Wrap of Round 16, Bendigo footy
KYNETON is back in the BFNL’s top three courtesy of a 51- point home win over Maryborough and a loss to the Tigers’ major rival, Sandhurst. The Dragons struggled all afternoon at a bleak and hail-swept Canterbury Park, not managing a major after half-time and succumbing to Eaglehawk by 15 points. Just 10 goals for the entire game were scored by the two premiership contenders. Meanwhile at the Kyneton Showgrounds the Tigers overcame a tenacious Maryborough to ensure they snatched back third spot. In other games Strathfieldsaye held Golden Square to their lowest ever total at the Tannery Lane oval while South Bendigo survived a Kangaroo Flat challenge to win by 16 points. Gisborne booted its highest score for seven seasons on their way to a 31-goal-to-four victory over Castlemaine.
Eaglehawk’s winning score of 6.12 (48) was the lowest winning tally from a senior side since round 13 in 2010. The tough, grinding contest was won by the Hawks because they kept Sandhurst virtually scoreless for the best part of three quarters. Six minutes into the second term the Dragons led by 14 points: 4.3 to 2.1. But they added just a paltry four behinds for the remainder of play which ran for another 92 minutes. Eaglehawk controlled the second half with a burst of 3.3 to 0.2 in the third term setting them up. Athletic ruckman Jonty Neaves booted two of those majors and was in his side’s best while stand-in captain Brodie Collins (the only goalkicker in the final term), his brother Jesse, playing coach Josh Bowe and Sam Harper were also in the Hawks’ best.
Strathfieldsaye led all day at Tannery Lane with Storm players making light of the scudding rain and fierce wind. They led six goals to Square’s one at the main break and went further ahead the further the match went. Trent Donnan and Tom Dowd were the Storm’s playmakers as they kept driving their side into attack whereas the Bulldogs again had to rely on Adam Baird and skipper Jack Geary around the stoppages. Donnan and Dowd got great assistance from Lachie Wallace, Josh Formosa and playing coach Troy Coates while Jayden Donaldson and Callum Brady (playing his first senior game for 2018) were strong in the back half.
A 51-point win by Kyneton over a tenacious Maryborough enabled the Tigers to climb back into the BFNL’s third spot. Ethan Foreman booted two of his seven goals late in the first term to hand the Tigers a 20-point advantage at the first break. Two more Foreman majors in a two-minute second quarter span handed the Tigers a 38-point lead before hailstones began falling. The Magpies were a much tighter unit in the third term, outscoring Kyneton four goals to two. Tall forward Will Sultana booted two majors before the Tigers re-grouped for the final stanza. Gun midfielder Rhys Magin (two goals) and Foreman (2) led the Kyneton last term scoring with ruckman Jordan Mangan and mids Billy Mahoney and Max O’Sullivan joining Magin and Foreman among their side’s best.
Not only did Gisborne boot their highest score since 2011 but the Dogs closed back within one game of the BFNL’s Top Five. The Gardiner Reserve Bulldogs inflicted another heavy loss on Castlemaine, getting home 31 goals to four. It was the third time this year the Maine Magpies have had more than 200 points kicked against them. Gisborne’s goalkickers included Ryan Baker (6), Jake Conolan (5) while Ross Celano and James Fraser in his first senior game for the year added four each.
South Bendigo posted their seventh win of the BFNL season with its 16-point defeat of Kangaroo Flat at Dower Park. Kaiden Antonowicz again showed his class booting seven of the Bloods’ 12 majors while wingers Mitch Rogerson and Will Keck were in the best also. The only blight for South came with a hamstring injury to Isaiah Miller which has ended his season prematurely. Once again ruckman Nick Lang and midfielder and co-captain Liam Collins were in the best for the Roos who blooded another youngster in 16-year-old Hakeem Johnson.
Final scores: Eaglehawk 6.12 (48) def. Sandhurst 4.9 (33), Gisborne 31.19 (205) def. Castlemaine 4.8 (32), Strathfieldsaye 13.13 (91) def. G. Square 3.6 (24), South Bendigo 12.13 (85) def. Kang. Flat 9.5 (69) and Kyneton 13.20 (98) def. Maryborough 6.11 (47).
Top Five: Strath Storm 14 wins, 2 losses, 56 points; Eaglehawk 13-3, 52; Kyneton 10-5, 1 draw, 42; Sandhurst 10-6, 167.8%, 40; G. Square 10-6, 152.7%, 40.
Sixth: Gisborne 9-7, 132.99%, 36.
Goalkicking: Kaiden Antonowicz (South Bendigo) 7, 69; Lachlan Sharp (Storm) 2, 60; Ethan Foreman (Kyneton) 7, 49.
Round 17, all Saturday: South Bendigo v Strathfieldsaye (night), Kang. Flat v Eaglehawk, G. Square v Gisborne, Castlemaine v Kyneton and Maryborough v Sandhurst.