Tag: bailey beck

Gippsland powers to first finals win in six years with terrific victory over Geelong

GIPPSLAND Power are through to the preliminary for the first time since 2012, after knocking off the Geelong Falcons by 35 points. The Power had a fight on their hands after kicking the first four goals of the game, and lead by just 16 points at the final break, but powered home in the final term.

The first score of the day came courtesy of a Tye Hourigan error, marking on the goal line but then kicking between the behinds to force a rushed behind. Gippsland captain Xavier Duursma had about five touches in the opening few minutes and his run handed Josh Smith the opening goal of the game. The next clearance inside 50 saw the unbelievable talents of Irving Mosquito get boot to ball with class in the square and Gippsland had two majors on the board.

Geelong were still winning the football but the Gippsland defence was up to the task. Despite a good inside 50, Gippsland rushed it down the other end and big Rylan Henkel kicked a goal off a couple of steps and Gippsland was on fire. Noah Gown‘s aerial prowess was on show with a towering mark, but his decision to play on from the 35m set shot was surprising, however he found Leo Connolly who snapped a goal to make it four on the trot.

Blake Schlensog had clean hands off the deck and kick inside 50 but hit-up a Gippsland opponent. Ben Morton won a crucial one-on-one deep in defence, keeping his feet but did not realise he had time and space to his left, he handballed back in-board to Baxter Mensch who had a shot but it cannoned into the woodwork.

Keidan Rayner was producing some nice moves through midfield, sidestepping his opponents and kicking cleanly inside 50. Connor Idun lead hard from a quick snap on the boundary to mark on the ground. His set shot was perfect off the boot and got Gippsland on the board in the opening term. Mensch took a good mark one-on-one on 50, gave off the handball to Jay Dahlhaus, but the ball was rushed across the line by Hourigan. some great work by Dahlhaus saw him break a few tackles, handball to the free man in Idun and he kicked to Schlensog’s advantage 15m out, delivering the goal. to reduce the margin back to single digits. It did not last long, however with Smith taking a good mark and converting the set shot for his second major.

The second quarter started like the first, with Gippsland getting an early inside 50 and Duursma getting on the end of it with a great set shot goal. Sam Walsh got involved with a quick handpass to Brayden Ham in defence, but the kick was smothered and Bailey Beck pounced. Beck had a nice shot on goal but it bounced to the left and missed. A smothered kick off Riley Baldi‘s boot almost saw Geelong make the Power pay, with Charlie Harris snapping from 15m out, but spraying the attempt.

Charlie Sprague did not make the same mistake, being opportunistic with a fantastic snap to get the Falcons on the board and keep the momentum balanced. Sam Conway was winning some big hitouts through the ruck and Sam Walsh was getting involved everywhere. He won the football at the stoppage and cleared to a wing, then marked at half-forward. His shot on goal dropped short, but was marked in a big pack by Idun, who booted his second goal of the game.

One could sense the tide was turning, with Geelong getting more of the football forward of centre. Sprague had another chance from a good mark, but he went too close to the man on the mark and his set shot went out on the full. Just as it appeared to be that way, Oscar Brownless had a late tackle on Matthew McGannon for a downfield free. Harvey Neocleous made no mistake and kicked the goal. The Power pressure was mounting and it lead to a mistake on the goal line with Cooper Cartledge trying to rush the ball through but was tackled by Harrison Pepper. Lucky for the Geelong defence, Pepper missed the snap. It was not long before Connolly pounced on his second bending it around the body to sail one home from 40m out.

Cartledge’s work in defence was good one-on-one against Gown, beating him on multiple occasions, but unfortunately his kicking was off target with a number of clangers. Duursma had a chance from a set shot early in the piece, but got too close to the mark and tugged it to the left for a behind. Tempers flared a touch when a non-malicious but late all the same, push by Henkel on Keidan Rayner saw the Power ruck go into the umpire’s book. Ham had been quiet in the first half, but made it count with his set shot from outside 50, with a perfectly weighted kick to cut the deficit to 15 points early in the third. Caleb Serong was another who was not up to his usual high production standards in the first half, but had a chance in the third quarter with a snap that just missed.

Schlensog took a big mark at half-forward and had no hesitation in lining up for the set shot, but it drifted to the left and was punched across the line. The big man took another big grab moments later, and then a long bomb into the goal square off the next possession saw Walsh pounce and turn one way and then the other to get boot to ball. The goal umpire extraordinarily signalled it had been touched before changing his mind and calling it a goal after Walsh celebrated with teammates. Kyle Reid signalled he had indeed touched it, but with no goal review, the major stood and the Falcons were up to their ears in the contest. Everything was building towards a huge finish to the game with Gippsland still in front, but Geelong charging home. A great tackle from Sprague on the siren exemplified how much the Falcons had lifted in the term.

The momentum quickly shifted early in the final term with a great one-on-one mark and goal to Serong from the goal square. A few minutes later a Mosquito tackle at half-forward was rewarded and almost resulted in a goal to Beck, but the shot just missed. Nick Lowden also missed a chance running into goal, but Gippsland had the momentum. Lachlan Smith did well to lock up Mosquito inside 50 and clear the ball from danger. The Power fans could sense a preliminary final spot was almost there, and when Pepper ran into goal and nailed it, the crowd went up. A great chase by Duursma on Walsh resulted in a less than effective kick, with the Gippsland leader showing the way. If the nail was not already in the coffin, it certainly was when Beck kicked a running goal midway through the quarter.

Henkel received a free kick and converted the set shot, letting the Falcons defenders know about the score. Gippsland was home and hosed and through to a preliminary final. Gippsland was supremely confident, so much so Smith had a crack from the centre square and made the distance, but the accuracy was just to the right. Matthew McGannon‘s work off half-back throughout the game was consistent throughout, as was Boadie Motton in the midfield. Mosquito missed his chance for a second not long after, just spraying a flying shot on the goal. Sprague had a crack in the dying minutes but also missed. A 50m penalty to Ham saw the exciting forward finish the game with two and be among the best once again. While he did not have the points on Cartledge for the day, Gown kicked a late on for the Power.

Gippsland Power 5.1 | 8.3 | 9.5 | 13.10 (88)
Geelong Falcons 2.3 | 4.7 | 6.9 | 7.11 (53)

Gippsland: Josh Smith 2, Leo Connolly 2, Rylan Henkel 2, Xavier Duursma, Irving Mosquito, Harvey Neocleous, Caleb Serong, Harrison Pepper, Noah Gown.
Geelong: Connor Idun 2, Brayden Ham 2, Charlie Sprague, Blake Schlensog, Sam Walsh.

ADC BEST:

Gippsland: Xavier Duursma, Leo Connolly, Rylan Henkel, Josh Smith, Matthew McGannon, Tye Hourigan
Geelong: Cooper Cartledge, Brayden Ham, Baxter Mensch, Lachlan Smith, Connor Idun, Charlie Sprague

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 13

IN an action packed round of TAC Cup football, the top few sides had important wins to extend their lead on the competition, while others gained some much needed points.

Eastern Ranges 5.8 (38) def. by Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels 13.13 (91)

GWV Rebels claimed their fourth win of the season, with a comprehensive four-quarter victory over Eastern Ranges at Box Hill. The Rebels took control early, although could not make the most of their opportunities in the first term, booting 3.6, and then heading into half-time with a score of 6.9 to 2.2. The third quarter was where the Rebels did all the damage, with Charlie Wilson heading into the final break with four majors after two goals in each of the second and third terms. The Ranges rallied in the final term and only conceded one more point than they scored, to go down by 53 points.

Wilson was the star for the Rebels, booting 5.3 from 19 disposals and 12 marks (two contested), as well as six inside 50s. Matty Lloyd racked up a massive 37 disposals, as he roamed the wings, working between the defensive and offensive arcs for six inside 50s, six rebounds and a third quarter goal. Lochie Dawson (28 disposals, six marks, four clearances, two inside 50s and four rebounds) and Matt Schnerring (27 disposals, five marks, two clearances, five inside 50s and an important intercept and goal in the first term) were others who found plenty of the footy.

Mitch Mellis was one of Eastern’s shining lights, racking up 33 disposals, moving between the inside and outside using quick hands on his way to seven clearances, three inside 50s and three rebounds. Cooper Leon found space to boot a goal to go with his 28 touches, five marks, four clearances, three inside 50s and five rebounds. Joel Burleigh and Kye Quirk both had 20 disposals, while Burleigh booted a goal and Quirk had four rebounds. James Blanck was strong in defence before switching to attack with six marks from 18 disposals.

 

Murray Bushrangers 17.7 (109) def. Western Jets 9.8 (62)

It took all four quarters, but Murray Bushrangers finally shook off the Western Jets with an eight goals to two final term at Wangaratta on Saturday. The Jets led at quarter time by six points before the home side booted the only four goals of the second term to lead by 16 points at the main break. The Jets cut the deficit to 11 by the final break, before the Bushrangers stormed home in the final term to run away with the 47-point victory. Mathew Walker booted four goals in the final term to seal the deal.

Walker was the key player for the Bushrangers, nailing six goals from 14 disposals and eight marks (one contested). Along with Walker, Kyle Clarke booted two majors and had 21 disposals, two marks and six inside 50s, while Zane Barzen continued his good form with two majors from 14 disposals and six marks. Jye Chalcraft (17 disposals, four marks, four clearances, three inside 50s and two rebounds) and Will Chandler (11 disposals, seven marks and three goals) were also among the Bushrangers’ best in the win.

For the Jets, Jack Watkins was the major ball winner with 27 disposals, eight marks, seven clearances and three inside 50s, while bottom-ager Darcy Cassar continues to rack up the football in transition through the midfield, winning half of his possessions in a contest, finishing with 25 disposals, eight marks (three contested), three clearances, five inside 50s and one goal. Connor Thar was the other busy ball winner with 25 disposals, five marks, four clearances, five inside 50s and a rebound, while Buku Khamis and Stefan Radovanovic had a combined 36 disposals, seven marks and seven rebounds.

