Bendigo Pioneers 13.6 – 84 defeated North Ballarat Rebels 10.6 – 66
Bendigo goals: B. Evans 2, D. Jones 2, B. Poyser 2, F. Payne 2, J. Ryan 2, L. Ryan, R. Barrack, L. McGlashan
North Ballarat goals: J. Neville 2, O. McDonald, D. Tucker, S. Bennett, T. Templeton, E. Guthrie, R. Kemp, M. Johnston, J. Palmer
Bendigo best: M. Pickering, J. Mangan, H. Conway, J. Maher, A. Johnson, B. Evans, D. Jones
North Ballarat best: J. O’Beirne, J. Webster, D. Tucker, R. Marshall, S.Dunston, T. Templeton
The Bendigo Pioneers put up a strong fight to defeat North Ballarat by 18 points at the Epsom-Huntly Reserve on Saturday in a tight contest. Neither team was able to create any breathing space as the opening half was a clear arm wrestle between two sides looking to improve on their poor 2013 season. It was the third quarter where Bendigo came out firing, booting five goals to one in a dominant display which effectively decided the outcome of the match as North Ballarat struggled to take their chances in the final term. While there were no standout performances in front of goal, Billy Evans and Blake Poyser slotted two crucial goals each to set up a well deserved victory for Bendigo. Matt Pickering was a dominant force in the midfield for Bendigo, picking up 29 disposals throughout the match. For North Ballarat, Jacob O’Beirne was gallant in defeat, so too was his accurate tall forward Jonathon Neville who calmly booted two goals to keep North Ballarat in the match.
Next week the Pioneers return to the Queen Elizabeth Oval to face last year’s runner up Dandenong Stingrays at 10am, while North Ballarat take on the Murray Bushrangers in the final game of the triple-header at the Q.E.O on Saturday April 12th.
BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5 – Matthew Pickering (Bendigo)
4 – Harry Conway (Bendigo)
3 – Billy Evans (Bendigo)
2 – Jacob O’Beirne (North Ballarat)
1 – Danny Jones (Bendigo)
Gippsland Power 9.10.64 defeated Murray Bushrangers 5.9.39
Gippsland Goals: S. Skinner 4, B. Olsson 2, C. Buykx-Smith , C. Ambler , A. Ferreira
Murray Goals: J. Schache 3, N. Drummond 2
Gippsland Best: D. Grech, S. Skinner, J. Jacobsen, T. Marsh, A. Carr, M. Stanlake
Murray Best: I. Muller, T. Holman, D. Howe, J. Schache, N. Drummond, J. Clarke
After a shock-loss last week, the Gippsland Power were always going to come out firing, looking for redemption against the Murray Bushrangers.
For the Power, their relentlessness and continuous commitment to the cause early in the game set the tone from the onset and throughout, showing up a blend of aggression and pressure, and running in waves to create drive from the stoppages.
Alex Carr was a standout through the middle, burrowing in under packs and making his presence felt whenever he wasn’t in possession of the ball. His long, raking right foot split open the Bushrangers defense early, allowing for Gippsland to push forward, which favoured the likes of Nick Argento and Connor Ambler.
But it was a cause of dejavu for Gippsland, who got out to a three goal lead, before the Bushrangers kicked three consecutive goals to draw level going into the first break. Bushrangers overager Nathan Drummond led by example, whilst Tom Holman stepped up, as Nick Mellington was well held all afternoon.
But coming into the second quarter, it was the quality of Gippsland’s well-oiled defense that stood up. Mitch Stanlake was the general down back, cutting off everything, and showing plenty of class, poise and a cool head coming out of the back 50.
Delan Keilty wore Josh Schache like a glove, Darnell Gretch was prominent in his repel, and Lincoln Robinson – a swift and dashing half-back flanker was more than happy to take the game on, offering run and carry and taking the game on.
Sammy Skinner and Christian Buykx-Smith were potent up forward, kicking five between them, but it was the midfield workhorses in Brad Olsson, Josh Dunkley, Tate Marsh, Lukas Webb and James Jacobson that stood up.
Highly underrated Tom Wilson and Nathan Dennison proved just how much midfield depth the Power have, coming on and off the bench with impact as important rotations.
