BFNL Round 15 Football Preview | Storm fronts Bloods in big test


THERE’S plenty at stake as Strathfieldsaye and South Bendigo contest Saturday’s 15th round of senior footy in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL season.

Locked on 32 points, Storm and the Bloods will be desperate to strengthen their position in the top five as they meet at Triple M Park in Strathfieldsaye’s Tannery Lane.

Both teams start the round a win, but more than 38 per cent clear of the sixth-placed Kyneton which will start favourite on Castlemaine’s turf.

Just 11 points separated Storm and South Bendigo when they met at Kennington’s Harry Trott Oval in the sixth round.

In terms of injury, Storm is among the hardest hit.

Ins to the Storm squad coached by Darryl Wilson are Caleb Ernst, Carson James, Ben Lester, Lachlan Monti, Bode Stevens and Jordan Wilson.

Out are Jake Moorhead, Lachlan Bonney, Malik Gordon and Joseph Mayes.

After being outrun in the first quarter at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park last round, Storm surged back to win the next three terms, 78-47.

At the final siren the Hawks led 98-84.

Key targets in Strathfieldsaye’s attack are captain Lachlan Sharp, a multiple premiership winner, Michelsen medallist and Ron Best medallist.

Storm will also look to James Schischka and Baxter Slater to finish off attacking moves.

Other key players for Storm include Luke Webb at half-back, on-baller Dylan Clohesy, Lachlan Gill in the centre, and defenders Mitch Hallinan and Lachlan Ratcliffe.

South Bendigo is on the rebound from a 29-point loss to Sandhurst at Queen Elizabeth Oval.

The Bloods have an 8-6 record, but just the one victory against a top-five team which was at Golden Square in round four.

A key for South Bendigo will be the play of ruckman Mac Cameron at centre ball-ups and around the ground.

Centreman Brody Haddow has starred for the red and white all season, while Steven Stroobants and Brock Harvey lead the attack.

Run from the likes of captain Zac Hare, Oscar White, Wil McCaig, Braydan Torpey, Sam Maher and Tait Poyser will be crucial for the Nathan Horbury-coached Bloods on the big ground.

It’s the battle of the Bulldogs as Gisborne hosts Golden Square at Gardiner Reserve.

On a 10-game winning streak, Golden Square will start favourite.

The Christian Carter-coached Bulldogs had Joel Brett boot 12 goals in last week’s win against Maryborough.

Other multiple goalkickers were Jack Stewart, five; Bailey Cain, Ryan Hartley and Hamish Morcom, three.

On-ball and midfield duels will be a highlight of the all-Bulldogs clash.

Golden Square has ruckman Matt Compston, Tom Toma, Ricky Monti and Ryan Hartley up against Braidon Blake, Brad Bernacki, Flynn Lakey and Matt Weber.

The Brad Fox-coached Gisborne is on the rebound from a three-point loss to Kyneton at Tigerland.

On a 6-8 record the reigning premier needs plenty to go right to qualify for the finals.

An upset victory against Square is a must for the red, white and blue.

Players to watch for Gisborne include Zac Denahy, Luke Ellings, Sam Graham, Matt Merrett, and captain Jack Reaper.

Castlemaine and Kyneton clash at Castlemaine’s Camp Reserve.

Although beaten at Kangaroo Flat last round, Castlemaine will have gained plenty of confidence from the 73-96 result.

Bailey Henderson was superb for the Magpies as he racked up 39 disposals, eight tackles, 10 marks, 10 clearances, seven goals and 236 ranking points to be the Barry Plant Player of the Round.

The Tigers will have put plenty of time into working out how to curb Henderson’s influence.

In-form players for the Brendan Shepherd-coached Magpies include Brodie Byrne, Callum McConachy, John Watson and Liam Wilkinson.

Castlemaine’s line-up includes Matt Filo, Ashton Frankling, Ethan Hein and Brad Keogh.

Since taking over as Kyneton’s coach after Paul Chapman’s departure, Darren Chambers has a two-nil record.

The Tigers showed plenty of fight to turn a two-goal deficit at three quarter-time of the match against Gisborne into a three-point victory.

Kyneton’s charge was led by Thomas Quinn, Harrison Sheahan, Jordan and Lucas Iudica.

