TAC Cup wrap: Round 16

Metro-Country

Bendigo Pioneers 7.8 (50)
Eastern Ranges 13.11 (89)

Bendigo goals: D. Davie 2, J. Chisari, R. Free, B. Poyser, L. Ryan, S. Harper.
Eastern goals: C. Jones 3, N. Lane 2, R. Harvey 2, L. Jeffs 2, J. Parsons, L. Wilson, S. Weideman, B. Hardwick.
Bendigo best: L. Tardrew, D. Davie, T. Cole, H. Conway, J. Chisari
Eastern best: R. Harvey, L. Hannon, L. Wilson, L. Jeffs, C. Jones, M. Traynor

The eighth-placed Eastern Ranges made the journey to Epsom Huntly Reserve on Saturday afternoon with high hopes of a much needed victory following a narrow five point loss to the Geelong Falcons last week. They faced the bottom placed Victorian team, the Bendigo Pioneers high on confidence after a 109-point thumping of the Northern Territory.

The Pioneers, however, were slow off the mark against the superior Eastern side. They conceded the first six goals of the match to trail by 37 points midway through the second term. Goals from Christopher Jones and Liam Jeffs had the visitors looking sharp as a resounding victory looked likely, before two quick Bendigo goals helped keep the deficit to 39 points at the main break.

A switched on Bendigo team hit the ground running after half-time showing signs of an unlikely comeback with a three goal to one third quarter. Midfielder Lachlan Tardrew led the charge picking up the majority of his 29 disposals in a 25-minute purple patch for the home side. A freakish forward pocket goal from Daniel Davie helped reduce the Eastern Ranges lead to just 13 points early in the last term before Ranges pair Ryan Harvey and Luke Hannon steadied the ship as the visitors stormed home with the last four goals of the match.

The 39-point victory helped keep Eastern’s finals hopes alive as well as the unlikely chance of back-to-back premierships while the Pioneers drift further away from the competition in 12th position on the ladder.

On Saturday August 16th, Eastern return home to the Box Hill City Oval for a possible finals deciding showdown against the Murray Bushrangers while Bendigo remain at the Epsom Huntly Reserve to take on the 10th placed Northern Knights.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Ryan Harvey (Eastern)
4 – Luke Hannon (Eastern)
3 – Lachlan Tardrew (Bendigo)
2 – Daniel Davie (Bendigo)
1 – Liam Jeffs (Eastern)

Oakleigh Chargers 15.9 (99)
Dandenong Stingrays 10.7 (67)

Oakleigh goals: D. Houston 3, K. Dove 2, T. McLean 2, J. Sinclair 2, M. Brown, L. Kinsella, L. Patterson, T. Young, M. Giles, J. Mahon.
Dandenong goals: T. Joyce 4, A. Wilson 2, J. Lonie 2, T. Lamb, J. Tomkins.
Oakleigh best: J. Sinclair, H. Beasley, A. Oppy, D. Houston, J. Mahon, L. Patterson
Dandenong best: J. Lonie, R. Fischer, T. Joyce, B. Dale, S. Geurts, B. White

The Oakleigh Chargers maintained top spot with a 32-point win over the Dandenong Stingrays at Warrawee Oval. It started with a high-scoring first term, with nine goals kicked between the sides. The next two quarters yielded just another seven goals, as Dandenong were competitive and kept Oakleigh honest, but just didn’t quite have the finishing class the Chargers had. The flood gates then opened in the last and Oakleigh ran away with the match.

Tom Lamb continued his season as the most frustrating player in the TAC Cup competition. In the second quarter he spun around a would-be tackler and launched a 55-metre bomb that sailed through the goals. Then for the next two quarters he seemed to miss regulation handballs and quite simply didn’t run hard enough.

