BFNL Round 17 Football Preview | Hawks eye ending Dogs’ run in Borough


EAGLEHAWK will be eyeing a chance to end Golden Square’s winning streak in Saturday’s 17th round of senior footy in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL season.

There’s plenty at stake as third takes on second at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park.

It’s the start of a tough two-week stretch for the Travis Matheson-coached Borough in the lead-up to the finals as it tackles Golden Square and then Sandhurst.

Victory would be a massive lift for the Hawks’ confidence and also break a 12-match winning streak by the Bulldogs.

When these clubs met in round eight it was the Christian Carter-coached Golden Square which fought for a 70-67 victory on its turf at Fur Life Oval in Wade Street.

There are plenty of key match-ups for Saturday’s contest.

Hawks’ ruckman Connor Dalgleish takes on the experienced Matt Compston.

The on-ball duels in which Noah Wheeler, Billy Evans and Joel Mullen take on Bulldogs’ stars Tom Toma, Ricky Monti and Ryan Hartley will be a highlight.

Although it may be without some key targets in attack, Eaglehawk has shown it has plenty of options.

Last round it was Sam O’Shannessy who kicked five goals in the win at Kyneton.

The Hawks have former St Kilda captain Jarryn Geary, Lewin Davis and Ben Thompson in the forward 50m arc.

Sam Harper and Dylan Hird will also be keen to have an impact for the Two Blues against their former club.

In defence, Eaglehawk has Marcus Angove, Clayton Holmes and Charlie Langford to take on Joel Brett, Jack Hickman and Braydon Vaz.

Massive test for the Hawks in trying to stop the running power of Golden Square captain Jack Geary and Jake Thrum.

Gisborne is back on its turf at Gardiner Reserve to take on South Bendigo.

In round eight the Bloods beat Gisborne by 68 points at Harry Trott Oval in Kennington.

Huge challenge for the Bulldogs defence in trying to stop Brock Harvey and Steven Stroobants who kicked 10 and seven goals in last Saturday’s home win against Maryborough.

Gisborne has premiership-winning coach Rob Waters back in charge and appointed to lead the club in ’24.

A key to the Bulldogs’ chances will be the on-ball contests where Braidon Blake, Matt Weber and Flynn Lakey take on Mac Cameron, Oscar White and Bloods’ coach Nathan Horbury.

The battle between Brad Bernacki and Brody Haddow in the centre will be a highlight.

Targets in Gisborne’s attack are Harry Luxmoore, Matt Merrett and Adam Brancatisano.

Gisborne named captain Jack Reaper who has spent a fair amount of time up forward at full-back.

Players to watch for the Bloods include Sam Langley, Isaiah Miller, Tait Poyser and captain Zac Hare.

Strathfieldsaye Storm is back at Triple M Park in Tannery Lane to take on Maryborough.

A 14-goal haul by Storm captain Lachlan Sharp in the big win at Kangaroo Flat earned the Barry Plant Player of Round 16 award.

Not only was Storm’s sharpshooter on target, but also racked up 12 marks, six  tackles and 218 ranking points.

Sharp has a superb record against Maryborough and could increase his lead in the race for the Ron Best Medal as this season’s leading goalkicker.

Strathfieldsaye has put together a strong attack that includes the marking power of James Schischka, Caleb Ernst  and Jack Exell, and includes Baxter Slater and Jordan Wilson at ground level.

The Darryl Wilson-coached Storm has plenty of dare and run provided from half-back by Luke Webb and Mitch Hallinan.

Players to watch include ruckman Jed Brereton, on-baller Daniel Clohesy, and Shannon Geary on his return from injury.

Been an incredibly tough season for a young Maryborough team and first-year coach Coby Perry.

The Magpies’ workrate at clearances and ability to try and shut down Storm’s run will be crucial.

A premiership winner with Strathfieldsaye, Matt Johnston returns to Triple M Park playing a key role for Maryborough.

The play of Joel Swatton in the centre, Kya Lanfranchi, Darcy Bond and Jake Postle in defence will be incredibly important for the Magpies.

Captain Ty Stewart is in the ruck and Brad Wootton as rover.

Castlemaine is on home turf at Camp Reserve to take on Sandhurst.

Been a tough run for the Brendan Shepherd-coached Magpies who played at Golden Square last Saturday.

The Magpies played well in quarters two and three, but the Dogs dominated by scoring 10 and eight goals in the other terms.

