BFNL Round 1 Football Review


Hawks overcome dogged fight from Square

EAGLEHAWK withstood a dogged fight from Golden Square to take the points in Saturday’s completion to the first round of senior footy in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL season.

The Hawks and Bulldogs fought out a low-scoring scrap in the first hour at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park.

Although it was fielding five players in their first senior game and another two in their first match for the club, Golden Square put up a great fight to lead 27-21 at half-time.

In the third quarter it was the Travis Matheson-coached Eaglehawk which seized control through the midfield.

The Borough pumped the ball to the attack and slammed on 7.6 to 2.0 as the run and skill of Joel Mullen, Pala Kuma and Billy Evans was to the fore.

A premiership winning ruckman at Harcourt, Brayden Frost marked his senior debut with the Hawks by winning plenty of centre ball-ups and boundary throw-ins.

Although it faced a five-goal deficit going into the last term the Brad Eaton-coached Golden Square did not give up.

Jordan Rosengren, Jack Threlfall and Jon Coe kept winning the ball and using it well.

The Bulldogs won the last term, 20-9, but the Hawks won the contest, 78-59.

Leading goalkickers for the Two Blues were Sam O’Shannessy, three; Bailey Ilsley, Jonty Neaves and Darcy Richards on two.

Bulldogs’ captain Jayden Burke booted three goals as Jordan Rosengren added two.

Best for Eaglehawk included Marcus Angove and Jacob O’Brien.

Jayden Burke, Luke Holt and Tom Strauch were among the best for the blue and gold.

Strathfieldsaye overran South Bendigo in the last quarter of their match in Storm territory at Triple M Park in Strathfieldsaye’s Tannery Lane.

The Steven Stroobants and Isaiah Miller-coached South Bendigo took it right up to their highly-fancied opponent in the first half.

The Bloods turned a one-goal deficit at quarter-time into a one-goal lead by half-time.

South Bendigo’s accuracy was a key factor as it scored 6.5 to 4.11 in the first hour.

The Luke Freeman-coached Strathfieldsaye controlled a lot of play in the crucial third quarter.

A 63-55 lead for Storm going into the final term kept growing as it won the last, 5.3 to 2.1.

Abe Sheahan booted three goals as Lachlan Gill, Carson James and James Schischka added two majors in a 96-68 victory.

The Bloods’ attack was led by Stroobants, three; Brock Harvey and Alex Smith, two.

Strathfieldsaye’s best were Daniel Clohesy, Jaidi Jackson-Leahy, Cooper Jones, Charlie King, Riley Wilson and Lachlan Gill.

Recruited from Wedderburn, William Marks was best for the Bloods along with Matt McNaughton, Brody Haddow, Cody Brooks, Zac Sims and Tait Poyser.

The day’s play was completed with the twilight match between Kangaroo Flat and Sandhurst at Kangaroo Flat’s Dower Park.

It was always going to be a tough task for a young Kangaroos line-up and new coach Michael Ellings.

The Roos worked hard to be within 15 points, 7-22 at quarter-time.

From there it was the Dragons on-ball brilliance and firepower near goal which took control.

Sandhurst scored 10.2 to a goal in the second and won the third term, 37-6.

Back as a full-time player with Sandhurst after several seasons with Collingwood in the VFL, Lachlan Tardrew kept racking up the disposals in a best afield performance.

Former Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn forward Fergus Greene kicked a round-high six goals and had great support from Tardrew, four; Joel Wharton and Lachlan  Wright, three, as the Dragons won 171-29.

Runner-up in ’23, Sandhurst is again coached by Ash Connick, non-playing, and Bryce Curnow, playing.

The Roos had four goalkickers – Toby Balcke, Justin Bateson, Luke Ellings from Gisborne, and Angus Grant.

Best for the Dragons were Tardrew, Noah Walsh, key defender Matt Campbell, Zach Pallpratt, James Coghlan and Caleb Connick.

Austin Lothian, Toby Balcke, Justin Bateson, Daniel Stagg, Luke Ellings and Ethan Roberts worked hard for the Kangaroos.

The round began on Good Friday when Castlemaine met Maryborough in a stand-alone match at Castlemaine’s Camp Reserve.

Led by a five-goal haul by new coach Michael Hartley and impressive play of Bailey Henderson and Zach Greeves, Castlemaine answered a strong first half by the visitors to record a 131-62 victory.

Best for Castlemaine included Kalan Huntly, Callum McConachy and Liam Wilkinson.

Bailey Edwards, Kaian Constable, Coby Perry, Alex Brown, Joel Swatton and Aidan Medlyn were Maryborough’s best.

Gisborne had the bye.

Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:

Sandhurst 589 per cent, 4 points; Castlemaine 211, 4; Strathfieldsaye 141, 4; Eaglehawk 132, 4; Golden Square 75, 0; South Bendigo 70, 0; Maryborough 47, 0; Kangaroo Flat 16, 0; Gisborne 0, 0.

Leaders in the race for the Ron Best Medal, senior goalkicking award:

6 Fergus Greene, Sandhurst.

5 Michael Hartley, Castlemaine.

5 Bailey Henderson, Castlemaine.

4 Zach Greeves, Castlemaine.

4 Lachlan Tardrew, Sandhurst.

3 Jayden Burke, Golden Square.

3 Kaian Constable, Maryborough.

3 Sam O’Shannessy, Eaglehawk.

3 Abe Sheahan, Strathfieldsaye.

3 Steven Stroobants, South Bendigo.

3 Joel Wharton, Sandhurst.

3 Lachlan Wright, Sandhurst.

Highlight of next Saturday’s second round will be the clash of Sandhurst and Gisborne at Bendigo’s Queen Elizabeth Oval from 2.20pm.

A fierce rivalry between Golden Square and Strathfieldsaye is renewed in the Bulldogs’ kennel at Golden Square’s Wade Street ground.

Maryborough or Kangaroo Flat will pocket their first premiership points of the season when they clash on the Magpies’ turf at Princes Park.

South Bendigo takes on Castlemaine in the Bloods’ home at Harry Trott Oval in Kennington’s Neale Street.

Eaglehawk has the bye.