TAC Cup: Round 16 review

In the second last round of the TAC Cup, the finals are still yet to be confirmed after a full-strength Sandringham defeated the eighth placed Bushrangers at Victoria Park. In other results, Bendigo were no match for the Jets; likewise the Rebels crumbled against the Northern Knights; Calder upset the Falcons by a point; the Stingrays defeated the Power in a close encounter’ and Eastern booked themselves a top two spot with a good win over the Chargers.

TAC Cup: round 16

Bendigo Pioneers 6.6 (42)
Western Jets 16.20 (116)

Pioneers goals: Harvey (2), Hargreaves, Evans, Payne, Sheahan
Jets goals: Macdonald (2), McKenzie (2), Greiser (2), Dawam (2), Orr (2), Manivong (2), Payne, Ferrari, Iaccarino, Bewley
Pioneers best: Chisari, Barrett, Cole, Davie, Payne, Harvey
Jets best: Iaccarino, O’Leary, Ferrari, Greiser, Manivong, Orr

The Western Jets were on a mission to secure a top four position on the TAC Cup ladder and with just two matches remaining in the home and away season. A win over the 11th placed Bendigo Pioneers at the Huntly/Epsom Reserve would give them every opportunity to claim third or fourth place on the ladder. For Bendigo, it was a simple case of pride on the line as they looked to get their first win at home since June and fourth for the season against a strong Jets lineup.

The Jets certainly let their intentions be known in the opening quarter by ramming home the first three goals in quick succession With Pele Manivong and Jake Greiser booting their first of two goals for the afternoon. On the way to keeping the Pioneers scoreless for the entire first quarter, The Jets scored another three goals to create a 40-point lead at the first change. It wasn’t until the ninth minute of the second term when Bendigo finally slotted goal number one for the afternoon thanks to a trademark Jacob Chisari bomb inside 50. They were only able to manage just one more goal for the term in what was a slow second quarter. David Iaccarino was instrumental for the Jets in opening up a 49-point lead at the half time siren.

The second half began similar to the match as the Jets piled on quick goals in what was a five goal to three winning quarter for the away team. Fergus Payne stepped up for the Pioneers giving them a much needed lift to reduce the three quarter time deficit to 65 points after it blew out to 77 midway through the quarter. As the game progressed, the Jets midfield dominated and ran the match out strongly as the Pioneer’s faded to create a winning margin of 74 points and a much needed Percentage boost to firmly hold them inside the top four. Bendigo have Midfield star Jacob Chisari to thank after yet another stunning display in a losing team. the Pioneer’s captain brought up a game high 31 disposals in a critical performance to keep his team under the 100 point losing margin.

The Western Jets face the Sandringham Dragons next weekend as both teams will have plenty to play for. The Jets will be aiming for a top four spot while the Dragons will be desperate to secure a place in the finals with a win at Highgate Recreation Reserve. Meanwhile the Pioneers travel to the Morwell Football Ground to take on Gippsland Power in what will be a game the Pioneers will be desperate to win to head into next season on a high note.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5 – David Iaccarino (Western Jets)
4 – Jake Greiser (Western Jets)
3 – Daniel O’Leary (Western Jets)
2 – Jacob Chisari (Bendigo Pioneers)
1 – Liam Duggan (Western Jets)

North Ballarat Rebels 4.5 (29)
Northern Knights 17.7 (109)

Rebels goals: Butler, Palmer, Mason, Walsh
Knights goals: Bontempelli (5), Bromley (2), Aujla (2), Lennon (2), Turner, Hunt, Potter, Haynes, Soccio, Curnow
Rebels best: Herbert, Webster, Hendy, Mason, Butler, Willsmore
Knights best: Bontempelli, Lennon, Iacobaccio, Potter, Switkowski, Hunt