Best in Castlemaine’s latest hit-out were Riley Pedretti, Brodie Byrne, Lloyd Butcher, Ben McConachy, Brendan Josey and Liam Wilkinson.

For Sandhurst there will be no let-up in its ferocity at the contest and its defensive pressure.

The Dragons have a strong attack, but defence is a hallmark of its run which has netted 14 wins, a draw, and just one defeat.

Co-coach of the Dragons line-up with Ash Connick, Bryce Curnow was in outstanding form against Gisborne last round.

A formidable Dragons’ line-up includes the experience of Andy Collins, Nick Stagg, Matt Thornton and Alex Wharton.

Younger players such as Sam Conforti, Noah Walsh and Lachlan Wright have played significant roles in the team’s success.

Kangaroo Flat and Kyneton clash on the Roos’ turf at Dower Park.

The Jeremy Hayes-coached Kangaroos will be determined to mark their sixth win of the season.

Another big test for Roos’ on-ballers Toby Roberts, Mitch Collins and Mitch Trewhella against Jayden Eales, Hamish Yunghanns and Jordan Iudica.

In attack, Flat will look to Harry Whitty, Sam Barnes and Nic Keogh to cap off the work of Liam Collins, Ryan O’Keefe, Zac Rouse and more.

The Darren Chambers-coached Kyneton will be fired up after a big loss at home to Eaglehawk last round.

The Tigers’ attack includes Cameron Manuel, Ethan Foreman and Thomas Quinn.

Kyneton will look to Jake Safstrom, Caleb Fisher and Bailey McGee to do plenty of atacking, and for Harrison Huntley, Mason Crozier and Lucas Iduica to defend well.

Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:

Sandhurst 226 per cent, 58 points; Golden Square 245, 56; Eaglehawk 205, 46; Strathfieldsaye 140, 40; South Bendigo 137, 36; Kyneton 80, 32; Gisborne 113, 24; Kangaroo Flat 58, 20; Castlemaine 40, 8; Maryborough 21, 0.

Leaders in the goalkicking race for the Ron Best Medal:

79 Lachlan Sharp, Strathfieldsaye.

73 Joel Brett, Golden Square.

57 Brock Harvey, South Bendigo.

51 Steven Stroobants, South Bendigo.

42 Lachlan Wright, Sandhurst.

33 Lewin Davis, Eaglehawk.

33 Will Keck, South Bendigo.

33 Cameron Manuel, Kyneton.

30 Braydon Vaz, Golden Square.

29 James Schischka, Strathfieldsaye.

25 Jack Stewart, Golden Square.

25 Matt Thornton, Sandhurst.

24 Andy Collins, Sandhurst.

24 Thomas Quinn, Kyneton.

24 Harry Whitty, Kangaroo Flat.

23 Ryan Hartley, Golden Square.

21 Hamish Morcom, Golden Square.

21 Nick Stagg, Sandhurst.

21 Noah Wheeler, Eaglehawk.

20 Darcy Richards, Eaglehawk.

20 Tom Toma, Golden Square.

18 Matt Merrett, Gisborne.

17 Jed Brereton, Strathfieldsaye.

17 Ethan Foreman, Kyneton.

17 Cam McGlashan, Eaglehawk.

16 Sam Conforti, Sandhurst.

16 Zac Denahy, Gisborne.

16 Billy Evans, Eaglehawk.

16 Jack O’Shannessy, Eaglehawk.

15 Liam Marciano, Eaglehawk.

15 Baxter Slater, Strathfieldsaye.

14 Brad Bernacki, Gisborne.

14 Luke Ellings, Gisborne.

14 Jack Hickman, Golden Square.

14 Nic Keogh, Kangaroo Flat.

14 Harry Luxmoore, Gisborne.

14 Cobi Maxted, Sandhurst.

14 Callum McCarty, Strathfieldsaye.

14 Zavier Murley, Golden Square.

13 Liam Collins, Kangaroo Flat.

13 Dylan Hird, Eaglehawk.

13 Sam Langley, South Bendigo.

13 Jack Reaper, Gisborne.

13 Jake Summers, Kyneton.

12 Sam Barnes, Kangaroo Flat.

12 Braidon Blake, Gisborne.

12 Kallen Geary, Eaglehawk.

12 Brad Keogh, Castlemaine.

12 Tom Strauch, Golden Square.