BFNL Round 7 Football Preview


Storm’s run under threat on Gisborne’s ground

AN UNBEATEN run by Strathfieldsaye Storm is under threat when it plays at Gisborne in Saturday’s seventh round of the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL senior footy season.

Clubs will mark Indigenous Round in which Kangaroo Flat and Castlemaine will play for the Wirama Shield on the Kangaroos’ turf at Dower Park.

Further south at Gisborne’s Gardiner Reserve it’s third against second.

The Rob Waters-coached Gisborne will be striving to deny Storm a sixth consecutive victory.

Both teams are in great form.

On day one of the split sixth round, Gisborne won at Eaglehawk by 34 points, and the Luke Freeman-coached Storm beat Kangaroo Flat by 83 points at Strathfieldsaye’s Triple M Park.

Highlight of this showdown between the Bulldogs and Storm will be the on-ball duels.

Gisborne ruckman Braidon Blake joins forces with Flynn Lakey, Jackson Cardillo and Brad Bernacki.

They will be up against George Simpson, Matt Harvey, Lachlan Gill and Bode Stevens.

The athleticism and marking strength of Gisborne forwards Pat McKenna, Harry Luxmoore, Zac Denahy and Jack Scanlon is a major strength.

Key for Storm will be defensive spoils and winning the footy at ground level.

Strathfieldsaye has the experience of Ben Lester, Lachlan Ratcliffe and Daniel Clohesy in defence.

Storm’s attack is led by James Schischka  and Zach Charles in the aerial duels, and the workrate of Abe Sheahan, Carson James and Riley Wilson at ground level.

It’s been many weeks since Kangaroo Flat and Castlemaine have marked a victory.

For the Michael Ellings-coached Roos it was round three at home against South Bendigo.

A Castlemaine line-up coached by Michael Hartley kicked off the season with victory in the stand-alone match against Maryborough on Good Friday at Camp Reserve.

The Magpies have since endured four defeats.

A victory for the Kangaroos will mean jumping a rung above South Bendigo.

Jack Lefroy makes a welcome return to the Roos line-up after playing for Carlton in last weekend’s VFL clash with Gold Coast Suns.

Kangaroo Flat’s team to take on the Magpies includes Justin Bateson, Luke Ellings, Josh Leersen, Zach Rouse and Harry Whitty.

Quick movement to a forward line where Michael Hartley and Zach Greeves have the height and strength to test their opponents will be a goal for the Magpies.

Players to watch for the Pies include captain Bailey Henderson, Brodie Byrne, Ashton Frankling, Kalan Huntly, Will Moran and John Watson.

The ladder-leading Sandhurst takes on long-time rival Eaglehawk at Queen Elizabeth Oval.

The fourth-placed Hawks will be desperate to beat one of the league’s top three.

Sandhurst retained the Ron Best Memorial Shield in last Saturday’s clash at Golden Square.

The Ash Connick and Bryce Curnow-coached Dragons have plenty of scoring options.

Among them is Curnow who booted four goals on Golden Square’s turf at Fur Life Oval.

A Dragons attack that includes Fergus Greene, Lachlan Wright and Alex Wharton presents many challenges for Hawks defenders Oscar Madden, Clayton Holmes and Charlie Langford.

The Travis Matheson-coached Hawks have Billy Evans, Joel Mullen and Jack Thompson in the on-ball duels to take on the likes of Lachlan Tardrew, James Coghlan and Nick Stagg.

Maryborough is on home turf at Princes Park against Golden Square.

Been plenty of focus on Maryborough this week and the club’s goals beyond this season.

For coaches Coby Perry and Matt Johnston the immediate target is being as competitive as the Magpies can be against the Bulldogs.

Massive plus for Maryborough is the return of midfielder Joel Swatton who had not played since round three.

Magpies’ defender Kya Lanfranchi is up against the odds every match, but always performs well.

A young Magpies line-up includes Aidan Medlyn, Josh Britten, Alex Brown, Ash Humphrey and Kirk Looby.

The Brad Eaton-coached Golden Square will not want standards to drop, regardless of who it plays.

Expect Jayden Burke, Jordan Rosengren, Drew Barrett, Harrison Burke and Luke Holt to lead the way.

The Bulldogs have brought in Noah Warfe, son of former Fitzroy and Sydney Swans defender Rowan, to play his first senior match.

A talented group of youngsters in the Golden Square line-up includes Xavier Carter, Macey Eaton and Zac Tickell.

South Bendigo has the bye.

Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:

Sandhurst 451 per cent, 20 points; Strathfieldsaye 164, 20; Gisborne 287, 16; Eaglehawk 121, 12; Golden Square 86, 8; South Bendigo 82, 8; Kangaroo Flat 59, 8; Castlemaine 87, 4; Maryborough 17, 0.

Leaders in the goalkicking race for the Ron Best Medal:

32 Brock Harvey, South Bendigo.

29 Fergus Greene, Sandhurst.

23 Pat McKenna, Gisborne.

20 Harry Luxmoore, Gisborne.

18 Michael Hartley, Castlemaine.

18 James Schischka, Strathfieldsaye.

18 Lachlan Wright, Sandhurst.

16 Steven Stroobants, South Bendigo.

13 Darcy Richards, Eaglehawk.

12 Malik Gordon, Strathfieldsaye.

11 Jayden Burke, Golden Square.

11 Jonty Neaves, Eaglehawk.

11 Noah Walsh, Sandhurst.

10 Bryce Curnow, Sandhurst.

10 Zac Denahy, Gisborne.

9 Justin Bateson, Kangaroo Flat.

9 Brad Bernacki, Gisborne.

9 Bailey Henderson, Castlemaine.

9 Jack Stewart, Golden Square.

9 Lachlan Tardrew, Sandhurst.