Wrap of Bendigo footy, Round 13
Kyneton and Eaglehawk scored vital late season wins on Saturday with wins over challengers Gisborne and Golden Square respectively. A one-point last-gasp win to the Tigers at the Kyneton Showgrounds lifted them back to third spot on the ladder.
The loss to Kyneton might have ended Gisborne’s finals chances although playing coach Clinton Young is still confident in his side’s ability to fight on. And the 21-point loss to Eaglehawk at Canterbury Park saw the Square drop one spot from third to fourth as they surrendered their finals double spot slot to the Tigers. Sandhurst scored the biggest upset of round 13 downing ladder leader Strathfieldsaye by just under eight goals and halting the Storm’s 11-game winning streak. In other matches South’s gun small forward Kaiden Antonowicz snared 11 goals against Castlemaine while Kangaroo Flat landed 35 scoring shots to Maryborough’s 19 to win by just 26 points.
Kyneton started the round in fourth position but by 5pm Saturday were back in the Top Three. A goal to defender Hamish Govan 10 minutes into the last quarter helped the Tigers to a seemingly impregnable 20-point lead. But Gisborne responded quickly. Dogs’ best Ethan Minns and fellow midfielder Callum Williamson responded quickly to drag the Dogs back within eight points. Then Kyneton steadied again with majors to Kevin Clark and Jake Ward to stretch the lead to 20 points once more. The Dogs knuckled down for one last surge. Jack Scanlon was on target with a tad more than 23 minutes gone. Thomas Wood made it a seven-point game with a quick follow-up before the previous round’s match-winner, Jaidyn Owen, again goaled with a minute left on the clock. Kyneton was ahead by a single point and they held their nerve until the final siren to win another BFNL thriller.
Eaglehawk answered every challenge by fellow finals-bound Golden Square to lead by 20 points at half-time and by 21 by match-end. The Hawks had an important spread of 11 goalkickers compared to the Wade Street Dogs’ six with Justin Bateson landing three for the home side. Although key forwards Dylan Johnstone (4) and Jayden Burke (3, all in the third term) were on target for the Bulldogs there was little back-up. Eaglehawk enjoyed important contributions from Jack Fallon and Sam Harper in the forward line, swingman Cam McGlashan was important while playing coach Josh Bowe and fellow midfielder Ben McPhee kept pumping the ball into attack. Riley McIvor was a key figure in two vital Hawk goals. He landed one himself late in the third quarter with a spectacular ‘helicopter’ floater and then landed a spot-on final term pass over the top of Square defenders to Riley Saunders on his own close to the goal square. Square was best served by captain Jack Geary and midfield ace Adam Baird – both AFL Victoria Country representative footballers – with ruckman Matt Compston and key defender Jonathan Coe also prominent.
Sandhurst did what no other club had done for more than half the season: defeat ladder leaders Strathfieldsaye. Relentless in their tackling pressure the Dragons didn’t just beat the Storm – they belted them by 46 points. Playing coach Andrew Collins nailed six goals and – until injured – his former Richmond teammate Daniel Connors added three. The Hurst rammed home 13 goals to three after quarter-time in a significant victory. It was their first win over a fellow Top Five side this season. Strath did kick seven of the first 10 goals of the clash to lead by 22 points early in the second quarter. But then the Dragons started breathing fire and by the long break not only had their 22-point deficit been erased they were ahead by 14 points. With Tim Martin on top in the ruck the Hurst midfield obliterated the Storm the further the match progressed. Skipper Blair Holmes set the pattern for the Dragons’ tackling while Jake Pallpratt, Codie Price and Zac Pallpratt were on top in the backline. Fergus Payne and Bryce Curnow landed three goals each for the Storm while big-bodied forward Hugh Robertson (2 goals) was a fine contributor.
South Bendigo managed to bank their fifth win for 2018 thanks to Antonowicz’s forward line efforts. His 11 goals all came after quarter-time because by the first break Castlemaine held a three-goal lead: 4.1 to 3.4. Then the Bloods got going. They slammed on 21 goals to two thanks to prolific midfielders Brody Haddow with his second successive 40-possession game, Brock Harvey (2 goal) and Isaiah Miller. Antonowicz’s 11 majors rocketed him to the top of the BFNL goalkicking table with 55, one ahead of injured Storm sharpshooter Lachie Sharp. Young gun Jack Chester kicked two goals for the Maine who named Tyler Gavralas as their best player.
Kangaroo Flat broke away from Maryborough in the third quarter of the Princes Park clash to notch their third win for the year. The Magpies actually held a two point lead at half-time – 6.5 (41) to 5.9 (39) – before the young Roos took control of the game. Had they been slightly more accurate the Flat would have won by more. Thirteen goals from 35 scoring shots seems like a poor return but when you’re in the Roos’ position any win will do as a win. Co-coach Corey Greer nailed three goals for the Flat while teenager Mitch Rovers, playing his first game, also snagged a major. Mids Liam Collins and Johnno Lanyon were best for the Flat. Reliable midfielder Coby Perry (three goals) was Maryborough’s best together with Jacob Long (2 goals).
Final scores: Kyneton 15.12 (102) def. Gisborne 15.11 (101), Eaglehawk 15.9 (99) def. G. Square 11.12 (78), Kangaroo Flat 13.22 (100) def. Maryborough 11.8 (74), South Bendigo 24.12 (156) def. Castlemaine 6.7 (43) and Sandhurst 16.14 (110) def. Strathfieldsaye 9.10 (64).
Ladder, top 5: S’saye 11 wins-2 losses, 44 prem. points; Eaglehawk 10-3, 40; Kyneton 9-3-1 draw, 38; Golden Square 9-4, 36; Sandhurst 8-5, 32.
Round 14: Strath Storm v Maryborough, Kang. Flat v Castlemaine, South Bendigo v G. Square, Gisborne v Sandhurst and Eaglehawk v Kyneton.