Four big contests to be played across Bendigo
THERE will be four big contests in Saturday’s 15th round in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s senior footy action.
Match of the day status could be shared between matches at Golden Square, Eaglehawk, Queen Elizabeth Oval, and Kangaroo Flat.
Top five prospects of Eaglehawk, Kyneton and Sandhurst will rise or fall this round.
The Hawks and Tigers are locked on 24 premiership points, but Eaglehawk holds fifth place from Kyneton which makes the trek to Golden Square’s Fur Life Oval in Wade Street.
Seventh on the ladder, Sandhurst must win at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park or a finals appearance is shot at three rounds to go in the home and away series.
The fourth-placed South Bendigo will up the pressure on the ladder-leading Gisborne at the QEO.
Kyneton upset Golden Square in round six and will be determined to repeat the feat.
Cameron Manuel kicked five goals and Ben Cameron added four as the Tigers beat the Bulldogs by seven point when they met at Kyneton.
It’s a much tougher task for the Paul Chapman-coached Kyneton at Golden Square’s ground.
The Christian Carter-coached Bulldogs won their latest clash with Sandhurst on the QEO by 69 points as Joel Brett and Jayden Burke led the attack on five and three goals.
Bulldogs’ onballer Ryan Hartley was best afield and will play a key role against the yellow and black, along with Jon Coe, Liam Duguid and Zack Shelton in defence, the classy Jack Geary, hard-at-it Liam Barrett, ruckman Matt Compston.
Others to watch in the blue and gold are Jake and Will Thrum on the wings, Ricky Monti, Hamish Morcom and Braydon Vaz.
A major threat to the Bulldogs will be Rhys Magin who kicked nine goals to be best afield as the Tigers beat Kangaroo Flat by 63 points last Saturday.
In round six it was James Orr, Dean Bartrop and Frazer Driscoll who played starring roles for the Tigers against the Bulldogs.
Kyneton’s defence led by Harrison Huntley, Louis Thompson and Ben Xiriha faces a massive challenge.
The Tigers will look to Mitch Comben, Angus Nolte, Hamish Yunghanns and Guy Dickson to win plenty of contests.
On a four-game winning streak, South Bendigo is back on home turf at the QEO to tackle Gisborne.
Last time these clubs met it was Gisborne which dominated in a 152-46 result at Gardiner Reserve.
South Bendigo’s run will test the Bulldogs who were beaten in their first hit-out at the QEO this season by Sandhurst.
The Bloods have Brock Harvey in great form in attack, while Michael Herlihy and Alex Smith kicked four goals apiece in last Saturday’s win at Castlemaine.
An X-factor for South Bendigo is Kaiden Antonowicz.
Brilliant in attack, Antonowicz has also set up plenty of attacks in an on-ball or midfield role.
Key defender Andrew van Heumen was best afield last round and his work, along with Cameron Taggert, Daniel Johnstone and captain Zac Hare will be important against Gisborne’s strong forward line.
The Nathan Horbury-coached Bloods will up the pressure at centre clearances and stoppages through the play of Will Allen, Oscar Simpson, Liam Byrne and Cooper Leon.
Gisborne dominated the final three quarters of the round 14 clash with Strathfieldsaye to win by 58 points.
Bulldogs’ captain and gun forward Pat McKenna kicked eight goals.
In round six it was Josh Kemp, Matt Merrett and Scott Walsh who led the Dogs’ attack on four goals apiece to beat the Bloods.
Key players for the Rob Waters-coached Gisborne include ruckman Braidon Blake, ruck-rover Nic Doolan, Matt Panuccio, Jack Reaper and Liam Spear in defence, and the classy Seb Bell-Bartels, Sam Graham and Flynn Lakey.
It’s a huge clash at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park where the Two Blues take on Sandhurst.
The Travis Matheson-coached Eaglehawk played brilliant football to win at Golden Square by seven points in round 13 and are in control of their run to qualify for finals.
The Hawks’ run after playing Sandhurst is Kyneton, away; Castlemaine, home; and Gisborne, away.
In round six, Eaglehawk beat Sandhurst by 15 points in the feature match of the Pat Cronin Foundation Round.
Liam Marciano kicked three goals in that clash and will play a key role in the Hawks’ attack along with Sean Williams, Matt Noden, Darcy Richards and Jack Thompson.
Players to watch for the Hawks include ruck-rover Billy Evans, Noah Wheeler, Clayton Holmes and captain Shaun Knott in defence, Lewin Davis, Joel Mullen, Sam Thompson and Dillon Williams.