 

Northern Knights 10. 8 (68) def. by Gippsland Power 13. 7 (85)

After playing out a draw in their early encounter at Morwell, the Northern Knights and Gippsland Power went to do battle once again, this time at Preston City Oval. While the Knights had the home ground advantage and started strongly with the breeze, they eventually fell to the second placed Power. Northern booted five goals to two in the opening term, before Gippsland responded with five goals to one in the second to hit the front at the main break. The Knights regained the lead with an inaccurate 3.6 to 1.1. in the third term to hold a 10-point advantage over the visitors. But the last quarter belonged to the Power, coming home with a wet sail, Gippsland booted 5.3 to 1.0 to run out 17-point winners.

Despite challenging weather at times, Bailey Beck was clean with the ball, picking up 18 disposals, eight marks and three inside 50s and was named Gippsland’s best, while captain Xavier Duursma again stood tall, racking up 20 disposals, three marks, three clearances and booting two goals, while also being awarded five free kicks for getting in and under. Matthew McGannon backed up his good form from last week with 25 disposals, 11 marks (one contested) and four rebounds, while Austin Hodge had 24 touches, four marks, seven clearances, eight inside 50s and a goal. Key forward Noah Gown made it back-to-back hauls with five majors once again.

For the Knights, bottom-ager Josh D’Intinosante was busy with 21 disposals, two marks, seven clearances and two goals, while Sam Philp found plenty of the pill with 26 disposals (16 contested), eight clearances, three inside 50s and two rebounds. Tom McKenzie had 20 touches, three marks, three inside 50s, four rebounds and a goal, while Ryan Sturgess had five rebounds and two inside 50s to go with his 18 touches and three marks. Harrison Grace was prominent with 15 disposals, two marks and five inside 50s, as was Mitch Wild with 15 disposals, eight marks and five rebounds.

 

Calder Cannons 6.6 (42) def. by Dandenong Stingrays 12.10 (82)

The ladder-leading Dandenong Stingrays survived an almighty scare from Calder Cannons at RAMS Arena in blustery conditions to defeat the likely top eight side by 40 points. Leading by just two at the final break, the Stingrays put the foot down in the final term and did what they have done all year – found a way to win. They booted seven goals to one in the final term to run over the top of the plucky Cannons and maintain their place at the top of the table with an eight-point gap on second placed Gippsland Power.

Captain Campbell Hustwaite was a big performer once again, amassing 27 disposals, three marks, seven clearances and seven inside 50s, getting the job done inside and out. Finlay Bayne played one of his best games for the season upon his return to the side, picking up 25 disposals, five marks, four clearances, eight inside 50s and booted a goal. Teammate Sam Fletcher found plenty of the footy again with 23 touches, five marks, eight clearances, three inside 50s and a goal. Bailey Williams controlled the airways again with eight marks (four contested), 17 disposals, five inside 50s and two goals.

Co-captain Mitch Podhjaski played an equally inspirational game, racking up 33 touches, six marks, seven clearances, two inside 50s and booted a goal to be one of the Cannons’ best, while Lachlan Sholl was strong in defence with Brodie Newman (26 disposals and four rebounds), racking up 27 disposals, five marks and five rebounds. Lucas Cavallaro had a team-high eight rebounds to be a star in the back half, also amassing 25 disposals and seven marks, while Daniel Mott‘s second half of the season resurgence continued with seven inside 50s and five clearances to go with his 24 disposals.

 

Geelong Falcons 2.5 (17) def. by Oakleigh Chargers 7.9 (51)

Oakleigh Chargers won an old-fashioned scrap at Colac, holding Geelong Falcons to just one goal after quarter time while booting seven majors themselves in a 34-point win. The Falcons booted the only goal of the first term to start proceedings, before Oakleigh got back into the rhythm to pile on six consecutive goals to all but end the contest. Oakleigh kept its top four hopes alive with the low-scoring victory and will build confidence from the win.

Jake Gasper continued his great form with another three majors, picking up 18 disposals, one contested mark, four clearances and three inside 50s, while Josh May won plenty of the footy with 24 disposals, three clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds. Isaac Quaynor stood out and was named the winners’ best, racking up 21 disposals, one mark, two clearances, four inside 50s and one rebound playing up the ground. Fellow Collingwood Next Generation Academy member Atu Bosenavulagi was also strong, racking up 17 disposals (11 contested), two marks, three inside 50s and three rebounds.

For Geelong, it was the usual suspects standing out, with Sam Walsh having another 33 disposals, three marks, six tackles, six clearances and six inside 50s, while Brayden Ham‘s consistent form saw him rack up five rebounds from 20 disposals playing off half-back. Cooper Stephens was busy in the midfield with 17 disposals (13 contested) and five clearances, while Oscar Brownless (15 disposals) and Jay Dahlhaus (15 disposals and a massive 17 tackles) were prominent, as was Charlie Harris (19 disposals and 12 tackles).

 

Sandringham Dragons 6.12 (48) def. Bendigo Pioneers 6.4 (40)

It was not a pretty win, but they got the four points to take to the bank and the Dragons will find themselves still in the hunt for a top four spot. Led by Liam Stocker, the Dragons had to fight hard to overcome the dogged Bendigo Pioneers, booting the first three goals of the game before the Pioneers booted three of the next four, Holding a slender lead at the final break after Bendigo came hard at them in the third term, the Dragons managed to hold on in a quarter which saw just three behinds scored and the home side enjoying the eight-point victory.

Stocker was best on ground yet again for the Dragons, picking up 35 disposals, four marks, 12 inside 50s, nine clearances and booting a goal. Ryan Byrnes had his fair share of the footy racking up 26 disposals (17 contested), six clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds), while big man James Rendell had 18 disposals, seven marks (two contested), 20 hitouts and three clearances in a big effort around the ground. He and Andrew Courtney (33 hitouts) dominated against the smaller Bendigo rucks, while Sam Sofronidis had 26 touches, three marks, four clearances, five inside 50s and three rebounds.

For Bendigo, Noah Wheeler was the top ball winner, amassing 23 disposals, two marks, two clearances, three inside 50s and three rebounds, while Jacob Atley was clean out of defence, having four rebounds to go with his 19 disposals and six marks. Liam Marciano had 17 disposals, three marks, four clearances and five rebounds, while Flynn Perez was busy with 17 disposals, four marks, three clearances and two rounds. James Schischka returned to the team to play a key role with 16 touches, four marks and four inside 50s, while Jackson Williams had five rebounds from 16 disposals out of defence.

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 10

ROUND 10 saw a couple of upsets, a record low, and some tight contests, making for an entertaining round of TAC Cup football.

 

Oakleigh Chargers 8.10 (58) defeated by Sandringham Dragons 8.13 (61)

Sandringham Dragons have recorded a vital win over Oakleigh with a Finn Maginness goal in the last term sealing the deal for the visitors at Warrawee Park on Saturday morning. Trailing by three points at half-time and five points at the final break, the Dragons booted three of the first four goals of the final term to open up a 10-point lead. A late goal to Matt Rowell saw the Chargers draw within three, but it was not enough.

Harry Houlahan had 21 disposals (13 contested), six clearances and three inside 50s, while key defenders Will Kennedy and Corey Watts were named among the Dragons’ best for their efforts in the defensive half. They combined for 36 disposals and nine marks, while working in tandem with Jackson Voss (18 disposals and four rebounds). Liam Stocker was judged the Dragons best, racking up six clearances and five inside 50s from 20 disposals, while also slotting a goal.

For the Chargers, Jack Ross was the highest disposal winner with 22 touches, as well as four marks, seven clearances and three inside 50s. Trent Bianco was impressive with 19 disposals, three marks and four rebounds, while Rowell finished with 18 touches, seven clearances, three inside 50s and that late goal in the dying minutes. Oliver Simpson returned to the team for 15 disposals and two clearances, while Jake Gasper booted four goals.

 

Western Jets 10.13 (73) defeated Northern Knights 6.8 (44)

By: Brandon Hutchinson

It was a beautiful day for football down at Williamstown as the Western Jets took on the Northern Knights in their return home. From the first bounce both teams went hard, applying intense pressure on either end of the ground. Though the Jets were up by a significant margin in the first, the Knights brought it back to five points by the main break. Though it wasn’t enough to stop the Jets after they took off in the third to hold a comfortable win over the Knights.

The forward pressure from Steven Kyriazis and Josh Klaromenos was immense, kicking three goals apiece. Going hard at the ball, and impacting the contest, Jaden Rice, Jack Watkins and Josh Jenkins forced many turnovers and created repeat inside 50s. Daniel Pantalleresco, Spencer Johnson and Aaron Britten stood out for their team, having a significant impact on the play, with Connor Thar stepping up to captain his side to a victory.

The efforts in the first from Josh D’Intinosante and Justin McInerney out of the backline were immense, later moving up the ground to assist in link up play and earning the hard ball. Patrik Della Rocca worked hard alongside Harrison Grace to apply necessary pressure, and Nathan Howard stepped up to dominate the ruck with his superior leaping ability. Jack Boyd kicked two important goals to keep his team in grasp, but in the end, the whole line-up was unlucky.

 

Eastern Ranges 8.7 (55) defeated by Calder Cannons 11.8 (74)

Calder Cannons have run away with the win against the Eastern Ranges, courtesy of a seven goals to five second half at Box Hill on Saturday. Calder led by seven points at the main break and 13 points at the final change before booting four goals to three in a high-scoring final term to win by 19 points. It gave the Cannons some breathing space inside the top eight.