The Northern Knights have kept their top four chances alive by smashing the woeful North Ballarat Rebels at Eureka Stadium. While the Rebels stuck with the Knights for three quarters, they were destroyed in the final quarter, with the Knights extending the margin from five goals to 80 points. Marcus Bontempelli played his best game for the year with five goals and a clear best on ground while Ben Lennon and Josh Turner were also impressive for the Knights. Louis Herbert was by far the best Rebels player as North Ballarat now are guaranteed the wooden spoon. In the final round of the season, the Northern Knights take on the Murray Bushrangers in Wangaratta for a chance at a top four spot while the Rebels face Oakleigh at Warrawee Park.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Marcus Bontempelli (Northern Knights)
4- Josh Turner (Northern Knights)
3- Ben Lennon (Northern Knights)
2- Louis Herbert (North Ballarat Rebels)
1- Joshua Iacobaccio (Northern Knights)

Dandenong Stingrays 11.14 (80)
Gippsland Power 10.12 (72)

Stingrays goals: Capiron (2), Lonie (2), McCartney (2), Rennie, Harmes, Egan, Soroczynski, Bastinac
Power goals: Scott (4), Morris, Cashman, Channing, Ambler, Webb, Kearns
Stingrays best: Jones, Foote, Capiron, Kempster, Marks-Logan, McCartney
Power best: Heppell, Keily, Hammond, Wallace, Ambler, Scott

Third placed Dandenong Stingrays got over the line against 6th place Gippsland Power on Saturday at Shepley oval, 11.14 80 to 10.12 72.

Strong wind on the day gave Stingrays a first quarter advantage, but accuracy was an issue. Dandenong dominated play throughout the first term with Blake Mullane’s tackling intensity evident and Agape Patolo successful in the ruck contests. Dandenong managed to keep the Power to just two behinds with Alex Carr their main standout player, moving the ball well out of defence. Gippsland went into quarter time trailing by 21 points, despite the Stingrays not taking advantage of the breeze.

The second quarter saw good start for the Stingrays with an early goal from Jack Lonie, but the Power were impressive, making a comeback with Josh Scott slotting two goals within a minute, displaying his agility and pack marking skills. Zak Jones for the Stingrays was solid in defence but Tom Lamb made a costly mistake resulting in a Power goal. Clayton McCartney was working hard up forward for the Stingrays.  The Power used the breeze well and another last minute goal from Morris gave them a one point lead going into the main break 5.6 36 to 5.5 35.

Gippsland started the third term well with a goal against the flow, moving the ball well against the breeze. Caprion’s 50 metre goal on the run from a defensive switch was impressive whilst Matt Rennie set up a goal opportunity for Patolo late in the quarter, who missed on the siren to leave Dandenong with a four point lead going into the final term.

Gippsland’s Josh Scott finished with four goals while Aaron Heppell had a workman-like effort off half back for the Power. His fiercious tackling was impressive as he tried to hold the team together. Despite all the injuries to key players, Gippsland managed to challenge the Stingrays but in the end, class was a bit too much with Dandenong holding on.

Billy Hartung overcame the Power’s earlier pressure to inspire immediate impact in defence after a switch to half-back. In an exciting final term of football, Hartung and Gray were essential in clearing the ball out of defensive fifty while Rennie impacted in the ruck and up forward. A 50 metre penalty led to a goal for the Power with 15 minutes gone. A solid transition from defence to attack saw Hartung clear defensively to Zak Jones who delivered the ball to a contest between the two ruckman, resulting in a Stingrays goal. The Stingrays defence won them the game in a thrilling match that featured hard hits and intense pressure. Next week the Dandenong Stingrays take on the Geelong Falcons at Victoria Park in what could be the exact same match a week later while the Power host the Pioneers.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5- Zac Jones (Dandenong Stingrays)
4- Aaron Heppell (Gippsland Power)
3- James Harmes (Dandenong Stingrays)
2- Josh Scott (Gippsland Power)
1- Nathan Foote (Dandenong Stingrays)

Geelong Falcons 8.9 (57)
Calder Cannons 8.10 (58)

