SOUTH Bendigo and Strathfieldsaye Storm scored crucial wins against the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s two breed of Bulldog in Saturday’s round five action.
The Bloods marked a fourth consecutive victory as they beat Gisborne by 25 points at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Across the city, Strathfieldsaye withstood a final quarter fightback from Golden Square to win on the Bulldogs’ patch at Fur Life Vet Oval in Wade Street by 15 points.
Six goals by gun forward Kaiden Antonowicz, brilliance of Tom Brereton and Cooper Leon, and strong defence by Daniel Nalder, Brayden Torpey and Cameron Taggert were among the Bloods highlights.
On a day where South Bendigo had a reunion of four premiership teams, the Nathan Horbury-coached Bloods applied plenty of pressure and handled Gisborne’s heat for most of the contest.
Antonowicz kicked three goals in the opening term as South led 27-13 by the break.
The Bloods opened a 26-point margin by half-time and then surged to a 78-43 lead by three quarter-time.
Gisborne upped the pressure and hit plenty more targets inside 50m in the third term, but added 2.4 before South Bendigo seized control and added 4.1.
It was a high-scoring final term which the Bulldogs won by 10 points, but the Bloods took the points, 103-78.
Antonowicz led the attack and had great support from Sunny Brazier, three goals; and two apiece by the hard-working Michael Herlihy and wingman Oscar White.
Goal of the day honours were a toss-up between Brereton after a brilliant smother and running goal from near centre half-forward in the first term or Brazier’s set shot from deep in the pocket.
Midfielder Brody Haddow also did well to elude the Gisborne defence and bounce a fine goal in the third quarter.
Jack Scanlon was Gisborne’s leading goalkicker on three as Ethan Foreman and Sam Graham added two each.
Best for Gisborne were Brad Bernacki, Jarrad Lynch, ruckman Braidon Blake, Flynn Laker, Liam Spear and Scott Walsh.
Strathfieldsaye’s desperation for victory and to avoid a 1-3 record was evident from the first contest at Golden Square.
Storm led 12-9 at quarter-time.
Inaccuracy was the only downfall of a dominant second term as Strathfieldsaye added 3.10 and kept Square scoreless to lead 40-9 by half-time.
There was plenty of attacking play by both teams in the third as Storm added 6.5 to 5.4.
Faced with a 38-point deficit at the start of the last quarter, Golden Square again unleashed a brilliant burst to score six unanswered goals and draw within two points.
It was Storm, co-coached by Darryl Wilson and Shannon Geary which steadied to score the last two goals to complete a 95-80 victory.
Harry Conway and Caleb Ernst led Storm’s attack on four goals each.
The classy Joel Brett booted six goals to be best for the Bulldogs.
Best for Storm were Jye Formosa, Patrick Blandford, Lachlan Ratcliffe, Conway, Ernst and Kellan Smith.
Jon Coe, Ternence Reeves, Will Lee, Ryan Hartley and Zack Shelton played well for the Bulldogs.
Kyneton withstood a sensational challenge from Castlemaine to win in the Magpies’ next at Camp Reserve.
On the rebound from a 200-plus defeat the previous round, Castlemaine hit the front, 58-53 after a Bassett goal in the 23rd minute of the third quarter.
It was the Paul Chapman-coached Tigers who responded through goals by Bailey McGee, Chris Barry, Guy Dickson and Josh Smiley to lead 79-58 by three quarter-time.
The Pies were first to goal in the fourth through Ryan Woodlock, but majors by Angus Nolte and McGee put the Tigers up by 29 points.
Will Moran goaled for Castlemaine, but Jordan Mangan replied for Kyneton to seal a 13.24 (102) to 10.12 (72) victory.
Dickson was Kyneton’s leading goalkicker on three as Hamish Govan and McGee chipped in with two each.
Liam Wilkinson led Castlemaine’s attack on three majors as Hadley Bassett and John Watson booted two.
Best for Kyneton were McGee, James Orr, Rhys Magin, Ned O’Sullivan, Mangan and Sam Foreman.
Wilkinson, David Stephens, Watson, Declan Slingo, Riley Pedretti and Bassett were superb for the Don Moran-coached Magpies.
Eaglehawk kept Maryborough scoreless in the second half of their clash at Barkers Oval in Princes Park.
The Hawks led 32-10 at quarter-time and 72-23 by the long break.
Led by the play of Koby Hommelhoff, Billy Evans, Dylan Hanley and Joel Mullen, Eaglehawk scored 9.10 to nil in the second half to complete a 136-23 victory.
Jack Dye booted four goals for the Two Blues as the in-form Lewin Davis, Darcy Richards and Riley Saunders chipped in with three.
Goalkickers for Maryborough were Bailey Edwards, Jayden Hooper and Jayden Templeton.
The Hawks’ best included Jack Lawton and Sam Harper.
On a disappointing afternoon for Maryborough, Hooper, Harrison Monk, Edwards and Jake Postle were best for the Justin Abrams-coached line-up.
Sandhurst had 41 scoring shots in a 102-point win on Kangaroo Flat’s ground at Bendigo Mazda Oval in Dower Park.
The Dragons were fired up from the first contest as they scored 9.5 to 1.1 in the opening term.
Kangaroo Flat’s best performance was in the second as it scored 3.1 to 3.6 as the Dragons gained a 57-point lead by the long break.
Matt Thornton, Joel Wharton and Lachlan Zimmer all kicked three goals in a 136-34 result for the ladder-leading Sandhurst.
Max Johnson led the Roos’ attack on two goals.
Best for Sandhurst were Noah Walsh, James Coghlan, Joel Wharton, Chris Down, Lachlan Zimmer and Liam Ireland.
Captain and ruckman Nick Lang was Kangaroo Flat’s best, along with Brodie Fry, Tom Gillespie, Jake Hywood, Jade Mayes and Mitch Trewhella.
Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:
Sandhurst 199 per cent, 16 points; South Bendigo 149, 16; Eaglehawk 380, 12; Golden Square 134, 8; Strathfieldsaye 131, 8; Gisborne 128, 8; Kyneton 94, 8; Maryborough 57, 4; Kangaroo Flat 25, 0; Catlemaine 24, 0.
There is a new leader in the race for the Ron Best Medal for leading goalkicker.
Eaglehawk’s Darcy Richards has moved to spot on 17 goals ahead of Golden Square’s Jake Thrum and Strathfieldsaye’s Lachlan Sharp on 15; and South Bendigo’s Kaiden Antonowicz, 14.
Next best are Maryborough’s Jayden Templeton and Eaglehawk’s Lewin Davis, 12; and Strathfieldsaye’s Cooper Jones on 11.
Unbeaten teams Sandhurst and South Bendigo clash in next Saturday’s fifth round at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Gisborne takes on Castlemaine at Gardiner Reserve.
Kyneton and Eaglehawk do battle at Kyneton Showgrounds.
Strathfieldsaye and Kangaroo Flat meet in Storm territory at Triple M Park in Tannery Lane.
Maryborough meets Golden Square at Barkers Oval in Princes Park.
Written by Nathan Dole