Jack Sinclair on the other hand is a man who did keep running and never stopped, a clear best on ground ahead of key defender Hugh Beasley. Sinclair had 33 disposals, four marks, five tackles and kicked two goals to be fantastic all over the ground. Aside from Sinclair and Beasley, Dan Houston, Liam Patterson and Liam Kinsella were clinical. For Dandenong, Taylor Joyce was a lone force up forward while Sam Guerts was the most consistent. Jack Lonie played a sensible game despite some tight checking at times.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Jack Sinclair (Oakleigh Chargers)
4 – Hugh Beasley (Oakleigh Chargers)
3 – Dan Houston (Oakleigh Chargers)
2 – Jack Lonie (Dandenong Stingrays)
1 – Sam Guerts (Dandenong Stingrays)

Northern Knights 23.15 (153)
Northern Territory 8.3 (51)

Northern goals: R. McKenzie 7, J. El Moussalli 3, G. McDonagh 3, C. Roberts 2, J. Short 2, S. Switkowski, Z. Ballard, M. Perry, T. Leonardis, J. Iacobaccio, D. Macpherson.
Northern Territory goals: J. Musgrove 2, A. Pilbrow 2, K. Holt-Tubbs, M. Tilmouth-Turner, B. Parfitt, A. Papazoglou.
Northern best: S. Switkowski, R. McKenzie, J. Short, J. Gresham, J. El Moussalli, K. Malone
Northern Territory best: S. Smith, C. Wilson, M. Tilmouth-Turner, D. Gordon, M. Hagan, B. Parfitt

The Northern Knights would have set themselves a huge target against what from the outset is known as a very weak side in Northern Territory. After the Bendigo Pioneers managed to score over 150 points against the same side – and they have the lowest fire power in the league – it was not a surprise to see the Knights waltz past them too. At half time, it was a relatively close 41 points, but after the main break, the Knights kicked 13 goals to four and it became ugly fast. Reece McKenzie kicked a lazy seven goals as one of 11 players to kick a major.

On the other hand, Northern Territory could only manage five main scorers and their highest disposal winner had 19 touches. To put that in perspective, Northern’s Samuel Switkowski had 19 effective handballs. That’s before you even take into account any other disposal, which is phenomenal and the key difference between the sides. It also helped when the rucks won the hitouts 60-11 in a dominant display. The Knights keep their “mathematical” finals hopes alive with this win, while Northern Territory would just enjoy a holiday to Victoria.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Reece McKenzie (Northern Knights)
4 – Samuel Switkowski (Northern Knights)
3 – James El Moussalli (Northern Knights)
2 – Jayden Short (Northern Knights)
1 – Jade Gresham (Northern Knights)

Geelong Falcons 12.9 (81)
Queensland 12.10 (82)

Geelong goals: R. Mathieson 2, A. Christensen 2, T. Miles 2, B. Blair 2, P. Bright, B. Remmos, B. Beardsell, L. Melican.
Queensland goals: M. Hammelmann 3, L. Dawson 3, C. Haberfield 2, M. Uebergang, C. Wagner, J. Rayner, C. Stevenson.
Geelong best: M. Augerinos, L. Melican, D. Parish, R. Mathieson, M. Randone, H. Smith.
Queensland best: H. Andrews, C. Wagner, B. Keays, L. Dawson, D. Cameron-Reeves, M. Hammelmann.

What was supposed to be a regulation win for the Geelong Falcons turned into a nightmare as they now look set to miss the top four following a one-point loss to Queensland. Despite missing a number of key players, many at Avalon Oval believed the Falcons would still get the job done comfortably, having disposed of a higher quality Eastern Ranges the week before. But was not to be, and despite leading at every change, the Scorpions kicked four goals to two in the last quarter to overcome a 13-point three quarter time margin and win.

