BFNL Round 2 Football Preview | Storm tackles Square in match of the round


TWO of the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s biggest rivals, Strathfieldsaye and Golden Square clash in Saturday’s second round of the senior footy season.

After a great victory at Gisborne in round one, Strathfieldsaye is home at Triple M Park in Tannery Lane to face the Bulldogs from 2.20pm.

Last time Storm and Square met was the 2022 qualifying final where Baxter Slater kicked seven goals to be best afield in a 98-60 win by Strathfieldsaye.

The play of key defender Mitch Hallinan, onballer and 2022 Michelsen medallist Jake Moorhead, and Daniel Clohesy were key factors in Storm’s victory.

Strathfieldsaye went on to reach a grand final as the run by the Christian Carter-coached Bulldogs was ended in the preliminary final by eventual premier, Gisborne.

There have been plenty of changes to Storm’s line-up since the grand final.

The Darryl Wilson-coached Strathfieldsaye was beaten by Golden Square at Triple M Park in last season’s 18th round by 47 points.

In last Saturday’s start to the ’23 campaign it was Storm captain Lachlan Sharp who led the attack on four goals at Gardiner Reserve.

A Michelsen medallist and dual winner of the Ron Best Medal for the BFNL goalkicking title, Sharp is always a big threat to any defence.

The Bulldogs will rely a lot on Jon Coe, Will Lee and Zack Shelton in the back six.

Golden Square’s run through the midfield is a major strength.

The workrate of captain Jack Geary, Hamish Morcom and Jake Thrum is outstanding.

They will be up against Darcy Mulquiny, Lachlan Gill, Riley Wilson and Callum McCarty.

In attack, Joel Brett and Jayden Burke are the key targets who regularly cap off the work of Bulldogs’ team-mates Liam Barrett, Ricky Monti and Terence Reeves.

Storm’s defence includes Shannon Murphy, Lachie Ratcliffe and Ben Lester.

Another big match will be at Kyneton Showgrounds where the Tigers take on Sandhurst.

The Paul Chapman-coached Tigers will be desperate to start well after they were down 67-8 at half-time of the season opener at Golden Square’s Fur Life Oval.

Kyneton did lift to limit the Dogs winning margin to 64 points.

The Tigers will look for big games from the likes of Thomas Quinn, Cameron Manuel, Jordan and Lucas Iudica, Ethan Foreman, Harrison Huntley and Hamish Yunghanns.

It will not be an easy task for the yellow and black against the Dragons.

Fight for victory was what Sandhurst had to do against Kangaroo Flat at Queen Elizabeth Oval.

The Dragons were down by margins of 14, five and five points at each quarter break.

Led by the play of Isaac Carracher, James Coghlan and ruckman Hamish Hosking, the Dragons won the last term, 25-12, and the contest, 49-41.

Key players in a team jointly coached by Ash Connick, non-playing, and Bryce Curnow, playing, include Andy Collins, Nick Stagg, Matt Thornton, Zach Pallpratt and Cobi Maxted.

After a promising start to the season, Kangaroo Flat is on its ground at Dower Park to take on South Bendigo.

Although bitterly disappointed not to have beaten Sandhurst, there were plenty of positives for the Nathan Johns-coached Kangaroos.

Gun onballer/mid Mitch Trewhella was the Roos’ best along with Ryan O’Keefe, co-captain Ethan Roberts and Angus Grant.

A big challenge for Flat will be in the ruck where Toby Roberts is opposed to Mac Cameron.

The Roos’ other co-captain, Mitch Collins is capable of winning many possessions.

Jordan and Zachary Rouse were named as key targets in Flat’s attack.

South Bendigo is on the rebound from a 10-point loss to Eaglehawk at the Bloods’ new home of Harry Trott Oval in Kennington’s Neale Street.

Riley Walsh, Oscar White and Braydan Torpey marked great starts to the season.

After being well held in round one, Bloods’ forwards Brock Harvey and Steven Stroobants loom as huge threats to the Roos chances.

Other key players for the red and white include coach Nathan Horbury, Cooper Leon, Brody Haddow, Zac Hare and Andrew van Heumen.

After a brilliant final quarter to clinch victory at Maryborough’s Princes Park, Castlemaine is at home to take on Gisborne.

It will be a massive test for the Brendan Shepherd-coached Castlemaine at Camp Reserve as they face a reigning premier on the rebound from defeat.

Despite an 11-point deficit at the start of the final term of the first round clash, Castlemaine scored 3.5 to a point to claim a 37-26 win.

Castlemaine’s best were John Watson, Brodie Byrne, Matt Filo, and Lloyd Butcher.

The Magpies’ match-ups in midfield and onball will be vital to stop Gisborne’s link and run.

Liam Wilkinson, captain Jackson Hood, Callum McConachy, David and Thomas Wilson will play crucial roles for the black and white.

The Brad Fox-coached Gisborne has ruckman Braidon Blake, Jed and Zac Denahy to line up against their former club.

The Bulldogs have brought in Tom Wood at centre half-forward.

Captain Jack Reaper is one of the league’s best defenders, while Flynn Lakey, Sam Graham, Adam Brancatisano and Matt Merrett are capable of doing plenty of damage.

Eaglehawk takes on Maryborough at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park.

The Hawks won a closely-fought contest with South Bendigo, 58-48, as the play of Billy Evans in which he racked up 34 dispoals earned the Barry Plant Real Estate player of the round award.

Fans of the Two Blues will also the Geary brothers, Jarryn and Kallen team up.

A Two Blues attack that includes captain Cameron McGlashan, Dylan Hird, Liam Marciano and Lewin Davis will be tough for the Pies to hold across four quarters.

The inclusion of Lockington Bamawm United premiership player Marcus Angove, named at half-back, is another massive plus for the Hawks.

Others to watch for the Hawks include Dylan Hanley, Connor Dalgleish, Sam Thompson and Noah Wheeler.

The Coby Perry-coached Magpies have brought in Alex Brown.

Ty Stewart, Joel Swatton, Brady Neill and Luke Bucknall were best for the Magpies against Castlemaine at Princes Park.

Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:

Golden Square 356 per cent, 4 points; Castlemaine 142, 4; Eaglehawk 120, 4; Sandhurst 119, 4; Strathfieldsaye 117, 4; Gisborne 84, 0; Kangaroo Flat 83, 0; South Bendigo 82, 0; Maryborough 70, 0; Kyneton 28, 0.

Leading goalkickers:

4 Joel Brett, GS; Lachlan Sharp, S’saye.

3 Zac Denahy, Gis.; Jack Exell, S’saye; Harry Luxmoore, Gis.

2 Jayden Burke, GS; Andy Collins, Sh; Luke Foreman, KF; Kallen Geary, Eh; Sam Griffiths, SB; Dylan Hird, Eh; Will Keck, SB; Hamish Morcom, GS; Thomas Quinn, Kyn.; Lachlan Wright, Sh.