Bendigo footy, wrap of Round 10
Strathfieldsaye, Kyneton and Golden Square won the three big matches in Bendigo football’s tenth round. The Storm won the top-of-the-table clash against second-placed Eaglehawk by 34 points on their Tannery Lane home deck. Kyneton won just their second match in the past 14 outings at the QEO with a comfortable 58-point belting of South Bendigo, virtually ending the Bloods’ quest for a finals berth – and it’s still June. And Golden Square held Sandhurst to just one goal after half-time – the second time in as many weeks the Dogs have stifled a Top Five opponent in the closing half – as they cleaned up the Dragons by 29 points. The other major news from the 23 June round was Maryborough’s drought-breaking win over Castlemaine at the Camp Reserve. In the battle of the BFNL’s Magpies Maryborough recorded their first win away from home since round 16, 2014 while Castlemaine suffered their ninth straight loss for 2018. It was Maryborough’s only win so far this season but hauled them out of the cellar and tossed the one-win Maine into the dim, dark depths. In a low scoring affair Gisborne climbed into the top five by downing Kangaroo Flat by four goals at Dower Park. The Gardiner Reserve Dogs replaced Sandhurst in the league’s leading bracket of teams and could prove extremely difficult to dislodge as winter rolls on.
KYNETON’S small forward Ethan Foreman turned in another blistering effort at the QEO on Saturday. For the second time this season he blasted home eight goals – four of them in the last quarter – and left the South Bendigo defence in tatters. The Bloods’ main targets in attack Kaiden Antonowicz and Kieran Strachan were largely blanketed by the Tigers’ Harrison Huntley and Jordan Mangan while Kyneton had Foreman, Jake Ward and the O’Sullivan brothers – Tommy and Max – on fire in attack. Although they led by just 21 points at the main break the Tigers always looked in complete control. Thirteen goals to seven in the second half stretched Kyneton’s advantage with Huntley consistently punching the ball clear of Antonowicz in the marking duels. He towered over the Bloods’ small forward. With the QEO lights blazing in the last quarter Foreman hammered home four of his goals, three of them from long range set shots. The Tigers’ win has set South a massive task of reaching the 2018 finals. They’re now 10 premiership points adrift of fifth spot.
Maryborough climbed off the bottom of the ladder after posting their first win of the season. With the 23-point victory the Princes Park Pies jumped home side Castlemaine to land in ninth position overall and consign the Maine to 10th and last spot. The foundation for Maryborough’s win was the five-goal-to-one burst in the first quarter and they’d extended the margin to six goals by the last change. Castlemaine snared the opening three goals of the final stanza to get back under the 18-point deficit mark before the Maryborough Magpies landed two clutch goals and managed to hang on grimly until the final siren sounded. Elated Maryborough coach Ben Lavars said it was “nice for the boys to get some reward for their efforts” and named Brady Neill, Luke Bucknall, Coby Perry and Jayden Hooper among his side’s best. Darby Semmens was best for the Maine while exciting youngster Jack Chester nailed five of the Maine’s eight goals.
Strathfieldsaye underlined their standing as the BFNL’s top side with a 34-point win over major challenger Eaglehawk on Saturday. Even though the match was played at the Storm’s Tannery Lane fortress the home side still led at each change and restricted the normally free-scoring Hawks to a meagre eight goals. The only time Eaglehawk hit the front was midway through the second term but then the Storm went up a gear and wrested back a nine-point lead by halftime. By midway through the third stanza Strathfieldsaye had added another five goals to make it seven unanswered majors and a match-high 37-point lead. Gedd Hommelhoff and coach Josh Bowe drilled the final pair of third quarter goals for the Hawks to slash the margin to four goals at three-quarter time. Then when Sean Williams booted the opening goal of the final term the Hawks had a sniff but the challenge was quickly shattered by Storm key forward Bryce Curnow (four goals for the day) and Hugh Robertson (four). Eaglehawk’s key forwards had no impact on the game. Matt Gretgrix didn’t have a shot for goal, Shaun Knott injured a hamstring during the third quarter while Brenton ‘Fish’ Conforti was switched to defence by quarter-time to play on Robertson. On-ballers Josh Formosa and Jake Moorhead were again in the Storm’s best while Jack Lawton got the nod for the Hawks.
Golden Square knocked Sandhurst out of the top five as they restricted the Dragons to a solitary goal after half-time. The Wade Street Dogs won by 29 points to improve to a 7-3 record with the Hurst in trouble at 5-5. There was only a point in it at half-time before the Dogs improved that margin considerably with a six-goal-to-one second half. The difference between the two sides was the marking power up forward. Square had strong targets in Dylan Johnstone (3 goals) and Jayden Burke (2) whereas the Hurst had not a single forward able to impose themselves on the marking contests. Even though the Bulldogs led 6.3 to 3.0 early in the second term the Dragons booted five of the next six goals to briefly take the lead. And it took the Dogs until the midway mark of the final term to shake off the Dragons with three goals in a row to Jake Thrum, skipper Jack Geary and Johnstone. In the anticipated big man battle in the ruck Square’s Matt Compston played another top game against dual Michelsen Medallist Tim Martin with Burke, Geary and Adam Baird also in the Dogs’ best. Coach Andrew Collins (2 goals), Zeb Broadbent and Zac East were Hurst’s best.
Gisborne climbed back into the top five for the first time since round two with a fifth straight victory. On Saturday it was Kangaroo Flat on the receiving end of the Dogs’ winning streak although the Roos did outscore Gisborne 4.5 to 1.1 in the second term. But the Bulldogs re-grouped for the closing half to turn a four-point half-time deficit into a 22-point lead at three-quarter time. Importantly for the Dogs 200-gamer Shaun Comerford booted two majors in his milestone game while Jack Reaper, Ethan Minns and veteran Anthony Belcher were also fine contributors. Joining the Roos’ regular best trio of Nick Lang, Liam Collins and Jonathan Lanyon was teenager Nathan McHugh who showed he’ll be a valuable senior player.
Final scores: Kyneton 20.4 (134) def. Sth. Bendigo 11.10 (76), Gisborne 11.11 (77) def. Kang. Flat 7.11 (53), G. Square 14.9 (93) def. Sandhurst 9.10 (64), Strathfieldsaye 14.8 (92) def. Eaglehawk 8.10 (58) and Maryborough 11.17 (83) def. Castlemaine 8.12 (60).
Top Five: Strathfieldsaye 9 wins, 1 loss, 36 prem. points; Eaglehawk 8-2, 32; Kyneton 7 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses, 30; Golden Square 7-3, 28; Gisborne 6-4, 24.
Next week, Round 11: Gisborne v Strathfieldsaye, Kyneton v Kang. Flat, Sandhurst v Sth. Bendigo, Maryborough v G. Square and Eaglehawk v Castlemaine.