BFNL Interleague Review


Bendigo puts up great fight against VAFA

BENDIGO’S fighting spirit was to the fore as it took on the Victorian Amateur Football Association’s premier B/division three representative team on Saturday in Brighton.

After the VAFA line-up had kicked away to lead by six goals early in the second half it was Bendigo which lifted its game markedly at Elsternwick Park.

The Amateurs skills and teamwork across the first half were outstanding.

The VAFA led 22-8 at quarter-time and then scored 3.3 to 1.4 in the second.

Both of Bendigo’s goals in the first half were kicked by Sandhurst’s Cobi Maxted.

Urged on by coach Ash Connick to play with more dare, Bendigo scored five goals in the third to be within two goals at the final change.

The Bendigo FNL was within a goal when Strathfieldsaye’s James Schischka snapped his third goal of the contest.

The VAFA then seized control of the contest.

At the final siren the Amateurs led 12.13 (85) to 10.12 (72).

James Schishcka made the most of great ball movement by the blue and gold to kick four goals.

Gisborne’s Pat McKenna finished with two goals and South Bendigo’s Brock Harvey added another.

Kangaroo Flat’s Luke Ellings kicked a clutch goal in the final term.

Although disappointed by the result, Connick praised the effort by the Bendigo team to work its way back into the contest.

Bendigo had 17 players in their senior inter-league debut.

“It was disappointing to be defeated, but I’m 100 per cent proud of the boys,” Connick said.

Best for Bendigo was Golden Square on-baller Ricky Monti who teamed brilliantly with Strathfieldsaye’s Lachlan Gill and Dylan Clohesy.

Eaglehawk’s Charlie Langford was strong in defence and Sandhurst’s Cooper Smith provided plenty of run off half-back.

Another of Sandhurst’s young guns, Cobi Maxted marked strongly in an attack where James Schischka and Golden Square’s Jack Stewart played well to be in the best for the blue and gold.

Connick said selecting the best was not an easy task.

“Every players did their job and brought effort.”

Best for the VAFA were Riley Virtue, Callum Linehan, Alex Emery, Michael Nicholls, Josh Cowan and Jack Sheridan.

Connick is determined to build on inter-league culture as Bendigo will host the Victorian AFA at Queen Elizabeth Oval next year.

The Bendigo FNL inter-league campaign was sponsored by Bendigo Bank and Workforce XS.

Focus for players and coaches now switches back to the home-and-away series and the run to the finals.