BY NATHAN DOLE
DEFEATING Golden Square twice in a season is a feat South Bendigo has not achieved for a long time.
The Bloods have a chance to do so in Saturday’s 13th round of the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL senior footy action.
South Bendigo is at its new home at Harry Trott Oval in Neale Street, Kennington to tackle the Bulldogs.
The Nathan Horbury-coached Bloods go into the match in third place, but could drop to the fifth rung if they are beaten and Strathfieldsaye and Eaglehawk win.
Back in round four, South Bendigo celebrated a 76-75 win on Golden Square’s turf at Fur Life Oval.
The Bloods will need strong contributions from a lot of players to beat the Christian Carter-coached Bulldogs.
Brody Haddow is in brilliant form in the centre for the Bloods and will play a huge role against Ryan Hartley.
A Bloods’ attack led by Steven Stroobants, Brock Harvey and Will Keck is up against Harry Burke, Jon Coe and Jack Hickman.
A highlight will be in the ruck where Bloods’ gun recruit Mac Cameron takes on Matt Compston.
Other key players for South Bendigo are Sam Langley, Isaiah Miller, Braydan Torpey, Andrew van Heumen, and Oscar White.
A powerful Golden Square attack includes Joel Brett, Jayden Burke, Tom Strauch and Braydon Vaz.
The run and skill of Jack Geary, Jake Thrum, Tom Toma and Ricky Monti sets up so many of the Bulldogs’ attacks.
Sandhurst is on the rebound from its first defeat of ’23 when it takes on Strathfieldsaye at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
The Dragons could not stop Golden Square’s final quarter charge of 23-nil to complete a 96-72 victory.
A Sandhurst squad co-coached by Ash Connick, non-playing, and Bryce Curnow, playing, includes Lee Coghlan, Andy Collins, Sam Conforti, Hamish Hosking, Cooper Smith, Nick Stagg and Lachlan Tardrew.
In round four, Sandhurst won at Triple M Park in Strathfieldsaye by five goals.
The Darryl Wilson-coached Storm beat Castlemaine by 70 points last round as captain Lachlan Sharp kicked 11 goals.
Players to watch for Storm include Daniel Clohesy, Lachlan Gill, Malik Gordon, Luke Webb and Riley Wilson.
Strathfieldsaye also has Baxter Slater, Mitch Hallinan, Shannon Geary, Lachlan Bonney and Lachlan Ratcliffe.
A resurgent Gisborne is back at Gardiner Reserve to take on Kangaroo Flat.
The Brad Fox-coached Gisborne outgunned Eaglehawk by seven goals in last Saturday’s clash on the Borough’s turf at Canterbury Park.
Bulldogs’ ruck-rover Brad Bernacki kicked four goals and was best afield against the Hawks.
A talented Gisborne line-up includes captain Jack Reaper who has switched from defence to attack, ruckman Braidon Blake, rover Flynn Lakey, and Matt Merrett on a wing.
The Bulldogs also have the marking power of Jed and Zac Denahy.
Kangaroo Flat marked a 15-point win at home against Maryborough last round.
The Jeremy Hayes-coached Roos face a huge task at Gisborne.
Harry Whitty and Nic Keogh are key targets in a Roos’ attack that includes Sam Barnes and Ethan Roberts.
A key to Flat’s chances will be the on-ball and midfield duels where Toby Roberts, Mitch Collins, Campbell Smith and Liam Collins are up against some of the league’s best.
Maryborough is back at Princes Park to take on Kyneton.
It’s been a big week off-field at Tigerland as Paul Chapman has stepped down as senior coach because of increased working commitments.
It was a mutual agreement for Chapman and the club to part ways in his third season with the yellow and back.
Assistant coach Darren Chambers will be in charge for the rest of the season.
Maryborough went so close to break its winless run last round.
The Coby Perry-coached Magpies did a lot right on Kangaroo Flat’s ground.
The play of Magpies’ key defender Kya Lanfranchi who racked up 25 disposals, 19 intercepts, 13 intercept marks and 214 ranking points earned the Barry Plant Player of the Round award.
Lanfranchi will again play a key role against the Tigers, along with Jake Postle and Lucas Hurse in defence, Joel Swatton in the centre, Chris Freeman and Taj Bond in attack.
Tom Myers will start in the ruck with Matt Johnston as ruck-rover for the Coby Perry-coached Maryborough.
The Tigers will be snarling after a big loss to South Bendigo at home.
Best in Kyneton’s latest hit-out included Jye Chambers, Jordan Iudica, Cameron Manuel, Brady Muir and Harrison Sheahan.
The Tigers also have Ethan Foreman and Thomas Quinn in attack.
Castlemaine is at home at Camp Reserve to face an Eaglehawk team on the rebound from defeat.
The Brendan Shepherd-coached Magpies will be aiming to carry the momentum of a five-goal final term at Strathfieldsaye into this contest.
Leading goalkickers for Castlemaine last round were Riley Pedretti, three; Brad Keogh and John Watson, two.
Players to watch for the black and white include Brodie Byrne, Matt Filo, Bailey Henderson, Callum McConachy, John Watson and Liam Wilkinson.
The Travis Matheson-coached Hawks will be fired up.
Eaglehawk’s line-up includes Lewin Davis, Billy Evans, Kallen Geary, Dylan Hanley and Sam Harper.
Key defender Oscar Madden is in for his first senior game of the year.
Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:
Sandhurst 214 per cent, 42 points; Golden Square 222, 40; South Bendigo 152, 32; Strathfieldsaye 142, 32; Eaglehawk 193, 30; Gisborne 125, 20; Kyneton 75, 20; Kangaroo Flat 60, 16; Castlemaine 41, 8; Maryborough 20, 0.
Leaders in the goalkicking race for the Ron Best Medal:
55 Joel Brett, Golden Square.
55 Lachlan Sharp, Strathfieldsaye.
38 Brock Harvey, South Bendigo.
37 Steven Stroobants, South Bendigo.
32 Lachlan Wright, Sandhurst.
29 William Keck, South Bendigo.
27 Cameron Manuel, Kyneton.
23 Lewin Davis, Eaglehawk.
21 James Schischka, Strathfieldsaye.
20 Matt Thornton, Sandhurst.
20 Braydon Vaz, Golden Square.
18 Harry Whitty, Kangaroo Flat.
17 Andy Collins, Sandhurst.
17 Ryan Hartley, Golden Square.
16 Cam McGlashan, Eaglehawk.
16 Hamish Morcom, Golden Square.
16 Darcy Richards, Eaglehawk.
15 Thomas Quinn, Kyneton.
15 Nick Stagg, Sandhurst.
14 Callum McCarty, Strathfieldsaye.
13 Dylan Hird, Eaglehawk.
13 Liam Marciano, Eaglehawk.
13 Noah Wheeler, Eaglehawk.