Calder Cannons 9.7 (61)
Dandenong Stingrays 9.14 (68)
Calder goals: T. Condon 2, T. Wallis, A. Barba, T. Young, J. Murphy, T. Gawthrop, J. Flower, D. Tarczon.
Dandenong goals: J. Freeman 3, C. MacHaya, M. Poholke, J. Battle, D. Warke, J. Di Pasquale, L. McKay
Calder best: T. Wallis, T. Condon, J. Flower, B. Laguda, A. Barba.
Dandenong best: J. Battle, J. Freeman, L. Batten, J.Rouse, C. MacHaya.
On a freezing, windy and rain-drenched day at Craigieburn, it was a significant credit to both the Cannons and Stingrays that they stood immobile as one in a moving display to honour former Adelaide coach Phil Walsh.
When the siren blew, it was Dandenong who started the better of the two sides. The conditions made the game scrappy and despite their early dominance, the Stingrays profligacy in front of goal kept Calder in the game, with the Rays kicking 1.9 before a late goal to Tom Wallis brought the margin back to a nine points at the first change.
The second quarter was notable early for an unfortunate incident involving one of the field umpires, who suffered what we believe to be a seizure and was stretchered from the field*. When play resumed it was the Cannons who responded better, with a freakish banana goal from boundary deep in the forward pocket from Wallis seeing them hit the front and a superb one-handed grab and goal from Josh Flowers seeing them extend their lead before a lucky bounce in the Rays’ goalsquare saw Freeman kick his second and Calder go to the main break with a six-point advantage.
The rain eased in the third and the Rays came out firing on all cylinders, with two goals inside the first few minutes. A third goal, and a third to Freeman saw the Rays begin to skip away, piling on six goals in the quarter including an amazing set shot from the boundary to young Liam McKay. Frustrations boiled over for the Cannons, with midfield general Wallis carded in the 20th minute for a high hit on the Rays’ Cory MacHaya, and only a Jaron Murphy major stemmed the bleeding for Calder, with Dandenong holding a 27 point lead heading into the final term.
Calder was never going to go quietly however, and with coaches urging them to “not leaving anything, anything, on the ground”, they responded full of run and fight. A monster goal to Gawthrop from outside 50 starting the Cannons’ fightback, and a Tom Condon goal made it 15 points. The Rays were back in numbers, but a clearing kick over the top to space saw Darcy Wake burn off all pursuers to give them breathing space again.
In a frenetic final few minutes, a crumbing goal to Condon again brought the Cannons back with 15 points. The Cannons were peppering the goals without success before a goal to Dylan Tarczon saw them cut the Rays’ lead to a solitary major. Bodies were flying in with an abandon that belied the ordinary conditions and both sides were giving their all in pursuit of the result, but when the final siren blew the scoreboard saw Dandenong win by a meagre 7 points. A fantastic hard, tough game in awful conditions.
*We at BFGN hope that the official in question is making a comfortable recovery.
BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5 – Joshua Battle (Dandenong Stingrays)
4 – James Freeman (Dandenong Stingrays)
3 – Tom Wallis (Calder Cannons)
2 – Thomas Condon (Calder Cannons)
1 – Lachlan Batten (Dandenong Stingrays)
North Ballarat Rebels 10.15 (75)
Western Jets 6.10 (46)
North Ballarat goals: N. Hausler 3, J. Carrick 2, J. Korewha, J. Edwards, M. Johnston, T. Clode, J. Wheelahan.
Western goals: O. Junker, J. Cotter, L. Goetz, B. Coletta, M. Galea, J. Webb.