Harris Andrews, Ben Keays and Liam Dawson were all productive for Queensland, while for the Falcons, bottom-agers and high talent prospects Darcy Parish and Rhys Mathieson were the best. The loss was devastating for the Falcons, with what seems to be an almost improbable task ahead to make top four.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Darcy Parish (Geelong Falcons)
4 – Liam Dawson (Queensland)
3 – Ben Keays (Queensland)
2 – Rhys Mathieson (Geelong Falcons)
1 – Harris Andrews (Queensland)

Gippsland Power 13.13 (91)
NSW-ACT Rams 9.14 (68)

Gippsland goals: T. Papley 3, D. Keilty 3, J. Dunkley 2, J. Hammond, D. Grech, T. Beck, J. Patullo, N. Holmes.
NSW-ACT goals: N. Foster 2, J. Mudge 2, J. Finlayson, I. Heeney, J. Hiscox, C. Mills, M. Flynn.
Gippsland best: A. Carr, T. Papley, J. Dunkley, J. Patullo, N. Holmes, S. Skinner.
NSW-ACT best: L. Griffiths, J. Steele, C. Mills, J. Hiscox, J. Finlayson, M. Flynn.

Gippsland Power secured a rare win for season 2014, defeating the NSW-ACT Rams in Morwell by 23 points. While they have been close in many games, the Power have ultimately lacked the class to finish off, but on this occasion got the job done. Alex Carr and Josh Dunkley led the way in the midfield while Thomas Papley and Declan Keilty booted three goals each.

For the Rams, Callum Mills was sensational with 40 disposals, nine marks, seven tackles, 10 hitouts and a goal. Jason Steele and Liam Griffiths were also prime movers for the losers. Much like the Rams, Gippsland are only a mathematical chance of making finals.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Callum Mills (NSW-ACT Rams)
4 – Josh Dunkley (Gippsland Power)
3 – Jason Steele (NSW-ACT Rams)
2 – Alex Carr (Gippsland Power)
1 – Nash Holmes (Gippsland Power)

Murray Bushrangers 12.6 (78)
Calder Cannons 17.12 (114)

Bushrangers goals: N. Coughlan 2, J. Schache 2, L. Smith, C. Crisp, C. Byrne, D. Mennen, D. Howe, C. Brown, N. Trotter, M. Waite.
Cannons goals: J. Foster 4, J. Cauchi 4, T. Miller 3, D. Cavka 2, C. Moore, T. Condon, T. Wallis, P. Ahern.
Bushrangers best: D. Howe, M. Mahady, D. Howard, I. Muller, C. Crisp, D. McDonald.
Cannons best: T. Miller, M. Stillman, V. Carboni, M. Goodyear, D. Cavka, J. Foster.

The Calder Cannons continued their fantastic form to cement a top two spot with a comfortable 36-point win over the Murray Bushrangers. They led by two points at quarter time and extended the margin to eight by the half. Calder then opened the game up to kick nine goals to five in the second half and ran away with the match.

Touk Miller was best afield with 29 disposals, 10 marks, five tackles and three goals while Matthew Stillman and Damien Cavka were also influential. Jayden Foster was the best forward on the ground with four majors while Josh Cauchi also kicked four of his own. Calder already have one eye on the quarter final, while Murray have had a rather disappointing season, but have a lot of top bottom-agers to look forward to for next year.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Touk Miller (Calder Cannons)
4 – Matthew Stillman (Calder Cannons)
3 – Damien Cavka (Calder Cannons)
2 – Jayden Foster (Calder Cannons)
1 – Matthew Goodyear (Calder Cannons)

Western Jets 14.14 (98)
Sandringham Dragons 6.9 (45)

Western goals: C. Holdsworth 2, J. Laverde 2, M. Orr 2, C. Menadue 2, B. Coletta, C. Ellis, B. Monk, K. Galley, J. Hickey, B. Myers
Sandringham goals: H. Balic 2, K. Lopo, M. Neiwand, S. Mason, D. Atkins
Western best: C. Ellis, M. Orr, B. Monk, C. Menadue, J. Volpato, D. Dawam
Sandringham best: W. Fordham, T. Roos, B. Maynard, H. Balic, M. Neiwand, D. Atkins

For the second time in as many weeks, the Sandringham Dragons have been dealt with heavy back-t0-back defeats at the hands of teams they’re likely to come up against in September.

The Western Jets welcomed back top-line talents Corey Ellis and Jayden Laverde at home in Williamstown on a sunbathed Burbank Oval on Sunday and on the way to a 53-point win. The Jets now find themselves fifth on the ladder and just one game outside of the top-eight with a superior percentage to Dandenong in third and North Ballarat in fourth.