The Tigers also have key playmaker Cameron Manuel, experience of Ethan Foreman in attack, and Harrison Huntley in defence.

Eaglehawk tackles Kangaroo Flat in the Hawks’ nest at Canterbury Park.

The Travis Matheson-coached Hawks will be wary after Kangaroo Flat sprung an upset three-point win at Dower Park in round six.

It was the start of a four-match stint in which Eaglehawk endured three defeats, but drew with Sandhurst.

Victory will ensure the third-placed Hawks stay clear of the Bloods or Storm.

A highlight of Eaglehawk’s latest win was a spread of 11 goalkickers.

Ruckman Connor Dalgleish is in great form, along with co-captain Billy Evans, Lewin Davis, defender Charlie Langford, and Noah Wheeler.

The Hawks also have the brilliance of Kallen Geary in midfield or across half-back.

Huge test for the Roos, but few fans expected them to beat the Hawks last time.

The Jeremy Hayes-coached Roos will rely greatly on the play of key defender Ryan O’Keefe, on-ballers Mitch Trewhella and Liam Collins, and intercept marking of Zac Rouse.

Best for the Roos last round included Harry Whitty and Aaron Nevins.

Maryborough is on home turf at Princes Park to play Sandhurst.

Being able to win a quarter or two, or limit the Dragons’ scoring will be a major goal for the Coby Perry-coached Maryborough.

Best for the Magpies in the match at Golden Square were Joel Swatton, Kya Lanfranchi, Kaian Constable and Luke Dunne.

The experienced Matt Johnston also won plenty of the ball against the Bulldogs.

The Ash Connick and Bryce Curnow-coached Sandhurst will want to bring the same intensity as if playing a top-three opponent.

Stars for the Dragons include Lee Coghlan, Andy Collins, Sam Conforti and Nick Stagg.

Sandhurst also has gun ruckman Hamish Hosking, and an attack that includes Cobi Maxted, Matt Thornton and Lachlan Wright.

Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:

Sandhurst 206 per cent, 50 points; Golden Square 238, 48; Eaglehawk 195, 38; South Bendigo 131.8, 32; Strathfieldsaye 131.2, 32; Kyneton 83, 28; Gisborne 125, 24; Kangaroo Flat 63, 20; Castlemaine 41, 8; Maryborough 21, 0.

Leaders in the goalkicking race for the Ron Best Medal:

69 Joel Brett, Golden Square.

58 Lachlan Sharp, Strathfieldsaye.

43 Steven Stroobants, South Bendigo.

41 Brock Harvey, South Bendigo.

35 Lachlan Wright, Sandhurst.

33 Cameron Manuel, Kyneton.

32 Will Keck, South Bendigo.

28 Lewin Davis, Eaglehawk.

27 James Schischka, Strathfieldsaye.

25 Braydon Vaz, Golden Square.

24 Andy Collins, Sandhurst.

22 Harry Whitty, Kangaroo Flat.

21 Hamish Morcom, Golden Square.

21 Ryan Hartley, Golden Square.

20 Matt Thornton, Sandhurst.

19 Darcy Richards, Eaglehawk.

18 Jack Stewart, Golden Square.

18 Thomas Quinn, Kyneton.

17 Cam McGlashan, Eaglehawk.

16 Matt Merrett, Gisborne.

16 Tom Toma, Golden Square.

16 Noah Wheeler, Eaglehawk.

15 Zac Denahy, Gisborne.

15 Nick Stagg, Sandhurst.

14 Luke Ellings, Gisborne.

14 Liam Marciano, Eaglehawk.

14 Callum McCarty, Strathfieldsaye.

14 Jack O’Shannessy, Eaglehawk.

13 Brad Bernacki, Gisborne.

13 Jed Brereton, Strathfieldsaye.

13 Billy Evans, Eaglehawk.

13 Jack Hickman, Golden Square.

13 Dylan Hird, Eaglehawk.

13 Zavier Murley, Golden Square.

13 Jack Reaper, Gisborne.

12 Sam Barnes, Kangaroo Flat.

12 Liam Collins, Kangaroo Flat.

12 Ethan Foreman, Kyneton.

12 Cobi Maxted, Sandhurst.

12 Baxter Slater, Strathfieldsaye.

12 Jake Summers, Kyneton.