North Ballarat best: J. Symons, J. Edwards, M. Johnston, J. Webster, J. Korewha, B. Lusby
Western best: L. Knight, M. Norton, J. Hickey, N. Giarrizzo, D. Foley, L. Carter
Western Jets put in a spirited effort against the high flying North Ballarat Rebels but ultimately went down to the ladder leaders. The Jets suffocated the Rebels early, and that pressure caused North Ballarat to kick poorly and not take advantage of their chances, going into half time with a 13 point lead. However in the second half it all clicked for the Rebels as they broke clear, kicking five goals to one in the third quarter giving them a 41 point lead at the final break which proved too much for a determined Jets team to catch. North Ballarat had good contributors all over the park which was one of the main reasons for their success. Josh Webster was good through the midfield, while Matt Johnston, Joseph Symons and Billy Lloyd were also amongst the better players while Lachlan Knight and Mitch Norton continued their recent form as the best players for the Jets.
BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5 – Josh Webster (North Ballarat Rebels)
4 – Joseph Symons (North Ballarat Rebels)
3 – Lachlan Knight (Western Jets)
2 – Matt Johnston (North Ballarat Rebels)
1 – Mitch Norton (Western Jets)
Murray Bushrangers 12.7 (79)
Northern Knights 11.7 (73)
Murray goals: M. Waite 3, L. Smith 3, R. Sharp 2, J. Cousins, T. McMullan, M. King, L. Middleton.
Northern goals: I. Soldo 2, M. Hill 2, M. Perry 2, K. Malone 2, C. Roberts, M. Ercolano, C. Dalgleish.
Murray best: M. Waite, R. Garthwaite, M. King, L. Smith, L. Pinnuck, C. Oliver
Northern best: D. Macpherson, K. Malone, B. Jordan, M. Perry, M. Ercolano, L. Bunker
A close game at Norm Minns Oval in Wangaratta saw an extremely weakened Murray side pushed right until the final siren by a determined Knights outfit. In the absence of many Victorian Country (including Larke Medalist Josh Schache) and NSW/ACT representatives, Murray Waite stood up for the Bushies kicking three goals from the midfield and running hard both ways, while Clayton Oliver was a bull around the stoppages. The Knights, while also missing three players due to Metro duties, were stretched by the height of the Murray team as coach Darren Ogier took advantage of this playing a tall dominated forward line for most of the second half. Returning from his stint with Metro, Matt Perry was outstanding for the Knights both winning the ball on the inside and hitting the scoreboard. Full Forward Bailey Jordan was moved down back to help cover the lack of height that the rebounding Knights struggle with and played a very promising game.
BFGN Rising Star Medal:
5 – Murray Waite (Murray Bushrangers)
4 – Clayton Oliver (Murray Bushrangers)
3 – Matt Perry (Northern Knights)
2 – Bailey Jordan (Northern Knights)
1- Darcy Macpherson (Northern Knights)
Bendigo Pioneers 3.5 (23)
Oakleigh Chargers 17.16 (118)
Bendigo goals: B. Blake, R. Free, L. Schultz.
Oakleigh goals: D. Houston 8, T. Phillips 3, J. Whitehead, J. Aujard, J. Wright, X. Jordan, J. Ridley, S. McLarty.
Bendigo best: M. Hore, R. Hogan, L. Schultz, L. Tardrew, J. Atley, C. Jones
Oakleigh best: D. Houston, T. Phillips, K. Answerth, P. Phillips, L. Sullivan, J. Roughsedge
Dan Houston put on a goalkicking clinic at Bendigo as Oakleigh trounced the Pioneers by 95 points. Houston had three by quarter time in what was an entertaining and relatively tight contest early on. While the Pioneers were down by 22 points at quarter time, they were certainly competitive against the slick Chargers team. However something changed after that as Oakleigh kicked 13 unanswered goals and blew the Pioneers out of the park, ultimately winning by over 15 goals. Houston was superb for Oakleigh while midfielders Tom Phillips and Kade Answerth continued to serve it up to him, dominating in the middle. Marty Hore never stopped trying for the Pioneers but his young and inexperienced team was outclassed by a superior team on the day.
BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5 – Dan Houston (Oakleigh Chargers)
4 – Tom Phillips (Oakleigh Chargers)
3 – Kade Answerth (Oakleigh Chargers)
2 – Patrick Phillips (Oakleigh Chargers)
1 – Marty Hore (Bendigo Pioneers)
Geelong Falcons 7.7 (49)
Sandringham Dragons 6.13 (49)
Geelong goals: B. Blair 3, H. Kol, L. Donne, J. Bennett, B. Remmos.
