix nailed four of his five goals for the day in the final quarter. Jake Conolan and Thomas Wood booted two goals each for the Bulldogs.
The BFNL board headed by Dr. Carol McKinstry clearly has to face some huge headaches regarding the inequities within the league. Not only have Maryborough and Castlemaine been unable to field under-18 footy teams, but Kyneton and the Maine have no A grade netball sides and Maryborough no A reserve netball team. Then there’s the huge senior footy final score discrepancies with Castlemaine posting just two goals in rounds two and three while Kangaroo Flat managed just a solitary major in Saturday’s QEO night match against Sandhurst.
Final scores: Eaglehawk 15.18 (108) def. Gisborne 9.7 (61), South Bendigo 15.15 (105) def. Maryborough 9.8 (62), Golden Square 22.14 (146) def. Castlemaine 2.9 (21), Sandhurst 23.17 (155) def. Kang. Flat 1.6 (12) and Strathfieldsaye 11.13 (79) def. Kyneton 8.14 (62).
Top Five: Eaglehawk 3-0, 384%, 12 pts., Golden Square 3-0, 302%, 12; Sandhurst 2-1, 197%, 8; Strath Storm 2-1, 121%, 8; Kyneton 1-1-1, 6 prem. points.
Round 4 (all Sat. afternoon): Strathfieldsaye v Sandhurst, Gisborne v Kyneton, Kang. Flat v Maryborough, South Bendigo v Castlemaine and Golden Square v Eaglehawk.