Ladder-leading Gisborne and Strathfieldsaye clash
THE ladder-leading Gisborne tackles Strathfieldsaye in Saturday’s 14th round of senior footy in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League season.
Storm faces a huge task of beating Gisborne on its turf at Gardiner Reserve.
A goal separated the Bulldogs and Storm when they met in round five at Triple M Park in Strathfieldsaye’s Tannery Lane.
On-ball and midfield duels will be crucial in determining the result of the Bulldogs and Storm clash.
Gisborne has Braidon Blake in the ruck to team with Scott Walsh, Flynn Lakey and Nick Doolan.
A formidable Gisborne line-up includes Pat McKenna, Harry Thomas, Dan Davie and Matt Merrett in attack; Seb Bell-Bartels and Macklan Lord in midfield, and a defence led by Jack Reaper, Jaidyn Owen and Sam Graham.
The Bulldogs’ back six has the daunting task of trying to limit the impact Lachlan Sharp and James Schischka have.
Co-coach of Storm with Darryl Wilson, Shannon Geary returns to an on-field role where he was named in a back pocket.
The play of ruck-rover Jake Moorhead, Dylan Clohesy, Harry Conway, Jake Hall, Hunter Lawrence and Caleb Sheahan will go a long way toward Storm claiming victory.
A ‘from’ interchange of six includes Baxter Slater, son of Damian who played for Gisborne.
A Gisborne victory would put the red, white and blue two wins clear of Strathfieldsaye at four rounds to go.
The Bulldogs’ run to complete the regular season includes the July 30 showdown with South Bendigo on the QEO; home to Kangaroo Flat; at Golden Square’s Fur Life Oval; and home to Eaglehawk in the 18th round.
Another big match will be at Queen Elizabeth Oval where Sandhurst takes on Golden Square.
The Dragons scored a two-goal win in the Ron Best Memorial match on Square’s ground in round five and will eye another upset against a team on the rebound from a seven-point loss to Eaglehawk.
Sandhurst’s best in the round 13 win at Kangaroo Flat were Harvey Gallagher, Lachie Hood, Jeremy Rodi and James Coghlan.
The Dragons’ defence worked well to limit the impact of Bulldogs’ forwards Joel Brett and Jayden Burke last time and will be determined to repeat the dose.
Sandhurst ruckman Hamish Hosking and onballers Lee Coghlan and Zach Pallpratt will play a crucial role at centre ball-ups and boundary throw-ins.
Cobi Maxted kicked three goals and Lachlan Zimmer added two in the Dragons’ victory on Square’s turf earlier in the season and will play key roles.
Other players to watch for the ‘Hurst include Liam Ireland at half-back, Alex Wharton on a wing, and Jake McLean against his former club.
Seventh on the ladder, the Ash Connick-coached Dragons are just a win behind Kyneton and Eaglehawk, but well in front on percentage.
In the run to the finals, Sandhurst will play at Eaglehawk next round; take on Maryborough and Kyneton at the QEO; and then at Castlemaine in the last of the home and away matches.
The Christian Carter-coached Bulldogs will be fired up, not only to avoid being beaten by the Dragons twice, but also to strengthen their grip on the third rung and double chance at finals time.
Expect big games from the likes of captain Jack Geary, ruckman Matt Compston, Ryan Hartley in the centre, Hamish Morcom, Terence Reeves and Jarrod Fitzpatrick.
Hard-running and skilful wingman Jake Thrum will play his 100th senior game for the Bulldogs.
A big day for the blue and gold includes Dale Lowry to play his 200th club game.
A triple premiership player with the seniors in 2011, ’12 and ’13, Lowry will play in the reserves this Saturday.
After a hat-trick of defeats, Kyneton will be determined to regain its winning ways against Kangaroo Flat in Tigerland at Kyneton Showgrounds.
The Tigers welcome back the classy Cameron Manuel who kicked six goals against the Roos in round five to play in attack or onball.
Key players for the Paul Chapman-coached Tigers include Harrison Huntley, Frazer Driscoll and Louis Thompson in defence, Rhys Magin, Guy Dickson and Ned O’Sullivan in attack, and onballers Dean Bartrop and Hamish Yunghanns.
The Kangaroos will look to ruckman Nick Lang, ruck-rover Liam Collins, Max Johnson, Ryan O’Keefe, Sam Barnes, Mitch Rovers and Jake Hywood to lead the way.
Lachy Wilson kicked a match-high five goals for the Roos against Sandhurst and will test the Kyneton defence.
It’s a young team coached by James Flaherty in which the likes of Barras, Dane Spear, Ethan and Toby Roberts are the future.
Castlemaine takes on South Bendigo in the Magpies’ nest at Camp Reserve.
The Bloods are likely to have too much skill through midfield and scoring power for Castlemaine to hold across four quarters.
Key players for the Nathan Horbury-coached South Bendigo include Brock Harvey, Liam Byrne, Andrew van Heumen, Cooper Leon and Will Keck.
The experienced Joel Swatton is also back to bolster the Bloods’ midfield or play across half-back.
The play of Tommy Horne, Liam Wilkinson, Brodie Byrne, Jack Chester and Riley Pedretti will go a long way to determining how competitive Castlemaine will be.
Tom Cain, Tommy Horne, Riley Pedretti and Will Moran were best for the Don Moran-coached Magpies against the Bloods earlier in the season.
After a stunning win at Golden Square, Eaglehawk is back at Canterbury Park to tackle Maryborough.
The Travis Matheson-coached Hawks are sixth and must win to keep the pressure on South Bendigo and Kyneton in the race to the finals.
Players to watch for the Hawks include onballers Billy Evans and Dillon Williams; Liam Marciano, Lewin Davis and Sean Williams in attack; and Joel Mullen on a wing.
Eaglehawk has the Thompson brothers – Ben, Jack and Sam who are capable of winning plenty of the footy.
Key forward Darcy Richards will also be keen to perform well for the Two Blues against his former club.
A Magpies’ defence led by Kya Lanfranchi, Dylan Harberger and Mitchell McClure will rely greatly on a high level of pressure from team-mates up the ground.
Aidan Hare and Liam Latch have shown they are two of the best onballers in the league and capable of winning many contests.
The Rick Andrews-coached Magpies will also look to Coby Perry, Jayden Hooper, Patrick Van der Pol and Lucas Hurse to keep the intensity high in all quarters.
Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:
Gisborne 284 per cent, 48 points; Strathfieldsaye 191, 44; Golden Square 249, 36; South Bendigo 96, 32; Kyneton 115, 28; Eaglehawk 113, 28; Sandhurst 129, 24; Kangaroo Flat 51, 12; Castlemaine 33, 8; Maryborough 25, 0.
Leaders in the Ron Best Medal goalkicking award:
67 Joel Brett, GS.
53 Rhys Magin, Kyn.
40 Jayden Burke, GS.
38 Pat McKenna, Gis.
35 James Schischka, S’saye.
34 Brock Harvey, SB.
33 Cobi Maxted, Sh.
31 Lachlan Sharp, S’saye.
29 Josh Kemp, Gis.
27 Lachy Wilson, KF.
26 Kaiden Antonowicz, SB; Darcy Richards, Eh.
24 Cameron Manuel, Kyn.; Braydon Vaz, GS.
23 Joel Wharton, Sh.
21 Matthew Merrett, Gis.; Matt Thornton, Sh.
20 Liam Marciano, Eh.
19 Kallen Geary, S’saye.
16 Chris Freeman, Mb; Matthew Panuccio, Gis.; Harry Thomas, Gis.; Lachlan Zimmer, Sh.
Written by Nathan Dole.