Golden Square marks big victory in Storm territory
GOLDEN Square scored a confidence-lifting win against Strathfieldsaye in Saturday’s 18th round of the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s senior footy action.
The last game of the home and away series featured two teams who will meet again in next Saturday’s qualifying final at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
For both line-ups a goal was to gain a psychological edge leading into the opening week of the finals campaign.
The Christian Carter-coached Golden Square led 21-13 at quarter-time and then slammed on 5.8 to nil in the second to hold a 46-point buffer at the long break.
Storm struck back to win the third term, 13-7, but it was the Bulldogs who had the skilful Ricky Monti and hard-running Hamish Morcom win plenty of the ball kick away for an 88-41 victory.
Gun forwards Joel Brett and Jayden Burke led the Dogs’ attack with three goals apiece.
A great sign of the work by the Bulldogs defence led by Liam Barrett, Liam Duguid, Will Lee and Zack Shelton was not only keeping Storm to just six goals, but Strathfieldsaye had no multiple goalkickers.
Best for the Darryl Wilson and Shannon Geary-coached Storm were Mitch Hallinan, Lachlan Ratcliffe, Jack Neylon, Jake Moorhead, George Simpson and James Schischka.
Rarely beaten at home, Storm’s losses at Triple M Park this season were to Gisborne and Golden Square.
South Bendigo warmed up for a long-awaited finals appearance as it scored a 63-point win against Kangaroo Flat at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
The Bloods led 13-3 at quarter-time and then slammed on 7.4 to 1.2 in the second for an eight-goal buffer at half-time.
Led by the play of Michael Herlihy, Brock Harvey in attack, and Isaiah Miller, South Bendigo kicked away to lead 93-18 at a quarter to go.
In what would be James Flaherty’s final quarter as senior coach, Kangaroo Flat lifted to win the last quarter, 26-14.
Brock Harvey finished with a match-high six goals as Herlihy added three and Kaiden Antonowicz and Will Keck kicked two apiece.
The Roos’ multiple goalkicker was Lachy Wilson with two.
Best for the Bloods included Sam Langley, Oliver Simpson and Will Keck.
Kangaroo Flat’s best were Jade Mayes, Liam Collins, Ryan O’Keefe, Ethan Roberts, Nic Lang and Kyle Symons.
The ladder-leading Gisborne bounced back from just its second defeat of the season to dominate play on its turf at Gardiner Reserve against Eaglehawk.
Gisborne led 34-6 at quarter-time and 66-22 by the main break.
Defences were well on top in the third as the Dogs scored 2.1 to 1.2.
A great sign for Gisborne which had already earned a week’s rest for the first week of the finals by finishing on top of the ladder was its play to score 5.8 to 1.1 in the last.
At the final siren, Gisborne led 117 to 37.
Classy onballer Brad Bernacki marked his return to the Gisborne line-up from playing VFL with Essendon to kick four goals and be among the best.
Skilful small forward Ethan Foreman continued his build match fitness after being sidelined by injury for many weeks by kicking four goals in another great game as Luke Ellings chipped in with three majors.
Eaglehawk had no multiple goalkickers.
Best for the Rob Waters-coached Gisborne included Flynn Lakey, Jaidyn Owen and Seb Bell-Bartels.
Dillon Williams, Billy Evans, Ben Thompson, Noah Wheeler, Joel Mullen and Dylan Hanley worked hard for the Travis Matheson-coached Hawks.
Sandhurst’s hot form in the run to the finals rolled on as the Dragons won 178-44 at Castlemaine’s Camp Reserve.
The Dragons led 24-8 at quarter-time and then slammed on 10.3 to a goal in the second.
Young forward Cobi Maxted went on to kick a match-high nine goals for the Dragons as Blair Holmes kicked three and Lachlan Murdoch and Alex Wharton chipped in with two apiece.
Zac Denahy kicked three goals for the Don Moran-coached Castlemaine.
Best for the Ash Connick-coached Dragons were Noah Walsh, Cobi Maxted, Isaac Carracher, Hamish Hosking, Lachie Hood and James Coghlan.
Riley Pedretti, Liam Wilkinson, Tom Cain, Jackson Hood, Zac Denahy and Nic Woodman played well for the Magpies.
It was another Rhys Magin masterclass at Kyneton as he kicked nine goals for the Tigers in a 101-point win against Maryborough.
The yellow and black led 53-nil at quarter-time and 85-12 by the long break.
Led by the play of Magin, Dean Bartrop and Hamish Yunghanns the Paul Chapman-coached Tigers went on to win 19.19 (133) to 4.8 (32) and finish the ’22 campaign with a 10-8 record.
Other multiple goalkickers for the Tigers were Mason Crozier, Caleb Fisher and Hamish Yunghanns on two each.
The Rick Andrews-coached Maryborough had no multiple goalkickers.
Kyneton’s best included Cameron Manuel, Caleb Fisher and Steven Georgiou.
Best for the Magpies were Brady Neill, Dylan Harberger, Thomas Gardam, Jayden Hooper, Coby Perry and Kya Lanfranchi.
Teams which finished on top of the ladder and have a rest in the first of the finals were Gisborne, seniors; Golden Square, reserves; and Sandhurst, under-18s.
Final ladder in the Bendigo FNL senior footy competition for the 2022 season:
Gisborne 264 per cent, 64 points; Golden Square 245, 56; Strathfieldsaye 185, 56; South Bendigo 109, 44; Sandhurst 40, 138; Kyneton 123, 40; Eaglehawk 109, 36; Kangaroo Flat 48, 16; Castlemaine 31, 8; Maryborough 25, 0.
Leaders for the Ron Best Medal, senior goalkicking award:
92 Joel Brett Golden Square
75 Rhys Magin Kyneton
61 Pat McKenna Gisborne
59 Cobi Maxted Sandhurst
57 Brock Harvey South Bendigo
53 Jayden Burke Golden Square
53 Lachlan Sharp Strathfieldsaye
42 James Schischka Strathfieldsaye
38 Kaiden Antonowicz South Bendigo
38 Cameron Manuel Kyneton
34 Lachy Wilson Kangaroo Flat
31 Josh Kemp Gisborne
30 Braydon Vaz Golden Square
29 Matthew Merrett Gisborne
27 Joel Wharton Sandhurst
27 Darcy Richards Eaglehawk
25 Michael Herlihy South Bendigo
25 Liam Marciano Eaglehawk
22 Harry Thomas Gisborne
21 Lachlan Zimmer Sandhurst
21 Matthew Panuccio Gisborne
21 Matt Thornton Sandhurst
20 William Keck South Bendigo
20 Chris Freeman Maryborough
20 Sean Williams Eaglehawk
20 Kallen Geary Strathfieldsaye
The Bendigo FNL finals series kicks off this Saturday at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
All finals matches will be at the QEO and there will be no night games.
It’s another showdown between Strathfieldsaye and Golden Square in the seniors qualifying final from 2.20pm on Saturday.
South Bendigo and Sandhurst will fight to stay in the race for the Bendigo Advertiser premiership cup when they meet in Sunday’s elimination final at 2.20pm.
Finals in the Harmac Homes-backed reserves competition start at 12.15pm both days.
Gisborne and Strathfieldsaye will contest the qualifying final.
Sandhurst and Eaglehawk are in the elimination final.
Opening match of the finals series will be the qualifying final of the SportsPower-sponsored under-18s competition in which Golden Square and Gisborne clash from 10.15am on Saturday.
Strathfieldsaye takes on Maryborough in the under-18s elimination final at 10.15am on Sunday.
Written by Nathan Dole.