Despite a raft of stars, including Liam Duggan, Dillon Viojo-Rainbow, Brenton Payne, Ryley Stuhldreier, Leigh Spiteri, Pele Manivong, Braden Ferrari and Tylar Vujanic, being forced to watch on from the sidelines due to school football commitments and injury, the Jets were polished and dismantled Sandringham comprehensively in round 16.

However, the Dragons weren’t without their shortcomings, with an array of stars missing for similar reasons. A late withdrawal of Angus Brayshaw didn’t help the cause, adding to Tom Wilkinson, Josh Clayton, Ed Vickers-Willis, Ed Langdon, Harry Dear and Taylor Grace also watching on from the sidelines.

At the first break, the Jets had gotten out to a two-goal buffer, before a four-goal to one second term steadied a 31-point lead. The Dragons were wasteful with their opportunities, which allowed captain Liam McMahon to collect the loose ball across half back. While the Dragons chipped the ball around to hold up position, the Jets backed their run and carry, taking the game on with seven Jets players finishing with upwards of seven handball receives each.

After half time, the Jets put the foot down, storming home to a seven-goal to three second half in a clinical dismantling of the Dragons who struggled to find winners all afternoon.

Brayden Maynard found himself target of an early tag, while Tyler Roos continued to hunt the ball and put his body on the line, running himself to the ground before coming to the bench for a quick breather. Will Foredom was arguably Sandringham’s best, while Malcolm Neiwand proved a goal of the day highlight, running at full tilt and taking two bounces through the midfield, before goaling from 45m on the run.

Ruckman Duom Dawam had his best ever career game, earning best afield efforts in a polished display containing 17 disposals, 18 hitouts and two marks.

Brayden Monk was his sterling best, notching up his 10th game this season in the Jets’ best, finishing with 24 disposals and nine handball receives to go with five marks and four tackles. Midfield dynamo Corey Ellis finished with 20 disposals and five tackles and one goal. His run and carry through the midfield cut through the Dragons’ onballers, whilst his precision kicking off his lofty left foot was an eye catcher.

The Jets take on third placed Dandenong away at Shepley Oval, whilst the Dragons will host Gippsland Power with both sides welcoming back an array of stars to strengthen their line-ups.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Duom Dawam (Western Jets)
4 – Brayden Monk (Western Jets)
3 – Corey Ellis (Western Jets)
2 – Connor Menadue (Western Jets)
1 – Jaycob Hickey (Western Jets)

North Ballarat Rebels 10.12 (72)
Tasmania 11.8 (74)

North Ballarat goals: T. Taurau 3, J. Hopper 3, T. Schnerring, J. Gow, M. Johnston, T. Ludeman.
Tasmania goals: D. Bannister 4, K. Pitchford 2, I. Franks 2, L. Reynolds, J. Watts, L. Young.
North Ballarat best: J. Hopper, J. O”Beirne, J. Cowan, J. Gow, T. Taurau, O. McDonald
Tasmania best: L. Reynolds, J. Fox, K. Pitchford, D. Bannister, P. Bellchambers, J. Lockhart

After an incredibly good run of form, the North Ballarat Rebels needed a win to all but seal top four. Unfortunately they were beaten by the winless Tasmania in a disappointing display. Regional manager Phil Partington mentioned the boys were tired from the trip to Queensland which ultimately effected their game play.

Truth be told, it was a much weaker Rebels side with the two forwards with Thomas Taurau and Jacob Hopper booting six of the 10 goals. The latter was clearly best on ground, with 34 disposals, five marks, four tackles and three goals. Kade Pitchford and Josh Fox were the best for the winners, with forward Dakota Bannister the only key standout around goals. The loss was crucial for the Rebels who sit fourth with two games remaining.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Jacob Hopper (North Ballarat Rebels)
4 – Josh Fox (Tasmania)
3 – Kade Pitchford (Tasmania)
2 – Dakota Bannister (Tasmania)
1 – Jacob O’Beirne (North Ballarat Rebels)

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