TAC Cup wrap: Round five

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Eastern Ranges 11.10 (76) defeated Murray Bushrangers 8.11 (59)

Murray goals: N. Drummond 3, B. Webster 2, C. Marchbank, J. Schache, J. Marshall
Murray best: D. Howe, N. Drummond, C. Marchbank, M. Mahady, I. Muller, N. Mellington
Eastern goals: C. Jones 2, S. Weideman 2, L. Sverns, N. Gatwech-Chuol, L. Hannon, D. Crocker, R. Sheridan-Ferrie, B. Batty, L. Kidd
Eastern best: C. Jones, A. Cotte, B. Batty, L. Kidd, M. Traynor, J. Healy, D. Kift, J. Parsons.

The lights were on at Norm Minns Oval in Wangaratta as Murray Bushrangers hosted Eastern Ranges. The first quarter was an arm wrestle as both sides traded goals, with Eastern taking a one goal lead into the first break. The second quarter was a tale of two halves as the Bushrangers had most of the play but failed to take their chances and were hit on the break by Eastern who moved the ball quickly, catching the Murray defenders off guard. Eastern were full of running and finished the half better, kicking the final two majors.

The skills noticeably dropped off in the second half as the ground and ball became affected by the dew but Eastern were able to handle the conditions better, extending their lead to 22 points thanks to the efforts of James Parsons, Liam Kidd and Sam Weideman, who went back with the flight to take a great mark and finished truly right before the siren to give the Ranges the momentum going into the last quarter.

Eastern looked to continue their dominance in the last but couldn’t put the feisty Murray side away, despite the best efforts of Luke Hannon who kicked a wonderful running goal from outside 50. Nathan Drummond marked and goaled from the pocket but time was running out quickly for the Murray team and their final thrusts were thwarted by the rock solid Daniel Nielson and his Eastern teammates who did a great job on Murray’s tall forwards.

Next week Eastern host Bendigo at Highgate while Murray and Calder face off in the following match of the double header.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5- Bryce Batty (Eastern Ranges)
4- James Parsons (Eastern Ranges)
3- Caleb Marchbank (Murray Bushrangers)
2- Liam Kidd (Eastern Ranges)
1-Nathan Drummond (Murray Bushrangers)

Calder Cannons 13.17 (95) def. North Ballarat Rebels 5.13 (43)

Calder goals: Wright 3, Flower, Petryshyn 2, O’Brien, Wunhym, Kovacevic, Kerbatieh, Cavanagh, Christensen
North Ballarat goals Goals: Palmer, Templeton, McLeod, Butler, Smith
Calder best: Wunhym, Petryshyn, Goodyear, Allan
North Ballarat best: Marshall, McDonald, Templeton, Tucker

The Calder Cannons came away with their fifth win of the season, moving into second place onto the TAC Cup ladder after a 52 point win against North Ballarat at Highgate on Friday afternoon. The ANZAC day clash provided much interest in a tightly contested first half. While many had tipped Calder for the win, the winless North Ballarat made their opponents work hard to earn their four points.

While Calder had most of the running early in the first quarter, it came mostly as a result of North Ballarat’s scrappy play. In a jittery start, both teams made some questionable decisions under solid defensive pressure from their opponents, but it was Calder who took more advantage of their opportunities to take an early 14 point lead. Rowan Marshall led the charge for the Rebels however, looking dangerous up front early, slotting a goal and providing a goal assist to see his team nab two majors before the quarter time break.

It was a congested start to the second quarter from both teams, but it was North Ballarat who initially broke the shackles to open the game up, generating run and plenty of momentum through half back. The Rebels found openings in their forward half, penetrating into their forward 50 with long kicks to one on one’s, putting the Calder defence under pressure. At the other end McDonald was brilliant in nullifying the influence of key Calder forward Peter Wright, who won battles in the air and on the ground once the ball hit the deck. Calder however stood firm to their opponent’s challenge, nailing a goal through Flower and Petryshyn’s forward 50 efforts, allowing Calder to take a one goal lead into half time.

Whilst North Ballarat went to their half time break with tails up, it was Calder who came out firing after the break. Dominating the clearances through Wunhym and Goodyear, the Calder forwards received first service of the ball. Two goals through livewire Petryshyn, sparked the Calder onslaught. Whilst Marshall’s excellent ruckwork and athleticism allowed him put down some precision taps to advantage of his midfielders, Calder throttled any midfield charge the Rebels sought to create. Allan looked to create drive around the ground and was great in traffic as Calder kicked 6 in a row and left the Rebels reeling with a goalless third term. All the sting had been taken out of North Ballarat moving into the last quarter. The icing on the game was added with goals to Calder big men Kovacevic and Wright. In the end, Calder’s precision kicking and strength in the midfield proved too much of a hurdle for North Ballarat to contend with.

