Storm, Gisborne clinch important mid-winter wins by Richard Jones

BFNLLogo1Wrap of Bendigo footy, round 12

Strathfieldsaye and Gisborne posted the vital wins in Bendigo football’s mid-winter round on Saturday. The Storm consolidated top spot on the BFNL ladder with a 23-point win over third-placed Kyneton while the Gardiner Reserve Dogs kept their September hopes flickering by downing second-placed Eaglehawk. Gisborne crept over the line by four points after leading by the same margin at half-time. The other three games were predictably one-sided: Golden Square restricted Castlemaine to a single goal to run out massive 206-point winners, Sandhurst smashed home side Kangaroo Flat by 121 points while in the closest result of that trio South Bendigo accounted for a much improved Maryborough by 43 points.

StrathstormKyneton jumped Strathfieldsaye at the Storm’s Tannery Lane home ground, booting the first two goals and controlling almost the first half of the opening term. But the Storm re-grouped and by the first break had established a 12-point advantage. They built on that lead for the remainder of play and although the Tigers crept within 18 points four minutes from three-quarter time Storm playing coach Troy Coates implored his players for one last big effort in the final stanza. Still without injured ace spearhead Lachlan Sharp the home side had busy forwards in Bryce Curnow (four goals) and Fergus Payne (3) while the Tigers had no one in their front half able to muster more than a pair. Young midfielder Bailey Henderson, son of 1992 Castlemaine premiership player Dean, was the Storm’s best with Curnow, on-ballers Jake Moorhead and Sam Heavyside and skipper Kallen Geary also prominent. Kyneton was best served by a quartet of midfielders in skipper Josh Govan and his brother Hamish, Rhys Magin and Max O’Sullivan while key defenders Jayden Exell and Jordan Mangan were also fine contributors. Coates praised his back six with brothers Kallen (captain) and Shannon Geary – brothers of St. Kilda skipper Jarryn –  in their best. Both clubs face tough assignments in round 13. Kyneton (now fourth) host sixth-placed Gisborne, a club on the charge, while top side Storm visits the QEO to take on fifth-placed Sandhurst.

GisborneGisborne won one of the games-of-the-season when Jaidyn Owen booted a major in the dying moments of the match to hand the Dogs a four-point win over Eaglehawk. He’d marked 20m out from goal after the Dogs had transitioned the ball from deep in defence and after he’d slotted the most important major of the day the Bulldogs were able to keep the Hawks at bay.  Always tough to beat at the Gardiner Reserve the win delighted playing coach Clinton Young, although the victory didn’t mean that Gisborne re-claimed fifth ladder spot. “We hit the front again late in the final quarter and were able to hold on in those last three minutes,” he said. Pacy winger Ethan Minns was again named Gisborne’s best on the day with VFL-listed Matthew Goodyear (2 goals), Josh Grabham and Nick Doolan also among Gisborne’s best. Versatile Hawks’ swingman Brenton Conforti had the run-with role on Young and was named the Two Blues’ best. Conforti has the pace and agility to play at either end of the ground and he showed his versatility again on Saturday. Other important players for Eaglehawk were on-baller Jesse Collins (2 goals) and half-back Jack Fallon. Both clubs could have a man missing for Round 13. Eaglehawk’s Sam Thompson and Gisborne’s Riley Patterson were yellow carded, sent from the field during the third term and could face the BFNL Independent Tribunal this week unless they take the mandatory suspensions.

goldenGolden Square full-forward Dylan Johnstone, the 2016 Ron Best medallist, returned to something approaching his best form as he drove home nine goals. The Castlemaine defence was under siege all afternoon and the club scored just the one goal: to Will Moran in the second term. Meanwhile the Bulldogs had centre half-forward Jayden Burke land four goals, Henry Anderton and William Harrington chipped in with three each while skipper and Victorian country representative Jack Geary was best afield. Bulldogs’ on-baller Jake Thrum was close up to Geary as second best on the ground with ruckman Matt Compston in complete control of the tap-outs and boundary throw-ins.

SouthBendigologoSouth Bendigo led much-improved Maryborough by 32 points at the long break, but only marginally outscored the Magpies 10 goals to eight in the second half. The Bloods’ leading goalscorer Kaiden Antonowicz, who’s second on the BFNL table, managed only two goals for South. Brayden Torpey (4), Leroy Miller and Brock Harvey (three apiece) were the main goalkickers for the Bloods while big man Callum Crisp was best on ground as he controlled the ruck duels. Tough on-baller Bodie Malone was Maryborough’s top player. Jordan Fraser landed three of the Magpies’ nine goals.

SandhurstDragonsSandhurst had nothing much more than a training drill against the sad and sorry Roos of Kangaroo Flat. They restricted the Green and Whites to just two goals on the day, both of which were booted in the first half. The Dragons added 15.17 in the second half with Zeb Broadbent (four goals), Adam Parry (3, plus best afield), Zac East (3) and playing coach Andrew Collins (2) in their top contributors. Jake Pallpratt chopped off any feeble Flat forward forays to be Hurst’s second best after Broadbent while Flat’s best included tireless midfielder Jono Lanyon and Dylan Klemm, who’d been switched to the backline for this game.

Scores: South Bendigo 16.11 (107) def. Maryborough 9.10 (64), Strathfieldsaye 15.9 (99) def. Kyneton 11.10 (76), Golden Square 33.16 (214) def. C’maine 1.2 (8), Sandhurst 19.25 (139) def. Kang. Flat 2.6 (18) and Gisborne 13.12 (90) def. Eaglehawk 13.8 (86).

Ladder: Strathfieldsaye 11 wins, 1 loss, 44 premiership points; Eaglehawk 9-3, 194.6%, 36; Golden Square 9-3, 191.5%, 36; Kyneton 8 wins, 1 draw, 3 losses, 34; Sandhurst 7-5, 173.4%, 28. Sixth: Gisborne 7-5, 116.77%, 28.

Round 13 (all Saturday): Sandhurst (5th) v Strathfieldsaye (1st), Maryborough v Kangaroo Flat, Castlemaine v South Bendigo, Eaglehawk (2nd) v Golden Square (3rd) and Kyneton (4th) v Gisborne (6th).

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