The Bushrangers weren’t without praise, as Kieran Ellis continued to chip away as he tried to will his side over the line. Big Isaac Muller arguably won the ruck battle, but Tom Holman and Nathan Drummond were the clear standouts for the Bushrangers on a day where there weren’t many.
Although Schache and Drummond combined for five goals – the only five kicked by the Bushrangers in the game – goal-kicking midfielders in Holman and Mellington couldn’t make an impact.
Ultimately, it was the depth and spread of the Power midfielder that ran over the top of the Bushrangers in the end. A smart, functioning defensive unit married up with a potent forward line will ensure that the Power make a serious spash in 2014.
Next week, the Power trek to Bendigo to take on premiership contenders Geelong, whilst the Bushrangers will also feature in the country triple-header, taking on the Pioneers.
BFGN Rising Star Medal
5 – Alex Carr (Gippsland Power)
4 – Sam Skinner (Gippsland Power)
3 – Mitch Stanlake (Gippsland Power)
2 – James Jacobson (Gippsland Power)
1 – Tate Marsh (Gippsland Power)
Sandringham Dragons 14.11 95 defeated Northern Knights 8.7 55
Sandringham Goals: H. Dear 4, H. Balic 2, W. Barker , M. Manteit , L. Gogis , T. Wilkinson , J. Wallace , M. Neiwand , B. Maynard , T. Roos
Northern Goals: K. Malone 2, W. Murphy , J. Wild , L. Hunt , M. Perry , Z. Ballard , R. McKenzie
Sandringham Best: B. Maynard, M. Manteit, H. Balic, E. Vickers-Willis, S. Kelly, W. Barker
Northern Best: J. Perry, J. Booth, B. Fiorini, W. Murphy, Z. Ballard, R. Tester
The Dragons put the pressure on Northern right from the first bounce, as the evenly spread Dragons midfield group gathered plenty of loose ball to control the play. Dragons on-baller Tom Wilkinson made a name for himself as he took several impressive marks early while Harry Dear and Harley Balic were sensational early for the Dragons up forward. Dear provided a tough marking target and consistently beat Ryan Tester in contested marking situations. Dear had a shot that was clearly a behind but was adjudicated a goal early on, much to the crowd’s surprise. The Dragons led by 21 points at quarter time.
Balic was sensational in the next two quarters, running his opponent off his feet and providing a wonderful marking target up forward. His spark lifted the Dragons up to a strong lead, but a late quarter resurgence from Reece McKenzie and Billy Murphy pulled the Knights back within reach of Sandrigham. Murphy provided the goal of the day with a 50 metre dash through the centre square and finished it off with a long running goal.
Dear became unstoppable and was double teamed at every contest after half time, but the damage had been done by then. Brayden Maynard controlled the play across half back and led the charge for the Dragons with Wilkinson and Ed Vickers – Willis.
BFGN Rising Stars Medal
5 – Harley Balic (Sandringham Dragons)
4 – Harry Dear (Sandringham Dragons)
3 – Brayden Maynard (Sandringham Dragons)
2 – Ed Vickers – Wiliis (Sandringham Dragons)
1 – Tom Wilkinson (Sandringham Dragons)
Oakleigh Chargers 10.15 (75) defeated Western Jets 10.8 (68)
Oakleigh goals: J. De Goey 3, D. McKenzie 2, H. Thompson , A. Oppy , J. Sinclair , K. Answerth , D. Cuningham
Western goals: T. Vujanic 3, B. Payne 2, M. Orr 2, J. Volpato , J. Laverde , B. Monk
Oakleigh best: J. De Goey, K. Answerth, D. Moore, J. Halsall, M. Pittonet A. Oppy
Western best: M. Orr, B. Monk, T. Vujanic, L. Pulitano, J. Volpato, J. Laverde
A seven goal to two second half saw Oakleigh come back from 41 points down during the second quarter to topple the Jets by seven points at North Port Oval on Sunday. After the Chargers kicked the first goal of the day through Jordan De Goey, Western went on to kick the next eight to put themselves in a brilliant position at half time. The Jets defence was very strong throughout the first half, pressuring the Chargers into making silly errors when trying to attack. Mark Orr was brilliant in the first half, not only at the stoppages but also around the ground, giving his midfielders first use of the ball on many occasions.