Sandringham goals: H. Johnson 2, C. Rich, G. Lok, N. Peterson, J. Maxfield.
Geelong best: B. McCarthy, A. Witherden, H. Kershaw, B. Remmos, H. Kol, B. Blair.
Sandringham best: R. Iudica, H. Johnson, A. McGrath, N. Pavlou, A. Tashevski-Beckwith, L. Filipovic
Geelong played out their second draw in three matches against a determined Sandringham outfit. Both teams were missing several players due to representative commitments but the Falcons would have been the more confident team, heading into the match with a 6-4-1 record and coming off a nailbiting loss to a high flying Murray side. Sandringham, led by Nick Pavlou and Robert Iudica, took it right up to the Falcons as they went into quarter time with a nine point lead. The rest of the game was an armwrestle, with few goals being scored and the margin never blowing out. Ultimately, it was a result that neither team would be happy with, particularly Geelong who now have achieved the rare feat of having two drawn games in one season.
BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5 – Robert Iudica (Sandringham Dragons)
4 – Ben McCarthy (Geelong Falcons)
3 – Nick Pavlou (Sandringham Dragons)
2 – Harry Kershaw (Geelong Falcons)
1 – Hugh Johnson (Sandringham Dragons)
Gippsland Power 7.10 (52)
Eastern Ranges 8.7 (55)
Gippsland goals: T. Hobbs 2, B. McKay, C. Ambler, W. Leslie, K. Byers, N. Mulqueen.
Eastern goals: J. Parente 2, D. Crocker 2, J. Cyster, C. Summers, A. Brolic, A. Beddoes.
Gippsland best: B. Dessent, C. Ambler, B. McKay, W. Leslie, J. Patullo, A. Ferreira
Eastern best: A. Fenton, A. Brolic , K. Keppel , J. Cyster , D. Crocker , B. Mitchener
The Eastern Ranges have emerged victorious after a last quarter scare against an under strength Gippsland Power on Sunday afternoon at Morwell.
Leading by 35 points at the final break, Gippsland rallied after a rousing rev up from coach Leigh Brown. The Power kicked five straight goals to come within two points, before Tom Hobbs streaked through the forward line and kicked a banana goal with two minutes remaining to put the Power up by four, their first lead since early in the first quarter, before a late goal from Jake Parente snuffed out any chance of a remarkable comeback victory for Gippsland.
The Ranges held the Power to just 1 goal through three quarters of football, and looked the best team on the day by a long way, until the final quarter, where it seemed both teams had switched jumpers, with Gippsland becoming dominant, and Eastern being stopped in their tracks.
For Eastern, Aaron Fenton was by far the best player on the ground, gathering plenty of disposals, as well as racking up the clearances in the center all afternoon. Jake Parente was also good throughout the game, kicking 2 goals for the Ranges with his second being the most important with just 30 seconds on the clock, to win the game for Eastern.
The last quarter fight back by the Power started with Will Leslie being thrown forward from the backline, he kicked a 45m goal on a tight angle to kick-start his team, while debutant Kieran Byers also proved he was ready to do anything to help Gippsland win, going back with the flight, which saw two players hurt in a big collision. The collision unfortunately saw Eastern backman Kane Keppel having to be stretchered from the ground with a leg injury.
Eastern now sit fifth on the ladder, at 7-4, while Gippsland slip to seventh, sitting at 5-5 for the season. Next week, Gippsland travel to play the Oakleigh Chargers at Warrawee Oval on Saturday afternoon, while Eastern face the Northern Knights at Preston City Oval on Sunday morning.
BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5 – Aaron Fenton (Eastern Ranges)
4 – Benjamin Dessent (Gippsland Power)
3 – Jake Parente (Eastern Ranges)
2 – Tom Hobbs (Gippsland Power)
1 – Connor Ambler (Gippsland Power)