Daniel Mott was the Cannons’ best, racking up 25 disposals, 11 clearances, three inside 50s and four rebounds, while Will Jury had eight clearances to go with his 23 disposals, five inside 50s and a goal. Tye Browning was busy again with 22 disposals, 12 marks and five inside 50s, while Sam Graham also had 20 touches, two marks, three inside 50s and three rebounds. On debut, Josh Kemp was sensational up forward, clunking eight marks – three of which were contested – as well as four goals from 10 kicks.

Mitch Mellis was the top disposal winner for Eastern, collecting 27 touches, six marks, three inside 50s and two rebounds, while Adrian Kalcovski (26 disposals, three clearances and four inside 50s) and Joel Burleigh (25 disposals, five marks, six clearances and six inside 50s) were also strong through the middle. Ben Cardamone was judged Eastern’s best for his work in defence with 21 disposals, four rebounds and a goal. Kye Quirk (21 disposals, three marks and four inside 50s) and Chayce Black (20 disposals four marks and three inside 50s) were others who stood out.

 

Dandenong Stingrays 15.16 (106) defeated GWV Rebels 7.5 (47)

Dandenong Stingrays dominant start to the season continued on the weekend with another big win, this time over GWV Rebels by 59 points. The game was over at half-time when the Stingrays had piled on 12 goals to three to lead by 59 points. The Rebels made a better fist of it in the second half, booting four goals to three, including the only two goals of the final term to break even in the second half.

Bailey Schmidt and Stephen Cumming did all the damage in the first half, booting four goals apiece and looking like they were going to tear the game to shreds. In typical Stingrays fashion, Ned Cahill was the only player to notch up more than 20 touches, with 22 disposals, three marks, six clearances and five inside 50s. Matthew Cottrell (19 disposals, five clearances and six inside 50s) and Finlay Bayne (18 disposals, two clearances and four inside 50s) were other midfielders who stood out on the day for the winners. Schmidt finished with 32 hitouts and five marks (three contested), while Cumming took six marks (two contested) from 10 disposals and 16 hitouts.

For the Rebels, Charlie Wilson was sensational up forward, slotting four goals from 16 disposals and eight marks (three contested), while Jed Hill looked impressive playing as an inside midfielder for three quarters, racking up 24 disposals (19 contested), nine clearances, four inside 50s and three rebounds. Elliot Lamb was good again with 21 disposals, five inside 50s and five clearances, while Ben Dodd was impressive on debut with 16 disposals, two marks, four clearances and five inside 50s.

 

Gippsland Power 7.8 (50) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 10.10 (70)

Bendigo Pioneers have caused one of the upsets of the season, with the cellar dwellers toppling top four side Gippsland Power at Windy Hill. The Power looked good early, booting five of the first six goals of the game and looking in control. But the Pioneers fought back, booting seven of the next eight goals to storm to a 15-point lead in the final term, Josh Smith kicked truly to cut the deficit to nine points midway through the final term, but AFL Academy member Brodie Kemp put the game to bed with two goals in as many minutes to help Bendigo to a 20-point win.

Noah Wheeler was sensational for the winners, racking up 29 disposals, four marks, nine clearances, two rebounds and booting a goal, while Flynn Perez was impressive on the outside with 21 disposals, eight marks, eight inside 50s and three rebounds. Jeremy Rodi had 23 touches, three marks and two clearances, while Jackson Williams was solid with 19 disposals and five rebounds. Kemp returned to the side with good effect, racking up 17 disposals, five marks and four inside 50s as well as the two crucial goals, while Jacob Atley had 17 touches, two marks and four inside 50s.

For Gippsland, Tyrone Hayes had his best game of his TAC Cup career, with the overager racking up a team-high 28 disposals, six marks, two clearances, four inside 50s and six rebounds. Bailey Beck (24 disposals, six marks and three inside 50s) and Bailey Patterson (24 disposals, three marks and five inside 50s) were good in transition, while Boadie Motton (23 disposals, five marks, four clearances and four rebounds) was good in defence. Riley Baldi and Noah Gown were also strong around the ground.

 

Geelong Falcons 0.10 (10) defeated by Murray Bushrangers 15.17 (107)

Murray Bushrangers have defensively cut the Geelong Falcons to shreds during a 97-point demolition job at Avalon Airport Oval. The Bushrangers remarkably held the Falcons goalless in the game, with the home side booting 10 behinds to the Bushrangers’ 32 scoring shots, which included 15 goals. A six-goal second term was the most prolific for the visitors, but they also finished strongly, capping off the performance with a four-goal final term.

Ely Smith was huge for the Bushrangers in a clear best on ground performance. Smith collected 37 disposals (75 per cent efficiency), seven marks, seven clearances, four inside 50s and booted a goal, being one of the key midfielders on the ground. Down forward, Hudson Garoni was a man mountain once again, slotting six goals from 12 marks and a remarkable five contested grabs and 19 disposals. Jye Chalcraft (19 disposals and five clearances) and Dylan Clarke (25 disposals and five inside 50s), Jimmy Boyer (29 disposals and four marks) and Riley Bice (26 disposals and 10 marks) were others who stood out.

For Geelong, Brayden Ham was the best on a disappointing day for the Falcons. Ham collected 25 disposals, six marks, two inside 50s and seven rebounds. Baxter Mensch had another high-disposal game with 26 disposals, six marks, two inside 50s and four rebounds, while Finlay Parish took seven marks (three contested) from 15 disposals.

Weekend previews: TAC Cup – Round 10

AFTER a five-game round last week, the full set is back for Round 10 with all 12 teams taking part in the first of two Futures Rounds. In Futures Rounds, squads are extended to 24, and at least 11 bottom-age players must be in the side. This gives recruiters a chance to get a glimpse of the bottom-age talent coming through the ranks and get an idea about where players sit for 2019.

 

EASTERN RANGES v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

It would have been hard to believe a few rounds ago, but Eastern Ranges head into the home clash with Calder Cannons on a hot streak, having picked up two consecutive wins and looking strong. They play yet another game there and come up against a Calder Cannons side that took it right up to the Gippsland Power despite the Cannons missing the majority of their best 22. Calder’s two key forwards are in good form, with Jake Riccardi booting four goals in the final term last round to single-handedly ensure the Cannons snatched two points, while John Roumeliotis is building up some consistency after missing three years through knee injuries. Daniel Hanna is rock solid in defence, while Lucas Cavallaro had another consistent performance out of the back half last week and looks to be a danger man in this clash. For Eastern, the loss of Xavier Fry and James Blanck will hurt, but the midfield that got the job done against Bendigo Pioneers is still intact with Lachlan Stapleton, Joel Burleigh, Kye Quirk and Mitch Mellis forming a good quartet in the centre. Ben Cardamone has been consistent in defence. This is set to be a close contest.  

 

WESTERN JETS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

The Western Jets will be disappointed their winning streak was broken last week, with their depth tested against an impressive Geelong Falcons outfit. The Northern Knights on the other hand will be pleased they got over the line against GWV Rebels in tough conditions at MARS Stadium following a good final term. Oscar White and Justin McInerney both return to the visitors team in what will be a boost for the Knights in the clash, while a couple of potential father-son prospects are in for the Jets in Oskar Manton and Tyler Kolyniuk. Western’s strength is in its midfield, similar to Northern, and it will be a great contest to watch Connor Thar, Jack Watkins and Jaden Rice go head-to-head with McInerney, White and Ryan Sturgess among others in a deep midfield group. Aaron Clarke and Steven Kyriazis can cause headaches up forward for the Jets, while talented bottom-ager Josh D’Intinosante has been named at half-back after an impressive game on-ball last week. Patrik Della Rocca, Sunny Brazier and Harrison Grace provide three different elements to the Knights’ forward line, while Hamish Murphy and Darcy Cassar are others who have been important players for the home side this season.  

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

A mid-season clash between Oakleigh Chargers and Sandringham Dragons does not always bring about too many top-age talents given the National Championships and school football commitments, but there is plenty to like about both sides when they go head-to-head at Warrawee Park tomorrow. The Dragons will look to address a form slump due to the amount of upheaval to their side, losing four of the past five games. Meanwhile the Chargers have also slipped, albeit defeating the Murray Bushrangers a couple of weeks ago. A win to Oakleigh could see the Chargers back in the top four, while it could also mean the Dragons drop outside the top eight. On the other side of the coin, the Dragons could move to sixth, and sit just four points behind the Chargers in fifth, with a victory. In line with Futures Round, Oakleigh has gone in with a young, but talented side, with Matt Rowell headlining the bottom-agers after returning from Vic Metro duties. He, Trent Bianco and Bailey Wraith will be important inclusions, in a side that looks to have plenty of grunt, speed and class. After a big day out last week, Matt Day will be a loss up forward, while Sam Harte and Lachlan Bugeja have been consistent, however Atu Bosenavulagi is finding some good form, and Jack Ross is a crucial inclusion as well. For the Dragons, their side might look even stronger on paper, with the return of many players from school football. Key position players Fischer McAsey and Will Kennedy return to the fold to provide some quality height, while Kai Owens, Liam Stocker and Harry Houlahan will provide a good core midfield that will challenge the Chargers.  