Next week Calder take on Murray at Highgate while North Ballarat face off against the undefeated Oakleigh Chargers at Warrawee Park.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Zak Wunhym (Calder Cannons)
4 – Artur Petryshyn (Calder Cannons)
3 – Matt Goodyear (Calder Cannons)
2 – Rowan Marshall (North Ballarat Rebels)
1 – Oscar McDonald (North Ballarat Rebels)

Dandenong Stingrays 7.9 (51) defeated by Western Jets 7.12 (54)

Dandenong goals: K. Downie 3, J. Tomkins 2, L. Williams, B. Mullane
Western goals: J. Laverde 2, J. Volpato, M. Norton, L. Duggan, M. Palma, C. Ellis
Dandenong best: M. White, B. Dale, E. Hunt, J. Lovett, D. Kempster, B. Mullane
Western best: L. Duggan, J. Volpato, J. Laverde, B. Ferrari, C. Ellis, L. McMahon

A soggy Shepley Oval played host to the Round 5 TAC Cup match between the Dandenong Stingrays and the Western Jets.

The Stingrays came into their first home game of the season with confidence, having defeated the Pioneers the previous round by 29 points and holding a 2-1 record. The Jets also had an easy victory in round four with a 122 point smashing of the Northern Territory, but they had not recorded a win against a Victorian opponent. Western kicked the first two goals of the game before Dandenong snuck one late in the opening term. It was a tight start where marks were as rare as gold and many chances to hit the scoreboard were wasted. Delivery into the forward 50 for both sides was largely poor, however 167 cm Jackson Volpato made the most of the poor conditions and his work when the ball was on the ground was great.

A dour second term saw only one goal kicked which gave the away side a two-goal lead at the break. For the majority of the quarter, the ball was in the centre, with both sides scrapping it out and immediately putting the ball on the boot if they had a break from the fercious tackling. The Stingrays missed a golden chance to claw back the margin towards the end of the term when Jack Lonie broke free to kick it long to Aaron Wilson in the goal square who was on his own, only for Wilson to drop the mark and have Jets defenders rush it over the line for a behind. The home side started the third term fast, kicking the first two goals before the Jets got one back just before the siren. The pressure applied by the Jets was immense, which forced Dandenong’s disposal efficiency to falter. Jets players were able to break loose and pump it into the forward line but Jacob Weitering was down there, trying his best to stem the flow by taking some strong marks at the goal mouth. The Jets took a nine point lead into the final break.

The final quarter was by far and away the most exciting of the match. Lachie Williams kicked the first of the term to bring the deficit down to only three points before Jayden Tomkins gave the Stingrays the lead in the fifth minute. It was short-lived however as the Jets reclaimed the lead just two minutes later. Dandenong then kicked the next two, giving them the lead back but the tide turned again and a marking contest where three Stingrays went up, leaving nobody on the ground led to a Jets goal. Jayden Laverde slotted one through at the 16-minute mark to send the lead back the way of the Jets. Western’s Tylar Vujanic took a screamer on centre-wing right in front of the grandstand, however the pressure came thick and fast from the Stingrays. Ultimately, it was not enough and the Western Jets recorded a deserved three point win.

Liam Duggan starred for the Jets with a goal and 33 disposals while Blake Mullane was best for the Stingrays with a goal and 22 disposals. Mitchell White was also good for the home side, collecting 19 disposals.

Next week Dandenong host NSW/ACT in their first match for the season at Shepley Oval while Western meet Gippsland at Burbank Oval.

BFGN Rising Star Medal:

5 – Liam Duggan (Western Jets)
4 – Jackson Volpato (Western Jets)
3 – Blake Mullane (Dandenong Stingrays)
2 – Jayden Laverde (Western Jets)
1 – Mitchell White (Dandenong Stingrays)

Northern Knights 7.15 (57) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 2.14 (26)

Northern goals: J. Iacobaccio , L. Glasgow , C. Porter , A. Di Paolo , J. El Moussalli , M. Perry , S. Switkowski
Bendigo goals: B. Evans , J. Fox
Northern best: Z. Ballard, S. Switkowski, J. Short, B. Jordan, J. Castagna, K. Langford
Bendigo best: B. Evans, L. Barrett, T. Cole, D. Davie, J. Lawton, R. Barrack

It was an overcast and gloomy day out at Preston City Oval, as the Knights looked to bounce back after being overrun by a rampant Eastern Ranges, whilst Bendigo were looking to record their first win of the season. It’s honestly impossible to explain the disappointing goal kicking in this game. The wind wasn’t strong and it barely drizzled. It’s safe to say that without Zac Ballard and Kyle Langford, the Knights win over the Pioneers would have been extremely boring.

