BEARS Lagoon Serpentine ended Bridgewater’s charge to the finals in Saturday’s 17th round of the Loddon Valley Football Netball League season.
Just seven points separated the teams at half-time on Bridgewater’s turf, but the Bears clicked to another gear as they won the third term, 5.5 to 1.3.
By the final siren the Bears led 14.15 (99) to 8.11 (59) and in the process ended the Mean Machine’s remarkable run in LVFNL finals action.
James Rippingale kicked four goals in a best afield performance for the Bears as Andy Gladman added three.
There was no multiple goalkicker for Bridgewater.
Kalem Paxton, Nathan McNally, Justin Laird and Harry Gadsden also starred as the Bears moved to the fourth rung on the ladder.
Bridgewater’s best were Jake Rusbridge, Jack Symons, Matt Collins and Daniel Nalder.
The ladder-leading Newbridge surged to a 50-point lead by half-time of its clash with Calivil United on the Demons turf at Calivil.
The Maroons scored nine goals and kept the home team to a single major in the opening hour.
By three quarter-time, Newbridge led by 69 points.
Calivil United won the final term, 23-9, but it was the Maroons who celebrated a 13.11 (89) to 4.10 (34) victory.
Sam Kennedy led Newbridge’s attack on four goals as Jordan Gilboy’s two goals lifted his season tally to 64 and a 20-goal lead on his nearest rival in the race for the goalkicking title.
Chris Sanders was the Demons only multiple goalkicker on two.
Best for Newbridge were Jack Fowler, Zach Heaslip, Nathan Bacon and Tyler Romeril.
Jonas Somerville, Jake Lawry, Alex Davis and Chris Down worked hard for Calivil United.
The sixth-placed Demons take on Bears Lagoon Serpentine at Serpentine next Saturday.
The Bears are a win and 15 per cent clear of last year’s premiers.
Marong fought back from a 17-point deficit at three quarter-time to score a 17-point win at Inglewood.
After a closely-fought first half, the Blues scored 4.2 to 2.2 in the third term.
Led by the play of Zac Turnbull, Bryce Franzini and Patrick Ryan, Marong capitalised on the wind to score 4.3 to nil in the final quarter to clinch a 81-71 victory.
Thorne Wilson led the Marong attack on three goals as Jarrod Fitzpatrick, Franzini and Turnbull chipped in with two apiece.
Inglewood’s leading goalkicker was Peter McKay on three.
Best for Marong included Callum Williamson and Pat Gretgrix.
The Blues’ best were Tate Mifka, Bailey Evans, Ryan McNish and David Rose.
Maiden Gully YCW was too strong for an injury-hit Pyramid Hill at Marist College.
The Eagles led 37-11 at half-time and then opened up a 41-point margin by the last change.
Eagles’ coach Wayne Mitrovic kicked a game-high four goals in the 13.11 (89) to 6.8 (44) victory.
Mitch Cheesman and Riely Thiesz added two apiece for the Bulldogs as Gavin James, Adrian Holland, Tom Sala and Billy Micevski were best on a tough afternoon.
Sean Moyle, Hamish McCartney, Natnael McLaren and Travis Mercadante were best for Maiden Gully YCW which takes on Newbridge in next Saturday’s night game at Marist Oval in Maiden Gully.
The senior footy clash between the Eagles and Newbridge kicks off at 5.30pm.
The 18th round, which doubles as the Bendigo Bank round to recognise the financial institution’s long-running support for AFL Central Victoria and the Loddon Valley includes Marong at home to Bridgewater, and Mitiamo up against Inglewood.
Pyramid Hill has the bye.
Loddon Valley FNL senior footy ladder:
Newbridge 52 points, 153 per cent; Maiden Gully YCW Eagles 48, 136; Pyramid Hill 40, 97; Bears Lagoon Serpentine 32, 129; Mitiamo 32, 114; Calivil United 28, 115; Bridgewater 24, 104; Marong 12, 62; Inglewood 4, 47.