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 1pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Dandenong has been the benchmark in the competition this season, and can move eight points clear on top with a victory here and an unlikely loss to Gippsland. For the Rebels, they can leapfrog Geelong into ninth and be just percentage away from Calder in eighth with a win. GWV will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing final term against Northern Knights last weekend. Stephen Cumming is an important inclusion into the team, allowing Bailey Schmidt to go forward more often for the Stingrays, while Finlay Bayne returns to the team due to a bye in school football. Jai Taylor also slots back into the team after representing Vic Country last week, and a midfield of Campbell Hustwaite, Jamie Plumridge and Lachlan McDonnell is always going to be challenging, while Reid Nanscawen was another who stepped up for the Stingrays in Round 9. For the Rebels, they lose Scott Carlin who has been a slick ball user off half-back, but regain Matty Lloyd in the same position, while retaining what on paper could be the most underrated forward line. With Josh Chatfield, Jed Hill, Izaac Grant and Charlie Wilson all rotating through there, the speed and goal sense is high, it will just be putting it all together for four quarters. The Stingrays will head in as strong favourites for the clash, but the Rebels could trouble them with their speed up forward.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 2pm
Windy Hill, Essendon

In an afternoon game, Gippsland Power hosts Bendigo Pioneers at Windy Hill in a venue about halfway between both locations. The Power will be disappointed they only took two points away from their clash against Calder Cannons at home, their second draw of the season at the venue. While the Pioneers notched up another defeat, this time to Eastern Ranges leaving them outright bottom of the table with nine straight losses. They will hope to turn it around with a good win here, but will have to do so without a series of important players. Zane Keighran, Liam Marciano, Josh Grace, Phill Moi Moi and Lucas Caccaviello have all been consistent players of late and will be sorely missed, but the return of AFL Academy member Brodie Kemp will be important for the Pioneers. Along with in-form ruck Daniel Keating and the Perez brothers – Oscar and Flynn – tearing it up on the wings, the Pioneers still have plenty of speed around the ground and capable of getting it inside 50. For the Power, they bring back live-wire Irving Mosquito who did not quite come up last week from a hamstring injury, but seems right to go now, and will be keen to play well in the hope of a Vic Country call-up in the final game against South Australia at GMHBA Stadium. The Power midfield is very strong with Brock Smith, Riley Baldi, Bailey Beck, Boadie Motton and Mosquito forming a really consistent base at the feet of Rylan Henkel. Austin Hodge can play forward or through the midfield, and Tyrone Hayes, Ryan Sparkes and Jake Van Der Pligt provide plenty of speed and rebound out of defence. Gippsland head in as very strong favourites, but they were last week, so they will be hoping to learn from the lessons and grab the four points here.

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 2.15pm
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

In the final game of the round, an understrength young Geelong Falcons side meets an almost full-strength Murray Bushrangers outfit in what will be a great challenge for the Falcons. Vic Country selection has not done the Falcons much favours, losing Dane Hollenkamp and Blake Schlensog in what will be exciting for Geelong to see them on the MCG, but more so for the opposition with key position forward and TAC Cup leading goal kicker Hudson Garoni, X-factor Zane Barzen, and talented bottom-ager Lachlan Ash, all returning to the Bushrangers side. Couple that with the fact a virtually untouched midfield of Ely Smith, Dylan Clarke and Kyle Clarke has been performing, and Geelong will need to be at its best to topple the Bushrangers. For Geelong, Brayden Ham continues to put his hand up to recruiters with another four goals last week, named at half-back this week. Baxter Mensch has not slowed down pulling in big numbers and clearances week-in, week-out, while acting captain Cooper Cartledge will be tasked with leading a young defence – while potentially given the job on the in-form Garoni. The match is likely to see what the bottom-agers can do for the Falcons, while the Bushrangers will be supremely confident they can take the four points in this clash.

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 9

MURRAY Bushrangers have bounced back into the top four and now sit just two points behind second after favourable results. The Bushrangers defeated the Bendigo Pioneers, while losses to the Oakleigh Chargers and Western Jets ensured the Bushrangers stay outside the top four was just a short one. Meanwhile Calder Cannons and Gippsland Power played out a draw, and the Northern Knights came from behind to defeat GWV Rebels away.

Western Jets vs. Geelong Falcons

By: Brandon Hutchinson

In poor conditions at Avalon Airport Oval, the Falcons and Jets were locked in a tight contest ending in a low a low scoring affair. By the end of the first, Falcons led by a goal, and by halftime that dropped to just a point. The game was scrappy and accuracy was less than subpar, but by the third the Falcons took control taking a 10-point lead and holding it until the end of the game.

Brayden Ham (18 disposals and six inside 50s) was pivotal in the Falcons win, having kicked four goals for the game. Cooper Cartledge stepped up to captain his side and dominated in the final quarter, taking plenty of intercept marks and finishing the game with 18 disposals, seven marks and five rebounds. Titit Nyak (15 disposals, three marks, three inside 50s and three rebounds) Baxter Mensch (34 disposals, seven marks, five clearances and seven inside 50s and one goal) Sheldon Ham (11 disposals and three inside 50s) also impressed with great composure and ball sense.

Hamish Murphy played strong out of the backline, keeping centred and in control of the ball. Darcy Cassar and Lucas Rocci fought hard through the Jets’ midfield to earn the contested ball and Steven Kyriazis played supreme overhead. The boys fought hard but were unfortunate in their fight back during the second half.

 

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Oakleigh Chargers

By: Liam Connop

On a breezy day at Shepley Oval, top-side Dandenong were too strong for a gallant Oakleigh. The Stingrays were noticeably taller than their opposition over the ground, which would be influential as the game went on. Though the game was tight early, Dandenong broke the shackles in the second term, piling on five goals to one to lead by 42 points at half-time. Despite this, the Chargers fought hard until the final siren, eventually succumbing to a 55-point loss and losing a place in the top four.

Campbell Hustwaite (22 possessions, 11 tackles) was great in-and-under all day in the midfield for the Stingrays, while Reid Nanscawen (26 touches, six marks and five tackles) had an outstanding game in the midfield. Effective ball-use was provided off half-back by Will Hamill (16 possessions, three marks) and Hayden Young (12 possessions, three marks) to help set-up many attacking plays for the Stingrays.

For the Chargers, Jake Gasper (13 possessions, four tackles, two goals) presented to the midfielders all day while teammates Xavier O’Neill (22 possessions) and Fraser Elliott (21 possessions) were prominent in the midfield. Daniel Scala (13 possessions, seven tackles) also tried hard all day, competing well to win the footy.

 

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Murray Bushrangers

By: Peter Williams

Murray Bushrangers have bounced back from a rare loss to Oakleigh Chargers last week, to record a 40-point win over Bendigo Pioneers at Queen Elizabeth Oval on Sunday. Murray booted the only two goals of the first quarter, and led by 20 points at the main break. Much like the first term, Murray came out firing in the third quarter, booting the only three goals of the term to stretch their lead to 39 points at the final break. A spirited Pioneers outfit only lost the final quarter by a point, but still suffered their eighth consecutive loss.

Jimmy Boyer and Ely Smith were busy for the Bushrangers, racking up 28 disposals each. Boyer took seven marks and laid five tackles, while Smith was instrumental on the inside with nine clearances and nine tackles. Kyle Clarke had a massive 24 kicks from his 25 disposals, also notching up five marks, six clearances, four rebounds and eight tackles. Up forward Jordon Butts was the main man in Hudson Garoni‘s absence, slotting six goals, while Bailey Frauenfelder had plenty of chances with five scoring shots from 19 disposals, but finished the game with 1.4. Bottom-ager Jye Chalcraft was one of the best on the ground, with his agility and forward prowess resulting in him collecting 24 disposals, four marks, four tackles and booting a goal.

Liam Marciano was once again impressive for the Pioneers, racking up 25 disposals, seven marks, four clearances, three inside 50s and seven rebounds. Jacob Atley was equally as busy with 25 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and two rebounds. The Perez brothers continued their good form from the week before with Oscar booting two goals from 21 disposals and six marks, while Flynn racked up 20 disposals, three marks, three tackles and four inside 50s. Zane Keighran got on the scoreboard with two majors, while Noah Wheeler had an equal team-high four clearances to go with his 18 disposals.

 

Gippsland Power vs. Calder Cannons

By: Peter Williams

Jake Riccardi-inspired Calder Cannons outfit has stunned an in-form Gippsland Power at Morwell on Sunday. The Power went into the game as strong favourites, having brought back a number of talented players into the line-up, although they were still missing some stars due to Vic Country. The Cannons were well and truly picked apart thanks to the high level of Vic Metro representation, meaning their next tier of players had to stand up, and they certainly did that. When Gippsland held a 16-point lead at half-time, things looked good for the home side, but the determined Cannons fired plenty of shots in the second half, to hit the front at the final break by a single kick. Gippsland refused to give in and threw everything at the Cannons, but it was the over-ager Riccardi who single-handedly dominated the scoreboard, booting four goals in the final term, including the last goal of the game, to tie the scores and split the points. It was Gippsland’s second draw of the season after splitting the points with Northern Knights earlier in the year at the same venue.

Riccardi was the star of the show, booting 5.2 for the game off 10 disposals (eight kicks) making the most of his opportunities, while also taking six marks and laying two tackles. Sam Graham topped the disposal count for Calder with 20 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s and four rebounds, while also laying nine tackles. Ismail Moussa had 19 disposals and five rebounds, while Lucas Cavallaro was a rock in defence, notching up a game-high eight rebounds – three more than any other player. Sam Ramsay (19 disposals and four marks) and Daniel Hanna (18 disposals and six marks) were also among the high possession winners.

For Gippsland, Riley Baldi had a good day out with 29 disposals, nine tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s, while overager Austin Hodge was consistent again with 24 disposals, five marks, four tackles and four inside 50s, while also nailing two goals. Bottom-ager Brock Smith had 19 disposals, six clearances and booted two goals in his return to the team from Vic Country, while Josh Smith booted three goals from 14 disposals, while sharing the ruck load with 10 hitouts. Jake Van Der Pligt had another promising game in defence with a team-high five rebounds from 19 disposals and seven marks. Bailey Beck (20 disposals, five inside 50s and three rebounds) and Rylan Henkel (26 hitouts) were others that impressed.

 

GWV Rebels vs. Northern Knights

By: Cameron Ross

Ugly conditions made it difficult, but the Northern Knights overpowered the GWV Rebels for a big win at MARS Stadium in Ballarat on Sunday. It was a game of inches with both teams having their opportunities to claim the four points and with the south-westerly breeze favouring the Midland Highway end, they needed to take their chances kicking to this end if they were to win. Both teams struggled in the first quarter but seemed to settle as the game progressed.

