TAC Cup review: Round two


Northern Knights 18.8 (116) defeated Calder Cannons 15.12 (102)

Northern goals: K. Langford 5, R. McKenzie 3, L. Hunt 3, K. Malone 2, M. Perry 2, J. Castagna, S. Peet, J. Perry

Calder goals: P. Wright 5, A. Christensen 2, J. Cauchi 2, T. Miller 2, J. Foster, L. Cavanagh, X. Dimasi, Z. Wunhym

Northern best: S. Switkowski, L. Hunt, J. Perry, R. McKenzie, K. Langford, R. Tester

Calder best: A. Christensen, M. Goodyear, T. Miller, P. Wright, T. Davies, M. Kovacevic

The Northern Knights rose from the dead to overrun the Calder Cannons by 14 points at Highgate Recreation Reserve. The game seemed almost out of reach with all the momentum in Calder’s favour heading into the final quarter, but an impressive burst of goals saw the Knights run away with the win. Kyle Langford booted five goals, three of which came in the last quarter while Liam Hunt while also important in moving the ball in transition. For the Cannons, Aaron Christensen had his most impressive game since early last year, while Peter Wright was simply dominant at full forward and Touk Miller was also hard at it throughout the match. The result means both sides move to one win and one loss and fall behind the Dragons and Chargers on two wins each. Next week the Northern Knights host Sandringham Dragons, while the Calder Cannons travel to meet the Eastern Ranges.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Aaron Christensen (Calder Cannons)
4 – Kyle Langford (Northern Knights)
3 – Peter Wright (Calder Cannons)
2 – Touk Miller (Calder Cannons)
1 – Liam Hunt (Northern Knights)


Sandringham Dragons 15.12 (102) defeated Western Jets 8.8 (56)

Sandringham goals: A. Brayshaw 2, N. Peterson 2, T. Wilkinson 2, T. Grace 2, S. McLaren, T. Roos, W. Barker, H. Whitehead, J. Clayton, M. Manteit, W. Fordham.

Western goals: J. Laverde 2, B. Payne 2, H. Bray , B. Myers , L. Duggan , B. Coletta

Sandringham best: T. Wilkinson, T. Grace, M. Manteit, L. Gogis, A. Brayshaw, E. Vickers-Willis

Western best: C. Menadue, H. Armstrong-Weston, D. Viojo, C. Ellis, B. Myers, B. Payne

The Sandringham Dragons have continued their fantastic early season form with an impressive 46-point win over the Western Jets. Despite the Jets getting within nine points early in the last quarter, the Dragons booted the last five goals to run away with the match. Tom Wilkinson was best afield and seemed to be everywhere for the Dragons while Connor Menadue was really solid rebounding off the half back flank and cutting off opposition forward thrusts. There weren’t too many highlights in the match, however a huge hanger from Jayden Laverde in the goal square caused the crowd to erupt. The win means the Dragons are undefeated while the Jets are yet to secure a win. Next week Sandringham travel to play the Northern Knights, while the Jets face off against another undefeated side in Oakleigh.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Tom Wilkinson (Sandringham Dragons)
4 – Connor Menadue (Western Jets)
3 – Taylor Grace (Sandringham Dragons)
2 – Dillon Viojo (Western Jets)
1 – Angus Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons)

Dandenong Stingrays  12.7 (79) defeated Gippsland Power 10.18 (78)
Dandenong Goals: T. Lamb 6, J. Wheeler 2, A. Wilson , A. Harnett , B. Mullane , J. Bennett
Gippsland Goals: M. Jacobsen 3, T. Marsh , C. Ambler , C. Buykx-Smith , J. Dunkley , R. Hearn , N. Dennison , S. Skinner

Dandenong Best: T. Lamb, A. Harnett, J. Holden, E. Hunt, M. White, B. Mullane
Gippsland Best: T. Marsh, M. Jacobsen, J. Cunico, J. Dunkley, N. Argento, B. Olsson

It was a tale of two halves at Morwell Football Ground on a sunny and humid Saturday afternoon, where the Dandenong Stingrays overcame a 47-point deficit to win by a point in a thrilling finish to one of TAC Cup’s biggest rivalries.