The Ash Connick-coached Sandhurst will be fired up after a big loss and knowing a loss will spell an end to featuring in finals.
After the clash in the Hawks’ next, Sandhurst has home games at the QEO against Maryborough and Kyneton, and then at Castlemaine’s Camp Reserve.
Key players for the Dragons include Cobi Maxted at full-forward, Hamish Hosking in the ruck, Liam Ireland and Noah Walsh across half-back, Alex and Joel Wharton, Blair Holmes and Zach Pallpratt.
Captain Lee Coghlan will be keen to mark his 201st senior game with a crucial victory.
It’s likely to be the final chance Kangaroo Flat and Castlemaine have of marking another win in ’22 when they meet on the Roos’ patch at Dower Park.
Back in round six it was the James Flaherty-coached Kangaroo Flat which won 81-43 at Camp Reserve as Mitch Rovers kicked four goals in a best afield performance.
The Roos may have too much scoring power through the likes of Lachy Wilson, Max Johnson, Jack Barras and Campbell Smith for the Magpies to match.
Kangaroo Flat’s best at Kyneton were ruck-rover Liam Collins, Ryan O’Keefe, Mitch Rovers, Ethan Roberts and captain Nic Lang.
Creating and finishing off more scoring chances will be a key focus for the Don Moran-coached Castlemaine.
The Magpies scored 5.9 in their hit-out with South Bendigo as ruckman Brodie Browne-Kerr, Brendan Josey and Tom Cain were best.
A key to Castlemaine’s bid for an upset victory will be the play of Liam Wilkinson, onballers Tommy Horne and Will Moran, versatile big man Liam Wilkinson, Brodie Byrne, Tom Cain, John Watson, and Zac Denahy.
Maryborough is on home turf at Princes Park to face a Strathfieldsaye Storm line-up on the rebound from defeat.
The Rick Andrews-coached Maryborough worked hard to be within six goals of Eaglehawk at half-time last round before being overrun.
The Magpies’ best against the Hawks were Thomas Gardam, ruck-rover Aidan Hare, Liam Latch, and captain Coby Perry.
Strong defence and pressure at stoppages will be important to stop Storm’s charge into the forward 50m arc with ease.
Ruckman Ty Stewart will be up against Michael Pilcher, a premiership winner with Storm and premiership coach with Leitchville-Gunbower.
The play of full-back Kya Lanfranchi, Dylan Harberger at centre half-back, Brady Neill, and Patrick van der Pol will be vital to Maryborough’s competitive.
Rick Andrews was named on interchange.
Storm’s attack at Gisborne was led by captain and multiple Ron Best medallist Lachlan Sharp on five.
Illness and injuries have rocked Storm in recent weeks.
It’s a stronger looking attack this round as Sharp and James Schischka have the skill and marking power of Harry Conway and Jake Hall in the 50m arc.
Other key players for Storm include Lachlan Gill, Ben Lester, Callum McCarty, Jake Moorhead and Jack Neylon.
Co-coach of the team with Darryl Wilson, Shannon Geary was named on a ‘from’ bench of five.
Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:
Gisborne 276 per cent, 52 points; Strathfieldsaye 173, 44; Golden Square 251, 40; South Bendigo 105, 36; Eaglehawk 120, 32; Kyneton 120, 32; Sandhurst 120, 24; Kangaroo Flat 51, 12; Castlemaine 33, 8; Maryborough 26, 0.
Leaders in the Ron Best Medal goalkicking race:
72 Joel Brett, GS.
59 Rhys Magin, Kyn.
46 Pat McKenna, Gis.
43 Jayden Burke, GS.
40 Brock Harvey, SB.
36 Lachlan Sharp, S’saye.
35 James Schischka, S’saye.
34 Cobi Maxted, Sh.
29 Kaiden Antonowicz, SB; Josh Kemp, Gis.; Lachy Wilson, KF.
27 Darcy Richards, Eh.
26 Cameron Manuel, Kyn.
24 Braydon Vaz, GS.
23 Joel Wharton, Sh.
22 Liam Marciano, Eh; Matt Merrett, Gis.
21 Matt Thornton, Sh.
19 Kallen Geary, S’saye.
18 Matt Panuccio, Gis.
17 Michael Herlihy, SB; Harry Thomas, Gis.
16 Chris Freeman, Mb; Mitch Rovers, KF; Lachlan Zimmer, Sh.
15 Lewin Davis, Eh; Guy Dickson, Kyn.; Hamish Morcom, GS; Ben Thompson, Eh.
Written by Nathan Dole.