Oakleigh came out of the half time break a different side, and had cut the deficit to only 14 points by three quarter time. The Chargers had corrected their mistakes from the first half, and were taking better care of the ball when trying to move it into the forward 50. Their defence also got a helping hand when Darcy Moore was shifted down back for quarters two and three. Moore had an opponent most of the time but did give his fellow teammates a hand at the contest, and did well in blocking the holes and making it harder for the Jets midfield to find targets.
The Jets had chances to put the margin beyond reach of the Chargers but missed two critical set shots early in the fourth term. Goals from David Cunningham and Jack Sinclair leveled the game with only minutes to go in the fourth quarter, but it was Kade Answerth who kicked the goal to put the Chargers seven points up with under a minute left that sealed the result. The undefeated Chargers host Queensland next weekend, while Western faceNorthern Territory.
BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5 – Mark Orr (Western Jets)
4 – Jordan De Goey (Oakleigh Chargers)
3 – Kade Answerth (Oakleigh Chargers)
2 – Brayden Monk (Western Jets)
1 – Darcy Moore (Oakleigh Chargers)
Geelong Falcons 14.10 94 defeated Dandenong Stingrays 9.13 67
Geelong Goals: A. Christensen 2, L. McCartney 2, T. Rieniets 2, D. Hodge 2, S. Dixon 2, L. Wagener , T. Miles , J. Maishman , B. Biggs
Dandenong Goals: J. Lonie 4, J. Bennett , A. Wilson , K. Mutimer , J. Weitering , J.Tomkins
Geelong Best: Z. Cordy, D. Parish, N. Dixon, T. Miles, S. Dixon, J. Sheahan
Dandenong Best: A. Harnett, A. Wilson, E. Hunt, M. White, J. Lonie, D. Moloney
In a tale of two halves at Simonds Stadium, the Geelong Falcons overcame a slow start to defeat the Dandenong Stingrays by 27 points.
Dandenong were the better team early on, and if it wasn’t for their wastefulness in front of goal they would have been much further in front at half time. However it wasn’t to be as Geelong pegged back a 15-point quarter time deficit to just five points at halftime.
The Falcons came out firing in the third and kicked clear to a 22-point lead off the back of a five goal to one quarter. They held on in the last and extended their lead to 28 points with an impressive second half showing from the likes of Darcy Parish and Nick Dixon.
BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5 – Darcy Parish (Geelong Falcons)
4 – Zaine Cordy (Geelong Falcons)
3 – Jack Lonie (Dandenong Stingrays)
2 – Scott Dixon (Geelong Falcons)
1 – Alex Harnett (Dandenong Stingrays)
Calder Cannons 15.17 107 defeated Eastern Ranges 11.10 76
Calder Goals: L. Cavanagh 3, D. Cavka 3, B. Allan 2, T. Miller 2, P. Ahern , J.Flower , M. Kovacevic , R. O”Brien , N. O”Kearney
Eastern Goals: S. Weideman 5, R. Harvey 2, C. Jones 2, R. Sheridan-Ferrie 2
Calder Best: N. O”Kearney, T. Gawthrop, B. Laguda, D. Cavka, B. Allan, P. Ahern
Eastern Best: D. Nielson, B. Batty, S. Weideman, A. Cotte, R. Harvey, M. Burtarnet
A seesawing match at Box Hill saw the Calder Cannons continue their good start to the season as they defeated the Eastern Ranges by 31 points.
The first half saw a high scoring first quarter followed by a burst from the Ranges which saw them go 20 points up at half time. However they went on to kick just two more goals for the rest of the game as the Cannons turned it on and kicked out to a 31-point win off the back of a six-goal last quarter. Despite the best efforts of Eastern forward Sam Weidman, the Ranges just couldn’t get the score on the board in the second half and this cost them dearly as the likes of Damien Cavka and Lachlan Cavanagh piled on the goals for Calder.
BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5 – Nicholas O’Kearney (Calder Cannons)
4 – Damien Cavka (Calder Cannons)
3 – Sam Weideman (Eastern Ranges)
2 – Touk Miller (Calder Cannons)
1 – Paul Ahern (Calder Cannons)