Falcons goals: Christensen (3), Fort, McCartin, Tsitas, Beardsell, Goddard
Cannons goals: Wright (2), Kovacevic, Cauchi, Prestia, Davies, Ahern, Owen
Falcons best: Hickey, Sharp, Tsitas, Maishman, Nelson, N. Dixon
Cannons best: Ahern, Wright, Owen, Lever, Jensen, Donoghue

Calder have upset the Geelong Falcons by a point to guarantee them a top eight spot with a round remaining. Geelong’s version of Aaron Christensen booted three goals to be the main goal kicker on the ground, but Calder proved too much for the highly fancied Falcons who had only their third loss for the year. Peter Wright showed how good he can potentially be while Jake Owen and Jake Lever were again great for the Cannons. Both Patrick McCartin and Hugh Goddard were held to one goal each. Alex Hickey was Geelong’s best player in the devastating one point loss. Next week the Falcons meet the Dandenong Stingrays at Victoria Park before finals while the Calder Cannons play Eastern Ranges at home.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Alex Hickey (Geelong Falcons)
4- Peter Wright (Calder Cannons)
3- Lewis Taylor (Geelong Falcons)
2- James Tsitas (Geelong Falcons)
1- Jake Owen (Calder Cannons)

Eastern Ranges 10.12 (72)
Oakleigh Chargers 8.8 (56)

Eastern Ranges goals: McStay (2), Traynor (2), Roth (2), Cavarra, Cody, Apeness, Hannon
Chargers goals: Sinclair (2), Hogan (2), Moore, Borland, Donoghue, Urban
Eastern Ranges best: Petracca, Hannon, Belo, McStay, Nielson, Apeness
Chargers best: Byrne-Jones, Toohey, Maginness, Franetic, Billings, Kennedy-Harris

Eastern Ranges secured a top two spot with a solid win over a full-strength Oakleigh Chargers. In his first match in TAC Cup since round one, ironically against Eastern Ranges, Jack Billings was the one that people came to watch. Unfortunately for them, it was Christian Petracca who stole the show for Eastern Ranges, moving well around the ground and finding more of the footy in a revamped role from his typical forward pocket/half forward role. Darcy Byrne-Jones and James Toohey were good in defence but it was the likes of Luke Hannon and James Belo who controlled the midfield. Next week Oakleigh host North Ballarat while Eastern face off against Calder at Highgate.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Christian Petracca (Eastern Ranges)
4- Luke Hannon (Eastern Ranges)
3- Jay Kennedy-Harris (Oakleigh Chargers)
2- Andreas Roth (Eastern Ranges)
1- Jack Sinclair (Oakleigh Chargers)

Sandringham Dragons 12.19 (91)
Murray Bushrangers 5.8 (38)

Dragons goals: Maynard (3), Salem (2), Kelly (2), Wilkinson (2), Brayshaw, Merrett, Hayes
Bushrangers goals: Turner, Impey, Mellington, T. Holman, Neagle
Dragons best: Salem, Kelly, Merrett, Ritchie, Freeman, Grace
Bushrangers best: Turner, Gibbons, Sharp, King, Impey, Neagle

Sandringham Dragons won the most important match of the year, with the ninth placed Dragons toppling the eighth placed Bushrangers. If the result had been reversed, the finals would have been set in stone. Instead, both teams need to win next week to make sure they make finals. If one wins and the other loses, then it’s all over for the loser. With their APS boys back, the Dragons were ultra-dangerous with Nathan Freeman, Josh Kelly and Christian Salem all starring in the win. Zac Merrett was also impressive for Sandringham while Michael Gibbons came back for the Bushrangers to try his best for Murray. Unfortunately for the Bushrangers, it doesn’t get any easier, having to face the Northern Knights next week to stay in the finals while the Dragons meet the Western Jets.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Nathan Freeman (Sandringham Dragons)
4- Josh Kelly (Sandringham Dragons)
3- Christian Salem (Sandringham Dragons)
2- Michael Gibbons (Murray Bushrangers)
1- Zac Merrett (Sandringham Dragons)

TAC Cup: Round 17

There will be a full preview of all round 17’s matches in the final round of the season coming up on Friday on Bound For Glory News.

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