BFNL Good Friday Review


Castlemaine dominates second half of Good Friday match

CASTLEMAINE overcame a spirited fight from Maryborough in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s senior footy match on Good Friday.

Hundreds of fans packed Castlemaine’s Camp Reserve to watch the fierce country-based rivals strive for the first premiership points of the 2024 season.

For a lot of the opening hour it was the Coby Perry and Matt Johnston-coached Maryborough which outplayed the hosts.

The run and teamwork of the Maryborough team was outstanding and included goals by Jake Twycross, two; Seb Collins, Kaian Constable, Robert Castiglia, Bailey Edwards and Ty Stewart.

Many spectators were stunned as Maryborough led 46-28 nearing half-time.

Fortunes then swung dramatically after Maryborough recruit Seb Collins broke his arm.

After a delay of several minutes it was the Michael Hartley-coached Castlemaine which took control.

In his debut as coach, Hartley’s fourth goal was followed by consecutive majors by Bailey Henderson, the first when a long shot from near the centre bounced through.

In the space of seven minutes the ’Maine scored 3.2 to nil.

Castlemaine quickly turned a two-point lead at the start of the second half into a 33-point lead.

After a subdued start to the match, Henderson was the spark.

Back-to-back goals by Henderson was then capped by brilliant team play from defence to attack where Brad Keogh passed to Zac Greeves for a goal.

Ben McConachy was on target on the run and Greeves goaled again for Castlemaine to lead 80-47.

A run of eight unanswered goals was broken when Kaian Constable booted Maryborough’s eighth in the 22nd minute.

When  Constable spun out of trouble and goaled the margin was back to 21 points.

A Ben McConachy goal on three quarter-time meant the hosts were up 86-61.

A lack of rotations clearly hurt Maryborough’s run as the match went on.

Castlemaine scored 6.9 to a point in the last to complete a 19.17 (131) to 9.8 (62) victory.

Hartley was rapt with the team’s workrate and ability to move the ball in the second half.

Quick transition from midfield to the forward 50m often led to one-out duels where the marking power of Hartley, Henderson and Greeves was to the fore.

Best afield honours went to Hartley whose experience from AFL stints with Essendon and Hawthorn is a massive plus for Castlemaine.

Now a full-time player with Castlemaine after VFL stints with Richmond and Williamstown, Henderson’s athleticism and skill make him one of the best players in the Bendigo competition.

Others to perform well for the black and white stripes were Kalan Huntly, Zach Greeves and Liam Wilkinson.

Maryborough on-baller Bailey Edwards kept racking up possessions to be his team’s best, along with talented teen Kaian Constable.

Coby Perry’s attack at every contest is inspirational.

GOALS – Castlemaine: Michael Hartley, Bailey Henderson 5, Zach Greeves 4, Ben McConachy, Callum McConachy 2, Zavier Murley,. Maryborough: Kaian Constable 3, Jake Twycross 2, Robert Castiglia, Seb Collins, Bailey Edwards, Ty Stewart.

BEST – Castlemaine: Michael Hartley, Bailey Henderson, Kalan Huntly, Callum McConachy, Zach Greeves, Liam Wilkinson. Maryborough: Bailey Edwards, Kaian Constable, Coby Perry, Alex Brown, Joel Swatton, Aidan Medlyn.

Although disappointed about the final margin, Maryborough co-coach Coby Perry said the opening 50 minutes showed what his team is capable of.

Injuries to Collins (arm) and Fraser Russell (groin) were significant as both had been strong targets inside the forward 50m arc in the first half.

It was a hat-trick wins on the footy field for Castlemaine.

In the reserves, Castlemaine won 101-13.

A high-standard under-18s match ended in a 9.10 (64) to 8.9 (57) victory for the Bailey Henderson-coached Castlemaine.

Netball results were split two-all.

Castlemaine won B-grade and B-reserve by margins of five and seven goals.

Maryborough took the points in A-reserve, 56-38, and 17-under, 61-53.

There was no A-grade match.

The first round of the Bendigo FNL season will be completed on April 13.

Highs in the footy action include Eaglehawk against reigning premier Golden Square on the Borough’s turf at Canterbury Park.

Strathfieldsaye Storm takes on South Bendigo at Triple M Park in Tannery Lane.

Kangaroo Flat tackles Sandhurst in the twilight match on the Roos’ ground at Dower Park.

Gisborne has the bye.

Castlemaine and Maryborough have a break until April 20.

The Michael Hartley-led Castlemaine makes its way to Kennington’s Harry Trott Oval to take on South Bendigo.

Maryborough will be home at Princes Park to face Kangaroo Flat.

A new season for Gisborne begins against Sandhurst at Queen Elizabeth Oval.