The Gippsland Power flew out of the gates to a 22-point lead at quarter time, driven by a relentless midfield that dominated the clearances and stoppages early in the game.

Bottom-aged prodigy Tate Marsh, who has drawn comparisons to Dale Thomas was a highlight from the onset and throughout for the Power, cracking into packs whilst offering a perfect blend of speed and composure to set up a couple of goals and kick one himself.

Jordan Cunico was a force, propelling multiple attacks from the backline, and getting off the leash further afield to use the ball going inside 50, whilst Tom Papley drew praise for his courage and commitment to the cause.

But when the whips started cracking, it was Dandenong’s better players who stood up.

After a quarter-time spray from coach Craig Black, Tom Lamb responded the only way players of his ilk do, and that was hit the scoreboard. After a first quarter he’d prefer to forget, he kicked three second-quarter goals as the Stingrays kicked the opening four goals of the quarter.

His doppelgänger Alex Harnett was lively all afternoon, showing a serious turn of speed and a willingness to chase and always do something creative with the ball, including goal-of-the-day midway through the third quarter.

After a 10-goal combined second quarter between both sides, the Power still managed to hold steady, leading by 33 points going into the long beak.

It was again another high-scoring affair, as the Stingrays went berserk in the third quarter, kicking five goals, whilst limiting their wasteful opponents to just the one goal and bringing the margin to just one point at three-quarter time which set up a thrilling final quarter.

Lamb was again unstoppable, and his sixth goal for the afternoon put the Stingrays in front for the first time.

Although the lead chopped and changed, the Power threw away their opportunities, missing seven shots on goal and kicking just one final quarter goal, which ultimately proved costly. After kicking eight goals in the opening half, Dandenong’s cream rose to the top, kicking seven second-half goals and registering their first win of the season.

Gippsland will face another stern test next week at Highgate, facing off against the Murray Bushrangers whilst Dandenong travel up the highway to face the Falcons at Simonds Stadium.

BFGN Rising Star Medal

5: Tom Lamb (Dandenong Stingrays)
4: Alex Harnett (Dandenong Stingrays)
3: Tate Marsh (Gippsland Power)
2: Ryan Hearn (Gippsland Power)
1: Jack Holden (Dandenong Stingrays)

Oakleigh Chargers 15.12 (102) defeated Eastern Ranges 7.16 (58)

Oakleigh Goals: Waddell 3, Houston 3, McLean 2, Oppy 2, Answerth 2, Carter-Taylor , Jackson , Beasley

Eastern Goals: Hardwick 2, Parsons , Weideman , Cotte , Gatwech-Chuol , Traynor

Oakleigh Best: Halsall, Waddell, McLean, Answerth, Beasley, Urban

Eastern Best: Cotte, Batty, Hardwick, Evans, Kidd, Nielson

A nine goal second half propelled Oakleigh to a 42-point win over Eastern in Craigieburn on Sunday. Both teams had their moments in the first half, but it was the Chargers who ultimately stepped up and kicked away after half time. Eastern could only manage 1.9 in the second half, as their inaccurate kicking cost them the chance to get back into the game after trailing by only 14 points at three-quarter time. Both teams went goal for goal throughout the first half, with the score level at half time at 43 each.

Blake Hardwick had a dominant second quarter for Eastern, taking a few strong contested marks as well as kicking two goals, and was their shining light up forward.

The third quarter however belonged to Oakleigh big man Lachlan Waddell. Waddell kicked two goals in the quarter as well as setting up another, and gave Oakleigh that breathing space that they needed to control the game. Unfortunately for Eastern they couldn’t mount a comeback in the final term as the Chargers booted five goals to zero to put the result well beyond doubt. Next week Oakleigh host a Jets side looking for their first win of the season, while Eastern host a Calder outfit who will be looking to bounce back after their tough loss on Sunday.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5: Lachlan Waddell (Oakleigh Chargers)
4: Blake Hardwick (Eastern Ranges)
3: Josh Halsall (Oakleigh Chargers)
2: Liam Kidd (Eastern Ranges)
1: Kade Answerth (Oakleigh Chargers)


Murray Bushrangers 15.11 (101) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 13.15 (93)

Murray Goals: M. Mahady 4, D. Howard 2, E. Wales 2, B. Webster , D. McDonald , B. Pritchard , H. Peni , T. Holman , N. Mellington , J. Schache

Bendigo Goals: L. Ryan 2, B. Edwards 2, J. Mc Grath 2, A. Kirby 2, J. Maher 2, L. Barrett , B. Evans , L. McGlashan

Murray Best: B. Webster, I. Muller, D. Howe, M. Mahady, K. Ellis, B. Pritchard.