From early in the first quarter, Izaac Grant looked superb. The Rebels forward kicked his sides only two goals in the first term, the second being a delightful piece of play. The Knights kicked a very important goal against the run of play and into the wind in the last five minutes of the quarter, signalling their intent to win.

Both teams started to adjust to the conditions in the second quarter, and the Rebels began to clean up their disposal, and use their running players and when Grant kicked his third at the fourth minute mark, it looked as though it was going to be a good day for his side. However, this kicked the Knights into gear, and after Patrik Della Rocca responded moments later, the Knights all of a sudden were all over the Rebels. But the Knights struggled to capitalise on this momentum, kicking their set shots poorly, and not allowing for the wind anywhere near enough. The Knights missed three or four crucial goals, holding an eight-point lead at half-time.

The third term was the Grant show. He was outstanding kicking another three goals, bringing his overall tally to six up until three quarter time. The final quarter was tense and tight, but with the Rebels holding a slender lead for the majority. However, once again, the Rebels began to falter in the last 10 minutes of the final quarter, and you could see the Knights players running over the top of them. The Knights were first to the footy, and pressuring the Rebels players into uncharacteristic mistakes. However, the Rebels did have a chance to win it. In the final two minutes of the game, the Rebels owned the ball inside their forward 50. Despite it being chaotic, Charlie Wilson attempted a quick kick out of the pack which dribbled into the point post. This was as close as the Rebels got, as the resulting throw in was cleared as the Knights clung on for the victory.

Unfortunately for the Rebels, this game was like so many others for them this year. They have had so many opportunities to win games, and have not been able to get the job done. Instead of being 2-6-1, the Rebels could easily be 5-4, as the Bendigo, Oakleigh and now the Knights games were there to be won. The Knights deserved this win however. Della Rocca was impressive up forward, Josh D’Intosante was superb in the middle and the Knights engine room was outstanding and outworked the Rebels all day. Knights key defender Stefan Uzelac was their best player on the day. He stood up in big moments, and intercepted numerous inside 50 attempts. Grant was the best player for the Rebels, kicking seven goals in a losing side. Many of his goals came from 15-20 out, but this did not mean they weren’t deserved. He worked hard to get himself in the right positions and earned his big bag.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Eastern Ranges

By: Peter Williams

Sandringham Dragons have made it two wins on the trot, defeating Eastern Ranges in a scrappy affair at Trevor Barker Beach Oval, claiming a 22-point win. The Dragons held their opponents scoreless in the opening term and a wasteful second quarter saw Eastern boot one goal from eight scoring shots as the home side lead by seven points at the main break. A four goals to zero third quarter blew the low-scoring game open to hand the Dragons a 31-point lead, before Eastern used the breeze to boot three majors in the final term and draw within 14, before a Dawit McNeish goal in the dying moments pushed it out to 22 by the final siren.

Liam Stocker was best on ground for the second consecutive week, notching up 30 disposals, five marks, four tackles, 10 clearances, six inside 50s and two rebounds, while Jackson Voss – son of Brett – had another promising effort between midfield and defence with 24 disposals, five marks, five clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds. Will Kennedy also backed up his form with 23 disposals, six marks and three rebounds playing in defence, while Harry Houlahan and Alastair Richards both had 20 touches and assisted through the midfield with a combined six clearances.

For Eastern, Kye Quirk racked up 30 disposals, two marks, five clearances, three inside 50s, three rebounds and laid eight tackles, while Joel Burleigh was also strong defensively with nine tackles from 29 disposals, three marks and five inside 50s. Mitch Mellis (26 disposals, three marks, five tackles and two clearances), Adrian Kalcovski (24 disposals, three marks, four tackles and two inside 50s) and Xavier Fry (21 disposals, two marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and two rebounds) were other prominent ball winners.

Weekend Wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 8

IT was a weekend of upsets, with two of the bottom three sides claiming victory, and the other levelling the scores in the dying minutes only to lose the lead again with a match-winning goal. Oakleigh Chargers grabbed a top four spot with victory against Murray Bushrangers on Saturday in the standalone day.

Northern Knights 7.7 (49) defeated by Eastern Ranges 10.8 (68)

By: Michael Alvaro

In perfect conditions at Preston City Oval, the Knights and Ranges could only manage three first half goals between them in what was an end-to-end contest. The travelling side broke the game open in the third quarter with five goals to two, as well as the opening two goals of the final term to set up an unassailable lead. The Knights fought to trim the margin back late, with forward Sunny Brazier booting two of the last three goals to have the final deficit sit at 19 points. 

Eastern were on top in the midfield battle thanks largely to midfielder Kye Quirk, who collected 39 disposals, 11 clearances, nine tackles and three marks. He was aided well by Adrian Kalcovski (24 disposals, six tackles) and skipper Joel Burleigh (18 disposals, 14 tackles), while their forward line clicked with three multiple goal kickers.

Stefan Uzelac (17 disposals, five marks, three tackles) stood up under pressure in defence for the Knights, setting them up well with 88% disposal efficiency to be named their best. Patrik Della Rocca provided a big body in the midfield, collecting 20 disposals, five marks, four tackles and a goal alongside bottom ager Josh D’Intinosante, who also had it 20 times to go with six marks and eight tackles. Brazier (13 disposals, six tackles, four marks, three goals) was their only real bright spot up forward, popping up in the right place when given the opportunity. 

The Ranges now climb off equal-last on the ladder with their second win for the year, while the Knights hold on to seventh place for another round.

Calder Cannons 7.19 (61) defeated by GWV Rebels 10.11 (71)

By: Liam Connop

In perfect footy conditions at RAMS Arena, the Cannons’ inaccuracy in front of goal cost them a golden opportunity to win the their fourth game of the season. Kicking with the breeze in the opening term, Calder dominated proceedings but could not put it on the scoreboard, kicking 2.8 (20) to quarter-time. This would come back to haunt them, as the Rebels kicked five goals to one in the second quarter to take the ascendency at half-time. The second half was an arm wrestle, with a couple of late goals giving the Rebels a 10-point win and their second win of the season.

Thomas Berry (16 possessions, six marks) was the X-factor in the game, showing off his pace and taking a mark that Warwick Capper would have been proud of. Elliott Lamb (24 possessions, eight marks) had an excellent game in the midfield, rarely wasting a possession. In what was an even performance from the Rebels, Matty Lloyd (23 possessions, seven marks) had a strong game in the midfield and across half-back, while Charlie Wilson and Mitchell Martin (three goals each) did the damage up forward.

For the Cannons, ball-magnet Mitchell Podhajski (30 possessions, 12 tackles, two goals) continued his outstanding season, while Curtis Taylor (29 possessions, 10 marks) backed up his best-on-ground performance last week, despite being wasteful in front of goals, booting five behinds. Lachlan Sholl (32 possessions, 18 handball receives) was also very impressive rebounding off half-back.

Western Jets 9.11 (65) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 8.10 (58)

Western Jets played their get out of jail card in the dying moments of their narrow win against Bendigo Pioneers. It was a close game throughout, until the Jets looked like they had broken free in the third term with three consecutive goals to open up a healthy 22-point margin. Bendigo refused to give in, booting the last two goals of the quarter to draw within eight points at the final break. When Hamish Murphy ran into an open goal in the final term it looked beyond the Pioneers, before Phill Moi Moi and Zane Keighran slammed home goals to tie the game with less than three minutes remaining. The Jets managed to get it forward and Malwal Maguang received a free kick, converting from a tight angle which ended up being the winning goal.

For the Jets, Buku Khamis (22 disposals, nine marks and four rebounds) was superb off half-back, controlling the airways and rebounding anything that came his way. Darcy Cassar was busy through midfield, linking up to a high half-forward, with a game-high 25 disposals and six inside 50s. Connor Thar (24 disposals, four clearances), Jack Watkins (22 disposals, 11 tackles) and Jaden Rice (21 disposals, seven clearances) were also among the key on-ballers, while Zak Butters (21 disposals, six marks) and Stefan Radovanovic (20 disposals, seven marks, six rebounds, four inside 50s and a goal) were instrumental from defence through to attack.

For the Pioneers, Keighran had 19 disposals, four marks and kicked that crucial goal, while Noah Wheeler was enormous in the middle with eight clearances and nine inside 50s to go with his 24 disposals – a key reason the Pioneers turned the momentum in the third quarter. Hunter Lawrence was busy with 23 disposals and six inside 50s, while Liam Marciano (22 disposals, seven rebounds) and Daniel Keating (14 disposals, seven marks, 19 hitouts and three rebounds) were top players once again.

Dandenong Stingrays 15.15 (105) defeated Sandringham Dragons 4.4 (28)

By: Ed Pascoe

Despite missing nine players from the Vic Country squad, top of the ladder Dandenong easily defeated a young Sandringham Dragons team. Dandenong played a great team defence with their defenders setting up well behind the ball and their forwards putting on good pressure to cause many mistakes for the inexperienced Sandringham defenders. Sandringham did not lack in effort, they where just beaten by a red hot team looking to impress on their home turf.

Ruckman Riley Bowman was a standout with two goals (15 disposals, five marks), moving well around the ground and often following up his ruck work to providing a good target when forward. Matthew Gahan had a field day in defence with his intercept marking and drive (19 disposals, seven marks) and young leaders Campbell Hustwaite (24 disposals) and Jamie Plumridge (23 disposals) controlled the midfield, Hustwaite was busy at stoppages while Plumridge owned the Wing with both players looking both strong and composed around the ball.

It was not all doom and gloom for Sandringham with young key defender Corey Watts (15 disposals, nine marks) a standout in defence with some good contested and intercept marks, while his long kicking was also an asset. Darcy Chirgwin (21 disposals, six tackles) showed class on the wing and was willing to work hard deep in defence, even managing a goal. Jeremy Goddard (14 disposals, 11 tackles) competed hard in the midfield – despite his small frame, he wasn’t afraid to go in and have a crack against the bigger Dandenong bodies.