From the first bounce, it was the sheer work ethic of the Northern Knights that allowed them to push Bendigo, going into quarter time with more inside 50’s, contested possessions and clearances. Jayden Short was a star in his first game of the year after suffering a broken jaw, running and handling the ball as if to suggest it were a pristine 20-degree afternoon. The first quarter was fairly even, with the Knights going into quarter time with a nine point lead. Langford proved how versatile he was with most of his time spent roaming on the wings. The marking machine ended up with 11 marks (three contested), 20 disposals and eight tackles. The Knights kicked away in the second quarter, on the back of Ballard, Jade Gresham and Brayden Fiorini all providing attack from the half back line. Ballard was the best performer on the day with 34 touches, nine marks and nine tackles. His speed was electrifying, single handedly igniting the Knights.

At half time the Knights had edged out to a 26-point lead. Knights star Reece McKenzie missed the game with a foot injury sustained in last weekend’s Vic Metro Intraclub game. Interestingly Langford played the entire game on the wing and usual full back Ryan Tester played significant time up forward. The second half was much the same, as inaccuracy plagued both sides. Jayden Short and Jordan Perry pushed their draft stocks, as they finished with 21 and 26 disposals respectively. The Knights ran away with a comfortable five goal win at home, but the Knights will be concerned with McKenzie and Fiorini as both are under injury clouds. Bendigo struggled in all facets of the game, with their ball use around the ground costing them significantly, whilst their inability to find a threatening target up forward also meant they were unable to make full use of the scoreboard, which was reflected in the score line.

Next week Northern travel to Simmonds Stadium to take on Geelong and Bendigo face Eastern at Highgate on Saturday morning.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5. Zac Ballard (Northern Knights)
4. Kyle Langford (Northern Knights)
3. Jordan Perry (Northern Knights)
2. Jayden Short (Northern Knights)
1. Sam Switkowski (Northern Knights)

Oakleigh Chargers 12.12 (84) defeated Geelong Falcons 7.10 (52)

Oakleigh goals: H. Beasley 4, D. Houston 3, J. Guerin, T. McLean, L. Kinsella, T. Young, A. Mioni
Geelong goals: T. Rieniets 3, R. Mathieson 2, L. Melican, P. Bright
Oakleigh best: A. Urban, F. Pearce, H. Beasley, D. Houston, B. Ledder, H. Thompson
Geelong best: M. Randone, L. Maddock, D. Parish, J. Nelson, A. Christensen, S. Dixon

On paper this was the match of the round, as the undefeated Oakleigh took on one of the fancies for this year’s premiership in Geelong. Oakleigh burst out of the blocks and kicked clear to a 17 point quarter time lead and managed to keep Geelong at arms length for most of the game. Oakleigh held their lead in the second and went in at half time as the happier side with a 16 point lead.

Geelong managed to narrow the gap to nine points by the final break as ruckman Michael Randone began to dominate and allowed the likes of Darcy Parish and Jackson Nelson to get on top of the Chargers midfielders but Oakleigh showed a lot of heart and broke the gallant Falcons in the final quarter, keeping them to just one point for the whole term and skipping away to a 32 point victory. Alex Urban was fantastic for the Chargers for the second week in a row, while Hugh Beasley and Dan Houston continued their good form in front of goal, kicking four and three goals respectively.

Next week Geelong host Northern Knights at Simmonds Stadium and Oakleigh play North Ballarat at Warrawee Park on Sunday.

BFGN Rising Star Medal:

5- Dan Houston (Oakleigh Chargers)
4- Alex Urban (Oakleigh Chargers)
3- Jackson Nelson (Geelong Falcons)
2- Hugh Beasley (Oakleigh Chargers)
1- Michael Randone (Geelong  Falcons)

Gippsland Power 4.16 (40) defeated by Sandringham Dragons 10.13 (73)

Gippsland goals: N. Dennison 2, T. Marsh , J. Dunkley
Sandringham goals: A. Brayshaw 3, H. Dear 2, H. Whitehead, T. Grace, H. Balic, S. Gunning, K. Lopo
Gippsland best: J. Cunico, N. Holmes, S. Skinner, N. Argento, C. Ambler, D. Proctor
Sandringham best: T. Grace, M. Manteit, A. Brayshaw, H. Whitehead, H. Balic, M. Zagni

Sandringham Dragons defeated a wayward Gippsland Power in a wet and windy slog at Morwell Football Ground. Only trailing by a goal at quarter time, the Power booted just two goals for the remaining three quarters to go down by 33 points in a low scoring affair. Taylor Grace and Angus Brayshaw starred for the Dragons with the latter also booting three goals. For Gippsland, it was once again pocket rocket Jordon Cunico who stood up, while Nathan Dennison was the only multiple goal scorer for the home side. Next week Gippsland Power travel to Burbank Oval to face the Western Jets, while Sandringham Dragons make the longest trip of all, taking on the Queensland Scorpions in the sunshine state.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5- Angus Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons)
4- Taylor Grace (Sandringham Dragons)
3- Jordon Cunico (Gippsland Power)
2- Michael Manteit (Sandringham Dragons)
1- Brayden Maynard (Sandringham Dragons)

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