Bendigo Best: J. Maher, B. Evans, B. Edwards, C. Barrett, B. Poyser.

Murray Bushrangers overcame a fast finishing Bendigo Pioneers at Deakin Reserve on Saturday afternoon to register their first win of the season.

Both sides were sloppy early on; particularly the Bushrangers who were dominate in the opening stages but were unsuccessful in hitting targets when heading inside the arc.

After a counter attacking effort from the Pioneers,Bailey Edwards registered the games first goal in style snapping on the run from 35 meters out. Although it was Mitch Mahady who stole the show, kicking three consecutive goals in ‘junk time’ to establish an 18 point lead for Darren Ogier’s men at quarter time.

The Bushrangers were the dominant side in the second quarter kicking five goals to three to extend their quarter time lead to as much as 30 points at half time. Poor discipline cost the Pioneers as Nick Mellington benefited from a 50-metre penalty given away by Liam Barrett to goal from just 10 meters out. Along with Mellington, Kieran Ellis and Brody Webster featured prominently in the second often assisting the footy inside their forward 50.

The second half was a tale of missed opportunities as Bendigo began to run over the Bushrangers after the main break. Although being outscored again in the third quarter it felt as if Bendigo were unlucky going forward, missing some easy opportunities. Pioneer’s Jake Maher featured a lot more through the middle as the quarter wore on.

The Bushrangers led by 41 points at three quarter time and it seemed as if the boys thought they had already had the game won.

Although Bendigo had come out firing in the last outscoring the Bushies 6.5 to 1.2 in the final quarter, sending a fright through the Bushies camp. Maher was inspirational kicking two goals in the Pioneers fight back but they fell just short. Bendigo were never able to get within one goal during the final term.

Next week the Bushrangers travel to face Gippsland Power, while Bendigo host North Ballarat at home.


BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5: Jake Marshall (Murray Bushrangers)
4: Mitchell Mahady (Murray Bushrangers)
3: Jake Maher (Bendigo Pioneers)
2: Brody Webster (Murray Bushrangers)
1: Kieran Ellis (Murray Bushrangers)

Geelong Falcons 15.6 (96) defeated North Ballarat Rebels 10.8 (68)

Geelong Goals: A. Christensen 4, P. McCartin 4, H. Goddard 3, R. Mathieson, M. Augerinos, L. Wagener, J. Hudson

North Ballarat Goals: A. Martin 3, D. Butler 2, D. Tucker, T. Templeton, S. Glover, J. Palmer, O. McDonald 

Geelong Best:  A. Christensen, C. Curnow, M. Randone, D. Parish, Z. Cordy, L. Melican

North Ballarat Best:  J. Webster, O. McDonald, J. Hopper, D. Tucker, J. O”Beirne, A. Martin


Geelong Falcons got their 2014 campaign off to a good start with a 28 point victory over the North Ballarat Rebels. The Rebels showed they wouldn’t be push overs like last season, going into the half time break just nine points behind, but the Falcons flexed their muscles and kicked clear to a 27-point three-quarter time lead after a five goals to two quarter. Aaron Christensen was the difference between the two sides, kicking four goals in a best on ground performance while Josh Webster was North Ballarat’s best player on the day. The Rebels travel to Bendigo to take on the Pioneers next week while Geelong play Dandenong on Simonds Stadium next Saturday.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5: Aaron Christensen (Geelong Falcons)
4: Charles Curnow (Geelong Falcons)
3: Josh Webster (North Ballarat Rebels)
2: Michael Randone (Geelong Falcons)
1: Zaine Cordy (Geelong Falcons)

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