Gippsland Power 10.5 (65) defeated Geelong Falcons 3.13 (31)

By: Ed Pascoe

As they say, ‘bad kicking is bad football’ and that rang true for Geelong who struggled to turn opportunities into goals, scoring 11 behinds before Samuel Torpy kicked a classy goal from the boundary late in the 3rd quarter. With the scorecard reading 3.13 Geelong will be ruing what could have been. Credit has to go to Gippsland however since they took their opportunities and their entries inside 50 made the difference. Gippsland still looked the better team on the day and deserved the win.

Gippsland had an even spread of contributors – Bailey Beck was influential on the wing using the ball well, taking some fantastic marks under pressure (seven marks, two contested) he also finished with 20 disposals and a goal in a classy display. The backline was well controlled with the likes of Tye Hourigan (15 disposals), Ryan Sparkes (24 disposals) and Bailey Patterson (19 disposals) all providing run and drive from the backline with the ball coming out of the defensive 50 very quickly. The midfield had a good mix with the grunt coming from overager Austin Hodge (18 disposals) and the class coming from fellow overager Tyrone Hayes (18 disposals).

Vic Country representative Blake Schlensog was the standout tall player on the ground competing hard and following up his ruck work (21 disposals) while also helping out the defence staying strong taking some quality intercept marks to finish with eight overall. Geelong’s other Vic Country representative and bottom ager Cooper Stephens was the standout midfielder for the day winning the contested ball at stoppages and also working hard to get on the outside. He had the ball on a string in the first three minutes to finish with 20 disposals. Sam Torpy kicked Geelong’s first goal late in the third quarter and finished the game with two of his team’s three goals, working hard to also collect 17 disposals.

Murray Bushrangers 7.10 (52) defeated by Oakleigh Chargers 17.10 (112)

A blistering first quarter set up Oakleigh’s huge 10-goal win over Murray Bushrangers in the standalone game on Saturday. The Chargers booted seven goals to two in a massive opening quarter, then maintained the rage with a 38-point lead at half-time courtesy of a four goals to three second term. After a low-scoring third quarter which saw the home side boot the only goal of the quarter, Oakleigh stormed home with six of the last seven goals to run away with the massive 60-point win and jump into the top four.

Matthew Day was a star with seven goals from 19 disposals and six marks, acting as the key forward in the absence of a number of players due to Vic Metro duties. Despite both sides missing a huge chunk of their top-end talent, a number of bottom-agers stood out. Trent Bianco racked up 19 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s, two rebounds and two clearances, while Dylan Williams had four inside 50s from nine disposals. Jack Ross was a standout in midfield with 19 disposals, five marks, six clearances, six inside 50s and four tackles, while Lucas Westwood had six rebounds from 17 disposals.

For the Bushrangers, Ely Smith was the highest disposal winner with 21 touches, three clearances, three inside 50s and six tackles, while Kyle Clarke had four clearances from his 18 disposals. Potential Brisbane father-son prospect Jake Bradshaw was busy with 18 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s and three rebounds. The classy Mathew Walker booted two important goals from his 15 touches, nine marks, seven tackles and five inside 50s to be a clear standout of the losing side. Mark Marriott and Ben Kelly were strong in the ruck, notching up 21 and 20 hitouts respectively.

Weekend previews: TAC Cup – Round 8

THERE are just the five games this weekend, with many TAC Cup clubs opting to rest players who had played all or most of the games so far this season to ensure they are fit for the National Championships which start next weekend.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. EASTERN RANGES

Round 8 – Saturday, June 2, 11:15am Preston City Oval, Preston

Northern will miss their captain and clearance expert Braedyn Gillard for the weekend’s game, with the inside midfielder having notched up 21 more clearances than the next highest Knight. In his place, the likes of Brody Bell and Harrison Grace will lead the midfield, with Bell likely to provide the inside presence, while Grace (66 per cent by foot) will provide the outside class the Knights need to get the job done. Eastern are solid on the inside, with Joel Burleigh, Adrian Kalcovski and Lachlan Stapleton providing a hard edge to the midfield, while their defence holds up well under pressure. The big question mark for Eastern is whether they can put enough scoreboard pressure on the Knights, and Jamieson Rossiter might be the one they look to after a six-goal haul in Eastern’s first win of the year against Bendigo in Round 7. Northern’s defensive duo of Ryan Gardner and Lachlan Potter provide plenty of pace out of defence, while Ben Cardamone and Kye Quirk will provide similar support up the other end with the latter rotating through the midfield.

WESTERN JETS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 8 – Saturday, June 2, 2.15pm Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

In the second game, two teams with vastly different form-lines face off in Williamstown. The Jets have won their past three games and sit inside the top four, while the Pioneers are still searching for their second win of the season since running over the top of the GWV Rebels in Round 1. Xavier O’Halloran will be a loss for the Jets after a really consistent first couple of months, but Western have a deep midfield that will trouble most teams. Of the top six clearance winners, Western has five, with Jaden Rice, Connor Thar and Zak Butters leading the way, while Noah Wheeler is the top extractor for the Pioneers. It gives the Jets a big advantage in the middle, and will give their forwards first opportunity. Bailey Henderson will be a big loss for the Pioneers, and the likes of James Schischka, Zane Keighran, Liam Marciano, Daniel Keating and Hunter Lawrence will be the ones the young side looks to, as will Jacob Atley who returns to the side this weekend. Stefan Radovanovic returns for the Jets and will likely spend most of his time in the midfield, but he provides speed and strength off half-back if required.

CALDER CANNONS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 8 – Saturday, June 2, 2.15pm RAMS Arena, Cragieburn

Two sides fairly close to full-strength do battle at RAMS Arena tomorrow afternoon, with the Cannons hosting the Rebels. Co-captain Jack Bytel returns from injury, while Curtis Taylor is coming off a best on ground performance in Round 7. While Rhylee West is still playing school football, the Cannons will back in their side with its versatile midfield who can play forward or back. Bytel and Lochie Dawson are their respective sides’ biggest ball winners this season on pure numbers while Scott Carlin and Lachlan Sholl are the strong users off half-back. Jack Evans has played as a defender most of his Cannons days, but was up the ground in the last match and trialled forward with success for Vic Metro and has been named there this weekend. He could have an entertaining battle with Carlin or Matty Lloyd who the latter will be looking to back up for his second Rebels game this season. Mitch Podhajski is that bigger body in the midfield which gives the Cannons an advantage and the game might come down to whether or not Calder can execute with the opportunities its forwards will receive, because the bigger midfield will likely take control in this contest.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 8 – Sunday, June 3, 10.45am Shepley Oval, Dandenong

On Sunday, both Dandenong and Sandringham will look to their depth to get the four points with ladder position meaning little considering the amount of players not on the park this weekend. Many of the Stingrays are resting ahead of the National Championships, while the Dragons are either resting or playing school football. Hayden Young will be a welcome return for the home side, with the bottom-ager one of the brightest prospects for next year. Twin towers Matthew and Stephen Cumming are back in the line-up to counter the loss of talls Bailey Williams and Bailey Schmidt. For the Dragons, the Melbourne Grammar boys are back in the line-up, and they will be hoping to continue their winning ways from last week. Kai Owens was important in leading the midfield, and he will go up against the likes of Jamie Plumridge and Campbell Hustwaite on the ball. Harry Bede and James Rendell are handy talls for the Dragons and in good form, so the Stingrays will need to keep them under wraps if they are to win. For the Dragons, Dawit McNeish, Darcy Chirgwin and Ryan Byrnes are others in that midfield brigade who will need to get their hands on the football to stop Dandenong’s run and carry.

GIPPSLAND POWER v. GEELONG FALCONS

Round 8 – Sunday, June 3, 1.15pm Shepley Oval, Dandenong

In the final game of the round, two sides with wholesale changes face off at Shepley Oval. Both the Power and Falcons have rested the majority of their Vic Country players in a bid to keep them fresh for next weekend. It gives their next tier of players a chance to stand up and become a game winner with talls Rylan Henkel and Noah Gown important as targets around the ground, while Riley Baldi, Bailey Beck and Austin Hodge will look to win the midfield battle and get forward to kick goals. Geelong will be without its starting trio of Sam Walsh, Ned McHenry and Oscar Brownless, which means the likes of Baxter Mensch, bottom-ager Cooper Stephens and over-ager Ethan Floyd will carry the load through the centre. Brayden Ham is an important inclusion for the side, while Cooper Cartledge and Blake Schlensog will be targets at opposite ends of the ground. For the Power, Tyrone Hayes adds that speed through the midfield, while Ryan Sparkes and Jake Van Der Pligt are players who provide run out of the back half.

Team of the Week: TAC Cup – Round 7

THREE wins on the trot and flying high, the Western Jets are the big winners in this week’s AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Team of the Week for Round 7. The Jets and the Gippsland Power are the only sides with three nominees, as the best 22 is split evenly across the competition. Every other winning side, as well as Calder Cannons and Murray Bushrangers have two nominees, while the Bendigo Pioneers, Geelong Falcons, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Oakleigh Chargers have a sole nominee in the team.

It is undoubtedly the tallest Team of the Week so far, and one we would probably not take into a wet weather game, but such was the results on the weekend with a number of key position players earning their spots with impressive performances. Up forward, the front six have combined for a massive 30 goals to show some serious firepower, with just the one genuine crumbing player, as well as a mix of key position and lead-up players.

