Bendigo, Heathcote land important late autumn wins by Richard Jones

A wrap of 2019’s interleague weekend

Bendigo’s interleague team didn’t give Melbourne suburban combination Outer East the slightest sniff at the QEO.

The visitors managed just a single goal in the first three quarters of footy and only three for the game as the Blue and Golds steamrolled them by 99 points.

In the meantime Bendigo racked up 35 scoring shots with 11 individual goalkickers to finish with 18.17 (125) for the match.

More surprising was the Heathcote District league’s outstanding 35-point away win over host league Sunraysia in Mildura.

Sunraysia led by five points at the first break but by half-time Heathcote was out by a goal, adding 5.2 to 3.3 in the second stanza.

The home side added just one major for the remainder of play while the visitors banged home six.

Darcy Richards booted three goals, captain Jarrod Findlay was named best on ground while ex-AFL player Sam Kerridge nailed two goals for Heathcote.

North Central was the only other central Victorian league to come out as winners.
North Central downed Central Highlands in Learmonth posting 26 scoring shots to 15.

But the other central Victorian leagues went down. Loddon Valley lost to Horsham District in Horsham, while Maryborough-Castlemaine battled hard for two-and-a-half quarters at home on the Princes Park deck, but eventually succumbed to Colac District by 53 points.

Bendigo’s midfielders led by Adam Baird, Nathan Horbury and especially best afield Jake Thrum just kept pumping the ball inside 50 for the entire four quarters.

There was no dominant forward as 11 Blue and Gold players hit the scoreboard while the home side’s defence led by Bryce Curnow and HHHarrison Huntley completely shut down the Outer East forwards.

For some onlookers it was a mystery how Outer East came to be rated the No. 9 country or  metropolitan league in Victoria.

To manage a miserable 1.7 (13) by three-quarter time almost defies description.

The visitors had no system, continually turned the ball over, spilled simple marks and had fits of the fumbles throughout the day.

The Blue and Golds never stopped running and recorded their greatest winning margin since a 134-point flogging of Bellarine in 2002.

Gisborne’s Jack Scanlon booted three goals with a pair each landed by Lachy Sharp, Jake O’Brien, skipper Jack Geary and Alex Marklew.

For Castlemaine’s O’Brien it was a win to savour. The Camp Reserve Maine’s BFNL victories have been very thin on the ground in recent seasons but the young Magpie’s efforts were outstanding.

Final scores: Bendigo 18.17 (125) def. Outer East 3.8 (26), North Central 13.13 (91) def. Central Highlands 7.8 (56), Heathcote 14.13 (97) def. Sunraysia 8.14 (62), Horsham District 18.17 (125) def. Loddon Valley 14.7 (91) and Colac and District 17.15 (117) def. Maryborough-Castlemaine DFL 10.4 (64).

A grade netball: Heathcote 50 def. Sunraysia 49,  Bendigo 55 def. Outer East 40, Central Highlands 71 def. North Central 30 and Horsham District def. Loddon Valley by 20 goals.

In the aftermath of the 2019 championships AFL Victoria has released the latest rankings.

Bendigo is eighth on the table, Heathcote lies in 16th spot while North Central is ranked 20th.

The MCDFL is listed as 27th while Loddon Valley has slipped to second last and position No. 29.



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