GISBORNE will fight to avoid a third loss on the road when it plays on Eaglehawk’s turf at Canterbury Park in Saturday’s sixth round of the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League season.
The Bulldogs have dominated most home games at Gardiner Reserve, but were beaten at Golden Square by two goals and went down to South Bendigo by 25 points at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
It’s another tough ask for the Rob Waters-coached Bulldogs as they make the trek to S & R Park in Simpson’s Road, Eaglehawk.
The Bulldogs showed their attacking flair as they kicked 33 goals in last Saturday’s win against Castlemaine.
Pat McKenna kicked 12 goals as Braidon Blake, Jake O’Brien and Jack Scanlon chipped in with four.
Players to watch for Gisborne include Brad Bernacki, Flynn Lakey, Josh Kemp and Jack Reaper.
The Bulldogs regain Lachlan Crosbie and Anthony Belcher and have also brought in Revell.
A massive blow is Michelsen medallist and gun onballer Scott Walsh being out, along with Sam Graham and Liam Spear.
Defensive pressure from the Travis Matheson-coached Hawks will be so much higher, not just by the back six, but also through midfield and attack.
Key players for the Borough include Billy Evans, Sam Harper, Darcy Richards, Shaun Knott, Brodie Filo, Riley McIvor and Joel Mullen.
The Hawks’ defence is bolstered by the return of Oscar Madden, and Harry Gadsden is also in for the Two Blues.
In attack, Ben Thompson’s leap and marking strength were highlights of the Hawks’ victory at Kyneton.
South Bendigo is back at Queen Elizabeth Oval to face Strathfieldsaye Storm.
The Bloods’ winning streak was ended as Sandhurst won the clash of the co-tenants by nine points.
There was plenty to like about South Bendigo’s fight from a five-goal deficit at the start of the last quarter to take the lead by the 18th minute.
Bloods’ coach Nathan Horbury will be keen not to allow Storm to gain such a sizeable break.
A talented South Bendigo attack is led by Kaiden Antonowicz, 19 goals; Sunny Brazier, Michael Herlihy and Brock Harvey.
Young Bloods such as Cooper Leon, Oscar Simpson, Oscar White and Tom Brereton are in great form.
South Bendigo will also look to the experience of Zac Hare, Daniel Nalder and Joel Swatton.
Just who is opposed to Storm’s gun full-forward Lachlan Sharp will have taken up a lot of Horbury’s planning.
Sharp kicked 12 goals in the win against Kangaroo Flat and leads the race for the Ron Best Medal on 27.
It’s not all about Sharp as Storm regains Caleb Ernst and Harry Conway who both kicked four goals in the win at Golden Square.
A key to Strathfieldsaye’s game is keep possession in which skilful players such as Kellan Smith, co-coach Shannon Geary, Callum McCarty and James Schischka excel.
Storm named a ‘from’ interchange of eight.
The ins for Strathfieldsaye include key forward Cooper Jones and onballer Jake Moorhead.
Castlemaine takes on Sandhurst at Camp Reserve.
Most recent match for Castlemaine at home was its best as the Magpies led in the third quarter before Kyneton kicked away to win by five goals.
Another huge challenge awaits the Don Moran-coached Castlemaine against the unbeaten league leader.
The play of Liam Wilkinson, John Watson, Jackson Hood, Declan Slingo, Riley Pedretti and David Stephens will be important in not allowing Sandhurst to slam on goals in quick succession.
The Ashley Connick-coached Sandhurst answered South Bendigo’s final quarter surge to win by nine points.
Best in the Dragons’ latest win were midfielder James Coghlan, last quarter star Brodie Montague, Joel Wharton, ruckman Chris Down and young defender Noah Walsh.
The Dragons have brought in Cobi Maxted, Jayden Jones and Lachlan Ross, but will be without key defender Isaac Ruff, key forward Matt Thornton and Tanner Nally.
Kyneton hosts Maryborough at Kyneton Showgrounds.
The Tigers could move two wins clear of the Magpies, or they could be locked on a 2-4 record.
The Paul Chapman-coached Kyneton worked hard in the Pride Cup game against Eaglehawk, but the visitors had too much goalkicking power and midfield class to stop.
Key players for the Tigers include Jordan Mangan, Rhys Magin in the centre, Cameron Wallace, Guy Dickson, Harrison Huntley and Ned O’Sullivan.
Ins for Kyneton are Andrew Beckerley, Sam Caruso, Evan Davie, Hayden Ingleton and Johnston.
James Orr and Tom O’Sullivan are out.
Maryborough worked extremely hard to be within 25 points of Golden Square when the final siren sounded at Barkers Oval, Princes Park.
The Magpies are strengthened by the return of captain and star onballer Coby Perry after his recovery from Achilles surgery.
Perry was named on the bench, but adds significant pace and skill to an onball and midfield brigade that includes the in-form Bailey Edwards, Matt Bilton and Lachlan Butler.
Another key inclusion for Maryborough is key forward Jayden Templeton who leads the goalkicking on 12.
Other players to watch for the Magpies are Aidan Hare, Jayden Hooper and ruckman Brady Neill.
All matches start at 2.20pm.
Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:
Sandhurst 175 per cent, 20 points; Eaglehawk 310, 16; South Bendigo 135, 16; Gisborne 193, 12; Strathfieldsaye 160, 12; Golden Square 136, 12; Kyneton 87, 8; Maryborough 58, 4; Kangaroo Flat 23, 0; Castlemaine 19, 0.
Kangaroo Flat and Golden Square meet in a stand-alone game on Saturday, May 22 at Bendigo Mazda Oval in Kangaroo Flat’s Dower Park from 4pm to complete the round.
Written by Nathan Dole