A look at Bendigo footy, round 15
KYNETON’S horror run against fellow top five sides continued at the QEO on Saturday as the Tigers succumbed to Sandhurst by 23 points. On a day when just 11 goals were kicked – and 10 of those to the city end – the Tigers led by a point at half-time: 2.5 (17) to 1.10 (16). It wasn’t a particularly windy day as the two sides combined for a wayward 11.25 but the Dragons climbed to third spot on the BFNL ladder while the Tigers tumbled to fifth. Kyneton has now recorded a 1-3 record in their past four games losing to fellow top five sides Strathfieldsaye (23 points), Eaglehawk (58) and now Sandhurst (also 23). In other round 15 games efficient Eaglehawk disposed of South Bendigo by 39 points, Golden Square survived a Kangaroo Flat scare to win a shoddy game by 14 points while Gisborne put Maryborough away early to win by 95 points. In the top-of-the-table versus the cellar dweller clash Strathfieldsaye restricted Castlemaine to two, measly goals on the way to a massive 161-point thrashing.
Sandhurst snatched third ladder spot from Kyneton with their 23-point win over the Tigers. The Dragons continued on their wasteful way, following their 9.21 scoreline in the win over Gisborne a week earlier, continually driving the ball inside their forward 50 but watching it either rebound or being kicked in after a minor score. Hurst had 1.10 to Kyneton’s 0.1 on the board at the first break with their only goal coming from a dribbler from playing coach Andy Collins. Their wastefulness gave the Tigers hope. Kyneton added 2.4 in the second term to grab their tiny lead before the Dragons burst away Collins, Jed Zimmer (2) and Taylor Strachan added much needed majors and when Zeb Broadbent nailed the goal-of-the-day from the canteen pocket the Dragons soared to a 34-point lead by the final break. High marking centre half-back Matt Thornton stood between Kyneton and victory. Thornton’s intercept marking proved the match-winner as the Tigers could add just 2.4 and suffered a big blow when inspirational skipper Josh Govan was sidelined. Thornton finished with 11 marks in the back half while Tim Martin dominated in the ruck, Will Long held danger Tiger forward Ethan Foreman to just one goal with Broadbent another fine contributor. Kyneton key defender Patrick McCarthy was among the Tigers’ best along with Taylor Kelly who had the big job picking up Collins whenever the Dragon coach played forward.
Strathfieldsaye coach Troy Coates was delighted and not a little relieved to see his side get through a BFNL round injury free. The Storm welcomed back Ron Best medallist Lachlan Sharp for a touch more than half-a-game while top playmaker and skipper Kallen Geary played three quarters in his return from injury. Sharp booted four goals against the Castlemaine defence to shore up second place behind leader Kaiden Antonowicz. Sharp has 58 majors for 2018 while with his five against Eaglehawk South’s Antonowicz has moved to 62. Storm’s key forward Bryce Curnow had a day out at the Camp Reserve booting 7.6 while Bailey Henderson (playing on his father Dean’s old home ground), Kellan Smith and Fergus Payne (2 goals) were in the best. Kallan Huntly and Braidon Blake were Castlemaine’s top players while Darby Semmens and Jake O’Brien battled hard against the constant Storm attacks.
Golden Square avoided a potential shock defeat by edging out Kangaroo Flat by 14 points at Wade Street, stretching their winning streak over the Roos to an incredible 35 consecutive games. Despite the win allowing the Dogs to snatch fourth spot on the senior BFNL ladder they were undermanned and still have three tough games to round out the 2018 season. The young Roos did a lot right to snatch the victory. But their lack of experience in knowing how to win games was costly. They kicked the opening two majors of the third quarter to grab the lead, but couldn’t quite snatch the momentum as the Golden Square defence slowed down the tempo of the game. The home side’s only major of the third term – to Callum Draper – handed the home side a seven-point lead at the last change. When the Roos’ exciting forward Dylan Klemm snapped his fourth goal at the 19-minute mark of the final term Square’s lead was just five points. Draper snapped a miraculous goal with the outside of his right boot while running away from the big sticks and joined midfielder Adam Baird and Lachlan Humphrey as Square’s best.
Eaglehawk downed South Bendigo at the Bloods’ new small home ground at the Harry Trott arena to just about seal a double chance in this September’s finals. A 39-point margin usually indicates the winning side has done all the hard work yet the Bloods started brightly and led the Two Blues at the first break. But just as they’d done the week before against Kyneton the Hawks unleashed a match-defining second term booting 7.2 to South’s 2.2. That handed the visitors a 27-point half-time lead before South again won the quarter – this time the third – to reduce the gap to four goals at lemon time. But with key midfielder Brodie Collins (4 goals) returning to peak form aided by gun winger Gedd Hommelhoff and swingman Cam McGlashan through the middle of the ground the Hawks added six final quarter goals to three. Running half-back Isaiah Miller was great for South, coupled with midfielder Liam Bartels (4 goals) and key defender Tom Brereton down back to make up their top three for the day.
Gisborne put paid to Maryborough’s hopes of an upset win with a five-goal-to-none opening term although the Dogs did turn in an ordinary third quarter. The Magpies outscored Gisborne 4.5 to 3.4 in the third term to reduce the 58-point half-time margin to 51 points at the final change. Then the Dogs’ desire to win took over. They added 6.8 while holding the home side scoreless with Jake Conolan (6 goals) the real headache for Maryborough defenders. Star midfielder Matt Goodyear showed the benefits of his VFL outings in a best afield effort with fellow Gisborne mids Liam Collins and Trent Crosbie also impressive. Young gun Lachlan Bond was the standout for Maryborough. Still a bottom age under-18 player Bond has enormous talent. Damon Lewis and Coby Perry were other good players for the Magpies.
Final scores: Strathfieldsaye 25.25 (175) def. C’maine 2.2 (14); Gisborne 20.18 (138) def. M’borough 6.7 (43); Sandhurst 7.15 (57) def. Kyneton 4.10 (34); Golden Square 8.16 (64) def. Kang. Flat 7.8 (50) and Eaglehawk 20.7 (127) def. Sth. Bendigo 13.10 (88).
Top Five: Strathfieldsaye 13 wins, 2 losses, 52 premiership points; Eaglehawk 12-3, 48; Sandhurst 10-5, 173.5%, 40; Golden Square 10-5, 165.1%, 40 points and Kyneton 9-5 and 1 draw, 38.
Round 16 (all Saturday): Strath Storm vs. G. Square, Kangaroo Flat vs. South Bendigo, Gisborne vs. C’maine, Kyneton vs. Maryborough and Eaglehawk vs. Sandhurst.