The Jets’ three nominees are defender Buku Khamis – who was best on ground in the Jets’ win over Oakleigh Chargers – as well as midfielders Xavier O’Halloran and Zak Butters. O’Halloran has been a regular in the Team of the Week this season, with fellow captain Xavier Duursma another who has had his fair share of nominations. The Gippsland leaders makes the team on the wing, along with Sam Flanders who booted another four goals on the weekend, and Kyle Reid who was monumental in defence. In the centre, Braedyn Gillard slots in once again, joined by teammate Adam Carafa for the first time. The other midfield spot is taken by overager Kai Owens who stood up in Sandringham’s victory over Geelong Falcons on Sunday. Owens is joined in the Team of the Week by forward Harry Bede who also booted four goals.

The three-pronged tall attack of Murray Bushrangers’ Hudson Garoni, Dandenong Stingrays’ Corey Ellison and Eastern Ranges’ Jamieson Rossiter piled on a massive 19 goals between them and were walk-up starts in this week’s team. They are not the only talls from their teams with Bailey Williams (Dandenong) and Jordon Butts (Murray) making the side, while Ben Cardamone‘s work from defence earned him another place in the back pocket after a good start in the opening few rounds. Alongside him at centre half-back is Calder Cannons switchman Daniel Hanna, who is one of two Cannons in the team – Curtis Taylor makes the side as well.

Up forward, GWV half-forward Charlie Wilson – who finished with three majors in the Rebels’ loss to Gippsland Power – also made the team once again. The final spots in the team were taken up by the three sole members for their respective teams, half-back Trent Bianco (Oakleigh Chargers), full-back Dane Hollenkamp (Geelong Falcons) and ruck Daniel Keating (Bendigo Pioneers). Others considered for the team but just missed out due to the strength in their relative positions were Eastern’s Mitch Mellis, Murray’s Ben Kelly, GWV’s Matt Schnerring, Gippsland’s Bailey Beck and Geelong’s Oscar Brownless.

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 7

IT was a weekend of big goal hauls and impressive close wins, as Dandenong Stingrays moved to outright top spot, and the Western Jets leapt into the top four.

Calder Cannons vs. Northern Knights

Northern Knights continued their good form of late with a strong 21-point away victory over Calder Cannons at RAMS Arena. The Knights burst out of the blocks to kick the only four goals of the first term, before Calder booted the next three to head into the half-time break with just nine points separating the sides. The second half was an even battle, but it was Northern who came away for the better with four goals to two to win and remain inside the top eight.

Braedyn Gillard was strong in the midfield once again with 24 disposals, six marks, four clearances and two goals, while Adam Carafa was strong defensively, laying seven tackles from his 19 disposals and also booting a goal. Others who stood out for the Knights were Sunny Brazier who was a little wayward in front of goal with three behinds, but still collected 23 disposals, four marks and five clearances moving well up the ground, as well as Kye Yodgee (23 disposals, seven clearances) and Lachlan Potter (19 disposals, six rebounds).

For the Cannons, Daniel Hanna showed off his versatility with 22 disposals, nine marks, two rebounds and a goal playing off centre half-back, while Curtis Taylor was named Calder’s best with 19 disposals, three marks, seven clearances and two goals playing an important role through the midfield and up forward. Tye Browning (19 disposals, four marks and four inside 50s) and Mitch Podhajski (18 disposals, nine tackles and a goal) were again among Calder’s top players on the day.

 

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Murray Bushrangers

By: Brandon Hutchinson

The second game in the Triple header, the Stingrays took home the win despite an intense fight back from the Bushrangers. At the main break the Stingrays had 17 scoring shots compared to 5 for the Bushrangers. It was the Stingray’s poor accuracy and their opponent’s perfect scoring efficiency that held the margin at a reasonable 22 points. By the final term, the Bushrangers had kicked 14.3 (87) compared to the Stingray’s 16.13 (109), chalking their win up to greater success in the midfield allowing for more opportunities.

Bailey Williams’ forward presence and pressure, coupled with his work in the ruck and midfield, should highlight the dominance of the Stingrays in both of these areas. Corey Ellison picked up six goals and Jamie Plumridge and Matthew Cottrell (six clearances) dominated the midfield with a fierce attack on the ball.

It was the Bushrangers scoring efficiency that kept them trailing close, and it was the individual work from Hudson Garoni, kicking seven goals, which assisted in this becoming a reality. The ball movement from Laitham Vandermeer broke lines and disrupted the Stingrays’ defence, and the classy work from Kyle Clarke, Nicholas Murray, James Boyer and Jacob Koschitzke contributed immensely to their fight back following the main break.

 

GWV Rebels vs. Gippsland Power

By: Brandon Hutchinson

The final game in RAMS Arena triple header saw the Power coming out 26 points on top over the Rebels. From what was a scrappy affair, much of the game was played in the midfield with either side struggling to break off into transition. The first term concluded with a 4-point margin on the back of too many missed opportunities from Gippsland.  From a goal difference at the main break to 13 points at the third, the Power kept a firm grip on their lead, dominating the game through backline transition.

Despite the Rebel’s efforts, the game was clearly on the Power’s terms from the beginning. The work put in by Kyle Reid (24 disposals, nine marks, seven rebounds) kept scoring off the cards for his opposition. The sleek midfield plays from bottom-agers, Bailey Beck (19 disposals, eight marks) and Boadie Motton (16 disposals, three inside 50s), along with Xavier Duursma (21 disposals, five marks, 12 tackles and two goals) were pivotal in transition. Down forward Sam Flanders and Austin Hodge bagged five goals between them and assisted plenty in converting for others.

For the Rebels, Jed Hill (12 disposals and five inside 50s) provided great link up and pressure on the congested wing, along with Lochie Dawson (31 disposals, four marks, seven tackles and six clearances) who cleaned up plenty of the mess, while Matt Schnerring (23 disposals, four marks and six clearances)and Charlie Wilson (15 disposals, three marks and three goals) put forward good cases fo clubs to keep an eye on them this year.

 

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Western Jets

The first game on Sunday saw Western Jets jump into the top four with a strong victory over Oakleigh Chargers at Warrawee Park. The Jets got away early with an inaccurate 3.6 to 1.0 first term before the home side reeled them in with a four goals to three term of their own. Leading by just 10 points at the main break, Western put the result to bed with a five goals to two third quarter and eventually ran out 19-point winners to move into fourth on the table.

Buku Khamis was a sponge off half-back, rebounding everything that came his way with 22 disposals and 12 marks in a best on ground performance. Zak Butters (24 disposals, five clearances, seven inside 50s and five tackles) and captain Xavier O’Halloran (20 disposals, six marks, five tackles, six clearances and seven inside 50s) were once again great through midfield, while Emerson Jeka, Josh Honey and Aaron Clarke got on the scoresheet with two goals each.

Oakleigh had a number of prominent ball winners with Trent Bianco and Noah Answeth again notching up 26 disposals and three clearances each, while Bianco also had seven rebounds and booted two goals. Xavier O’Neill and Riley Collier-Dawkins were again busy through the midfield, while Isaac Quaynor had 13 disposals and six rebounds. 

 

Eastern Ranges vs. Bendigo Pioneers

The previously winless Eastern Ranges finally got to celebrate with a round seven victory over the Bendigo Pioneers at Box Hill yesterday. After an even first term, the Ranges blew the game open with a six goals to two second quarter to lead by 25 points at the main break. Another even quarter saw the game still in the balance at three quarter time before a four goals to two final term resulted in the Ranges running away with the game by 39 points.

Jamieson Rossiter booted six goals from 14 disposals and seven marks to be the dominant key forward on the ground, while Kye Quirk (28 disposals, five clearances, four inside 50s and four rebounds) was prominent all over the field. Mitch Mellis was classy on the outside with 22 touches, four clearances and five tackles, while Ben Cardamone (19 disposals, seven rebounds) and Joel Burleigh (18 disposals, 15 clearances) were also impressive in the win.

For the losers, Daniel Keating continued his strong form in the ruck with 22 hitouts from 10 disposals, four marks and four inside 50s, while Zane Keighran (16 diposals, two goals) was prominent in the midfield. Hunter Lawrence also got on the scoresheet with two goals, while Noah Wheeler laid a team-high nine tackles.

 

Sandringham Dragons vs. Geelong Falcons

The Sandringham Dragons managed to snap their three-game losing streak with a three-goal win over Geelong Falcons at Trevor Barker Beach Oval yesterday. The Dragons found themselves down at quarter time, trailing the Falcons by 23 points, before booting eight of the next 10 goals to run out 18-point victors in what would have been a relief for the players in front of a home crowd after a few tough weeks.

Kai Owens led the way for the Dragons, notching up 27 disposals, nine clearances and nine inside 50s, marking a successful return to the team this week. Harry Bede booted four goals up forward to continue his good form, while Nicholas Stamatis (22 disposals, four marks, five tackles, three inside 50s and four rebounds) and Thomas Deane-Jones (23 disposals, six clearances and six inside 50s) were also impressive. St Kilda father-son prospect Tyson Milne laid a team-high 10 tackles on debut, just ahead of Ryan Byrnes (nine).

For the Falcons, Baxter Mensch had the ball on a string once again with 32 disposals, eight clearances, six tackles and four inside 50s, while Sam Torpy had his best game of the season with 25 disposals, three marks, three tackles, three rebounds and a goal. Captain Oscar Brownless stood up in the absence of co-captain Sam Walsh‘s absence, notching up 20 disposals, six clearances and laying a game-high 12 tackles, while Blake Schlensog was the only multiple goal kicker with two majors.

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 6

IT was a good week for the Country teams as every Metro side met a Country counterpart, with a 3-2 advantage in favour of the latter. Western Jets and Calder Cannons got the job done over Geelong Falcons and Bendigo Pioneers respectively, but Murray Bushrangers, Dandenong Stingrays and Gippsland Power all had good wins, as Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels split the points with Oakleigh Chargers.

