ROUND 4 started yet again under lights, with QE Oval playing host to the clash between the Bendigo Pioneers and Oakleigh Chargers.
Oakleigh went into the clash as favourites, but were jumped by the Pioneers who led by a point at quarter time. The Chargers were able to grab back the lead, to lead by 11 points at the main break and despite a goaless last quarter they held on for a 13 point victory.
Pioneers midfielders Isaac Miller and Paddy Dow stood out, but they were unable to stop the Chargers midfield brigade who were aided by the strong ruckwork from Ned Reeves. Josh Daicos also continued his strong start to the season, booting three goals.
Queensland continued their strong form from their opening TAC Cup win last weekend, defeating Western Jets at home by 28 points.
Queensland AFL academy members Brad Scheer and Jack Bowes stood out in the midfield, while 196cm tall forward Shawn Watson booted four goals.
As predicted in the round preview, AFL Draft Central expected Daniel Venables to stand out and he didn’t disappoint booting three goals but it wasn’t enough as Queensland lead at all the main breaks. Utility Brodie Romensky was the Jets’ best player putting his hand up for Vic Metro selection in June.
The Dragons midfield brigade of Tim Taranto, Will Setterfield, Andrew McGrath, Ashley Krakauer, Cameron Polson and Oliver Florent was far too strong for NT.
Sandringham had 12 different goal kickers and find themselves at the pointy end of the ladder with a big clash against Murray Bushrangers this weekend.
For the Northern Territory, Michael Hagan and Brandon Parfitt showed glimpses in the midfield.
In the game of the round, Dandenong Stingrays narrowly accounted for a spirited NSW/ACT Rams side by 15 points.
NSW/ACT were in the contest all day, but a final quarter burst ensured the four points would go the Stingrays way.
Harry Perryman once again was superb for the Rams, as was Jacob Tuner who booted four goals. For the Stingrays agile forward Josh Battle slotted four goals, but was outshone by small forward Sam Fowler who kicked a bag of five goals, taking his season tally to 16 goals.
North Ballarat Rebels got their first win of the season against Calder Cannons on Saturday at RAMS Arena. Calder led at quarter time, but the Rebels kicked the 15 out of the next 21 goals to get their season back on track.
Karl Brown kicked two for the Cannons up forward while Zach Guthrie battled hard all day.
Tall utility Shannon Beks was the Rebels’ best player while Willem Drew continued his form from the previous weekend into the clash against Calder, with a strong performance in the middle.
Down the highway, Geelong Falcons collected an easy 67 point win against Northern Knights.
With a large contingent of Vic Country Under 18 squad members, it was always going to be a hard task for the Knights.
Patrick Dowling, Brett Blair and Jackson McLachlan all kicked four majors for the Falcons. Patrick Lipinski once again was strong for the Knights with three goals, while Liam Bunker continued his good form adjudged the Knights best player for the afternoon.
Debutant forward Joshua Begley slotted six majors putting in an impressive performance while Dylan Clarke continued his great start to the season with another good game collecting plenty of the ball and hitting the scoreboard with three majors.
The final game of the round was at Ikon Park, where the Murray Bushrangers continued their perfect start to 2016 with a 33 point win over Gippsland Power.
Bushrangers captain Isaac Wallace was best on ground in the centre, using his left foot well to clear the ball from stoppages. GWS Academy member Todd Marshall also booted three goals, making it nine goals from three games for him. Bottom ager Jordon Butts was also impressive playing on the half forward flank, kicking two goals and setting up a few more.
Devan Costigan was the best for the Power, setting up the play from behind the ball. The Power weren’t able to get enough support from their side, missing a few key personnel and find themselves without a win on the bottom of the ladder.