A look at Round 14, Bendigo footy
Sandhurst jumped up the ladder to fourth spot on Saturday effectively killing off rival Gisborne’s last-gasp attempt to play finals footy. The Dragons not only closed down the Bulldogs’ September hopes they also leap-frogged old rivals Golden Square on the ladder. Inaccuracy almost cost the Hurst their winning shot at the Gardiner Reserve. They managed just nine goals from 30 scoring shots but at the other end their defence restricted Gisborne to a meagre five majors for the day. In other major round 14 news, Eaglehawk blew Kyneton away with an eight-goal second quarter burst while South Bendigo, with State Sports Minister John Eren present, celebrated their official 125th anniversary celebrations in style by downing the Square.
The Dragons effectively killed off Gisborne’s finals hopes with a 34-point win over the Dogs. They moved two clear games and percentage ahead of the sixth-placed Gisborne and with a pair of their four closing games against bottom two sides Maryborough and Castlemaine the Hurst seems a lock for September. Although he didn’t mention it much in his after-match press statements playing coach Andy Collins must have been concerned at the conversion rate. He did state that “our kicking for goal was a bit off” with only Collins himself, Pascale Craig and J. Mclean able to kick two majors. For Gisborne Jake Conolan was the only multiple goalkicker with Nick Doolan best for the Dogs. Prolific midfielder Zeb Broadbent and follower Tim Martin were Sandhurst’s best.
Eaglehawk responded to playing coach Josh Bowe’s quarter time spray by adding eight goals to one in a match-winning second term. Kyneton had booted five goals straight to 1.5 in the opening term, but their defence was shredded by the Hawk midfielders and running backmen as six teammates booted majors. Led by dominant forward Sean Williams (5 goals for the day) Eaglehawk snatched a 30-point half-time lead and added to the gap at each break. Kyneton mentor Luke Beattie tore a page from Bowe’e coaching book. He kept his players seated on the Canterbury Park turf for 7-8 minutes before allowing them into the rooms at half-time. The Tigers had lively small forwards in Ethan Foreman (4 goals) and brothers Max and Tom O’Sullivan (3 each), but they had no answer to the run of winger Gedd Holmmelhoff, midfielder Ben McPhee or the dash and dare of Bowe. Big man Cam McGlashan was prominent in the marking contests while skipper Tim Hill (ankle) resumed after a lengthy lay-off to the delight of Bowe and his teammates.
South Bendigo delighted their large contingent of supporters and past players with an upset 15-point win over Golden Square. To mark their official 125th anniversary weekend the young Bloods turned a 17-point half-time deficit into victory to celebrate their first win over the Square since 2013. It ended a string of 10 losses in a row. South’s wining burst came in the third quarter led by Callum Crisp’s ruckwork as they added 6.3. Key Square forward Jayden Burke marked and goaled right on the three-quarter time siren to slash the margin to nine points. Ben Dreschler and Kaiden Antonowicz (only 2 goals for the day) kicked the opening two majors of the final stanza to push the Bloods’ lead out to a game-high 21 points. The Dogs could manage only a wayward 1.7 in the final quarter despite the efforts of on-baller Adam Baird (3 goals) while key forward Dylan Johnstone was held goalless by his brother, South full-back Daniel Johnston. Liam Bartels nailed five majors for South.
Dylan Klemm booted six goals for Kangaroo Flat as the Roos notched just their fourth win of the season. It might be their last for 2018 as they face a tough run home in the concluding month. The Roos’ tally of 45 scoring shots was the most the Flat has recorded since they generated 46 (29.17) in the round 3 win over Kyneton in 2012. Klemm alternated between full-forward and centre half-forward with co-coach Corey Greer and bustling attacker Cameron Rinaldi each slotting three majors. Castlemaine bagged six of their 11 goals in the final quarter. Their tally of 6.5 was their highest scoring quarter for 2018 as they slashed an 80-point margin at the final change back to 65 points. John Watson and Braidon Blake were named as best for the Magpies.
Strathfieldsaye’s lengthy injury list grew even longer by Saturday night following a massive 159-point thumping of Maryborough. Key playmakers Sam Heavyside (groin) and Josh Formosa (hamstring) left a heavy load for Storm teammate Jake Moorhead but he ended up as the home side’s standout. Forwards Bryce Curnow (7), Fergus Payne (7) and Hugh Robertson (5) combined for 19 goals while teenager Riley Wilson slotted his first senior goal. It was the Magpies’ biggest defeat of the season with only Zac Egan (2) able to score more than a single major.
Scores: Eaglehawk 20.18 (138) def. Kyneton 12.8 (80), Sandhurst 9.21 (75) def. Gisborne 5.11 (41), South Bendigo 15.7 (97) def. G. Square 12.10 (82), Strathfieldsaye 30.25 (205) def. Maryborough 7.4 (46) and Kang. Flat 19.26 (140) def. C’maine 11.9 (75).
Top Five: Strathfieldsaye 12 wins, 2 losses, 48 prem. points; Eaglehawk 11-3, 44; Kyneton 9-4-1 draw, 38; Sandhurst 9-5, 173.8%, 36; Golden Square 9-5, 167.1%, 36.
Next week, round 15: Castlemaine v Strathfieldsaye, Golden Square v Kang. Flat, South Bendigo v Eaglehawk (Harry Trott Oval), Maryborough v Gisborne and Sandhurst v Kyneton (QEO).