 

Western Jets 9.13 (67) defeated Geelong Falcons 7.1 (43)

The Western Jets made it back-to-back wins with a solid four-goal victory over an accurate Geelong Falcons on the weekend. After succumbing to a disappointing 126-point humiliation at the hands of Dandenong Stingrays, the Jets have strung together two good victories and are back on track showing their depth and talent. The wind-affected Williamstown Football Ground resulted in 13 of the game’s 16 goals kicked up one end, Darcy Cassar (three goals) and Aaron Clarke (two) the main beneficiaries on the day.

Zak Butters notched up 28 disposals, seven marks, seven inside 50s and three tackles, while Connor Thar was also impressive with 24 disposals, five tackles, four clearances, four inside 50s and a goal. Stefan Radovanovic provided great run through the middle with 23 disposals, six clearances, five inside 50s and two rebounds, while Xavier O’Halloran put in another captain’s performance with a team-high seven clearances to go with his 18 disposals, five inside 50s and three rebounds.

For Geelong, Sam Walsh topped the disposal winners with 33 touches, three marks and seven tackles, while Ed McHenry was a tackling machine, laying 11 tackles and gathering 22 disposals, five clearances and seven rebounds when dropping into defence to help out. Ben Morton went one better than McHenry with 12 tackles, while also having 21 disposals and a team-high eight clearances. Baxter Mensch (20 disposals) and Oscar Brownless (19) were the other two Falcons to win more than 15 disposals in the loss.

 

Northern Knights 8.11 (59) defeated by Murray Bushrangers 13.16 (94)

By: Michael Alvaro

Murray Bushrangers ran out comfortable 35-point winners against a brave Northern Knights outfit at Preston City Oval. In tough, blustery conditions, the game was often played between both 50 arcs, but still provided forwards the chance to prove their worth as clear-cut chances were sparse. With the scores level at the first break, the Bushies went on to boot nine of the next twelve goals during the second and third terms to set up a handy buffer. While they were valiant for most of the day and ended up winning the last-quarter battle, the Knights lost the war, but will take some solice out of hanging on to their top eight spot.

Murray’s willingness to take the game on at all costs proved to be a real game-changer, and it allowed their potent forward line to do work their magic from a range of positions. Each player who rotated through the forward 50 looked dangerous, with the likes of Riley Bice, Bailey Frauenfelder, Zane Barzen and Hudson Garoni all bagging multiple goals. Midfielder Kyle Clarke was also impressive as he mixed his minutes between the centre bounces and forward 50.

For Northern, skipper Braedyn Gillard led from the front and was aided well by Harrison Grace in the midfield, while ruckman Tom Hallebone had one of his best games for the year. With their defence under constant pressure, rebounding bottomager Ryan Gardner stood up, while Stefan Uzelac impressed with his contested marking.

 

Dandenong Stingrays 13.13 (91) defeated Eastern Ranges 6.3 (39)

Dandenong Stingrays bounced back from their first loss of the season to shake off a determined Eastern Ranges outfit at Shepley Oval. The Stingrays went in as heavy favourites against the winless Ranges, but had a competitive match with the Ranges taking it up to them in the first term to trail by just two points. The Stingrays kicked away in the second quarter with a four goals to one term to open up a 22-point advantage at the main break, before extending that to an even five goals by three quarter time. A three goal to zero final quarter saw the final margin blow out to 52 points, which was arguably not indicative of the closeness between the teams.

AFL Academy member Sam Fletcher came back into the side for his first game of 2018 and went handball crazy, picking up 21 handballs as part of his 24-possession, six-tackle and four-clearance game. Talented Stingrays bottom-ager Hayden Young stood up with 20 disposals, four marks, six inside 50s and three rebounds, capping off his all-round game with a goal. Usual ball winners Campbell Hustwaite and Jamie Plumridge had just 12 disposals each, but in their place the likes of James Hickey and Reid Nanscawen (both 17 disposals) stood up, as did AFL Academy member Bailey Williams with 25 hitouts and a goal, while Corey Ellison slotted three majors.

For Eastern, Tyler Edwards was the highest disposal winner, notching up 24 disposals, four tackles, five clearances and five rebounds, while last week’s AFL Draft Central Player of the Week, Joel Burleigh, had a modest 18 disposals compared to his 40 in round five, but laid 13 tackles in a good defensive effort. Kye Quirk had 20 disposals and six rebounds off half-back, while Billy McCormack had 19 disposals, seven hitouts and four rebounds.

 

Calder Cannons 10.8 (68) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 4.5 (29)

A six goals to one third term helped Calder Cannons secure their third win of the season over a plucky Bendigo Pioneers in a rain-affected game at RAMS Arena. Playing in the evening, the Cannons and Pioneers had to endure some heavy showers early on, with a dour first half producing just three goals. A spirited third term saw the Cannons all but put the game to bed, piling on six goals to one to open up a 43-point advantage at the final break. Bendigo booted two of the final three goals to outscore the home side in the final term, but were unable to bridge the deficit as the Cannons celebrated a 39-point victory at home.

Mitch Podhajski was the star of the show in his return to the Cannons side, with the Calder co-captain amassing 27 disposals, seven marks, laying 15 tackles and booting three goals in a best on ground performance in the victory. After a quiet first half, Lachlan Sholl turned it on with a 26-disposal second half to bring his night’s total to 35, to go with his eight marks and six rebounds. Daniel Hanna was important taking five marks from his 26 disposals and a major, while Ismail Moussa was important in the first half, finishing with 23 disposals, five marks and three rebounds, and Jack Evans (22 disposals, four clearances and six inside 50s) was used more up the field than in previous weeks to be an important link in the chain.

For Bendigo, Noah Wheeler racked up 21 kicks in his 25 disposals, four clearances, five inside 50s and four tackles, while Daniel Keating was good around the ground in the ruck with 16 disposals, five marks, 22 hitouts four clearances and a goal. Hunter Lawrence had 18 disposals, six tackles, four clearances, four inside 50s and four rebounds, while bottom-ager James Schischka (18 disposals, three marks and three rebounds) was also important for the losing side.

 

Gippsland Power 20.18 (138) defeated Sandringham Dragons 4.5 (29)

Gippsland Power put Sandringham Dragons to the sword on Sunday with a thumping 109-point victory at Morwell Recreation Reserve. The Power put their top four credentials on the table with 10 goals in each half, restricting the Dragons to just one goal after the main break, and held the visitors scoreless in the final term. The highlight was a seven goal to one third term, with Gippsland piling on 13 goals up one end in a dominant display. For the Dragons, it was their third consecutive loss as they continue to shuffle the magnets around in the absence of their top players with the APS football season forcing them to experiment which will hopefully see them record a win soon. 

Gippsland had 11 individual goal kickers in the victory, led by Sam Flanders (four goals), Austin Hodge (four) and Harvey Neocleous (three). Boadie Motton topped the disposal count with 30 touches, while also taking four marks, racking up four clearances and booting a goal. Riley Baldi lead the team clearances again with five, to go with his 27 disposals, four marks and four inside 50s, while Matthew McGannon (25 disposals, five marks and four tackles), Bailey Beck (24 disposals, seven marks and five inside 50s) and Bailey Patterson (23 disposals, three marks and three rebounds) all booted a goal. Captain Xavier Duursma continued his consistent season with 23 disposals, four marks, five tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s.

For the Dragons, Harry Bede was Sandringham’s best, collecting 25 disposals, eight marks, six rebounds and booting a goal, while Dawit McNeish returned to the side with positive numbers including 19 disposals, six tackles and two clearances. Beaten in the clearances, Thomas Deane-Johns was a shining light for the Dragons, picking up four clearances in a team-high performance. Ethan Casey (24 hitouts), Corey Watts (13 disposals and five rebounds) and Ryan Byrnes (16 disposals, three clearances and four inside 50s) were the other busy players.

 

GWV Rebels 9.10 (64) drew with Oakleigh Chargers 9.10 (64)

By: Cameron Ross

A determined Oakleigh Chargers shared the points with the desperate GWV Rebels in miserable conditions on Sunday. In somewhat typical Ballarat fashion, a freezing south-westerly made for a two goal advantage to the Midlands Highway end of the field and the Chargers took advantage early. Atu Bosenavulagi started the game in fine fashion, kicking the two early goals for the visitors and asserting himself physically at the contest. The Rebels struggled to get the ball past halfway before Scott Carlin set the blueprint for the remainder of the game, with run and carry being the best method to advance the ball into the wind.

The Rebels clung on with the Chargers dominating the game early, as solid defence from Jacob Lohmann and Harrison Butler, kept the visitors within three goals at quarter time. The second quarter played out remarkably similar to the first quarter, with the Rebels taking over the game instead. Jed Hill got his hands on the footy and kicked an early goal from long range but it was Ben Annett who led the way for the Rebels with his ferocious attack on the footy sparking his teammates into action. Annett kicked two goals in the second term to bring the Rebels within a point at the long break.

The third quarter was once again dominated by the team with the wind, and Lachlan Bugeja had a huge say. Bugeja not only kicked back to back goals but his work rate through the midfield was outstanding. Bugeja was winning clearances, free kicks, and setting up goals and it felt like every stoppage the Chargers “number 2” was having an impact. This impact was felt on the scoreboard with the Chargers leading by two goals at the final change. Rebels coach Marc Greig urged his side for one more big quarter, and when Charlie Wilson goaled for the Rebels early, it looked as though he may have his wish. Yet within moments the exciting Collier-Dawkins snapped the quick reply and it was game on.

A strange umpiring decision for a “deliberate” rushed behind gave Jed Hill the easiest goal of the season, and moments later, Hill nailed another, this time an unbelievably skilful goal on his non-preferred left that tied the game. The final ten minutes were extremely tense with skill errors from both sides giving their opponents the chance to win. In the final seconds, Collier Dawkins had a chance to win the game for his side, but slightly pushed his kick across goal. The siren blew before the Rebels had a chance to take the kick in and both teams had to settle for a draw. The game wasn’t one that will be remembered by many, but both sides played extremely well in difficult conditions.