BFNL Football | U/18’s Grand Final PREVIEW

Sandhurst tries to break run against Gisborne

A RUNNER-UP the past four seasons, Sandhurst’s under-18s team will aim to break the premiership drought when it takes on Gisborne in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s grand final on Saturday.

The rising stars for the Dragons and Bulldogs will clash on Queen Elizabeth Oval from 9.15am to decide the winner of this year’s SportsPower-backed competition.

Since 2008, Sandhurst has contested 11 of 12 grand finals.

The Dragons’ win-loss tally is five-six.

Gisborne and Sandhurst played out a thrilling grand final in 2018 which went the Bulldogs way, 87-84.

Based on this season’s results, the Jeremy Rodi-coached Sandhurst will start favourite.

The Dragons have won all three showdowns with the Bulldogs.

Latest hit-out between the grand finalists was the second semi-final where Sandhurst won 52-28.

The Rob Kerr-coached Gisborne led 19-6 at quarter-time, but Sandhurst took control to lead 27-19 at half-time and added three goals to a point in the third.

The Dragons’ attack was led by Luke Salvador, three; Oliver Morris and Archer Patterson, two.

Best for Sandhurst were Louis Banfield, Wilson Robertson, Luke Salvador and Xavier Austin.

Gisborne’s best were James Fox, Sam Simpson, Kne Minns and James Gentles.

First meeting on the QEO was in the 10th round were Sandhurst led 33-9 at half-time on the way to a 61-36 victory.

Archer Day-Wicks, Mason Hartland and Dayten Uerata kicked two goals apiece as Archer Patterson, Tobie Travaglia, Seb Morris and Wilson Robertson were best for the maroon and blue.

Leading goalkickers for Gisborne were Phoenix James and Harry Luxmoore on two each.

Darcy Young, James Fox, Oscar Schnoor and Sam Simpson played well for Gisborne.


The grand finalists also met on the first Saturday of the season at Gisborne’s Gardiner Reserve.

Dayten Uerata was in hot form for Sandhurst as he kicked seven goals and Xavier Austin chipped in with two in a 79-41 victory.

The Bulldogs’ attack was led by Jack Ryan on three.

Best for Sandhurst were Seb Collins, Dayten Uerata, Nash Dignan and Tim Long.

Gisborne’s best were Darch Lockens, Cameron Freake, James Fox and Oscar Schnoor.

The Bulldogs’ run in the finals began with a 64-60 win against Golden Square in the qualifying final.

A week later the Dogs went down to Sandhurst in the second semi.

Gisborne stayed in the premiership race as it marked 69-38 win against Golden Square in the preliminary final.

Sam Wilson kicked four goals and Shane Clough and Harry Luxmoore added two goals.

Best in Gisborne’s latest win were James Gentles, Cameron Freake, James Fox and Matthew Barake.


There is plenty of goalkicking power in both teams.

A tally of 64 in the home and away series earned Harry Luxmoore the league goalkicking award.

Luxmoore has now hit the 68-goal mark in a team that includes Darcy Lockens, 38 goals; Jack Ryan, 20; James Fox, 16; and Zach Paterson, 15.

The Sandhurst attack is led by Dayten Uerata, 52 goals in 14 matches; and Archer Day-Wicks on 37.

Others to watch for the Dragons include Mason Hartland, 20 goals; Oliver Morris, 18; and Luke Salvador, 16.

Team glory is the ultimate goal, but players will also be in the running for the Rod Ashman Medal awarded to best on ground.

Ashman played 236 matches for Carlton and played a key role in the back-to-back premiership wins of 1981 and ’82.

A tough rover/forward pocket, Ashman was selected in Carlton’s Team of the Century.

He was recruited by the Blues from Eaglehawk.

In 1971, Ashman earned the George Symons Medal as fairest and best in the Bendigo FNL under-18s competition and the Hawks went on to win the grand final against South Bendigo.

The Rod Ashman Medal was first awarded in 1987 and went to Eaglehawk’s Ken Bell.

Other recipients of the prestigious award include South Bendigo’s Leigh Colbert; Kyneton’s Michael O’Brien and Nathan Thompson; Sandhurst’s Scott Selwood; Golden Square’s Bryce Curnow; and Strathfieldsaye’s Angus Schumacher.


Teams for the ’22 Bendigo FNL under-18s grand final:


Xavier Austin, Thaine Bake, Louis Banfield, Wilson Butler, Alex Carr, Seb Collins, Archer Day-Wicks, Declan Delaney, Ryan Demaille, Nash Dignan, Thomas Farrelly, Joshua Gillies, Mason Hartland, Timothy Long, Oliver Morris, Sebastian Morris, Archer Patterson, Wilson Robertson, Luke Salvador, Tobie Travaglia, Dayten Uerata, Charlie Whitsed.

Coach: Jeremy Rodi.



Jarrod Ainsworth, Brodie Andrews, Matthew Barake, Connor Bills, Shane Clough, Jesse Evans, James Fox, Cameron Freake, James Gentles, Spencer Jones, Phoenix James, Jackson Kerr, Darcy Lockens, Harry Luxmoore, Kne Minns, Sam Simpson, Kane Paterson, Zach Paterson, Jack Ryan, Oscar Schnoor, Samuel Wilson, Darcy Young.

Coach: Rob Kerr


Written by Nathan Dole.