GISBORNE capped a miraculous final quarter fightback to defeat Eaglehawk by four points in Saturday’s sixth round of senior footy action in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League.
Winless on the road in two previous attempts, Gisborne faced a 27-point deficit at three quarter-time of the clash on Eaglehawk’s turf at S & R Park in Canterbury Park.
The Rob Waters-coached Gisborne slammed on 5.5 to just four behinds in a remarkable final term to complete a 67-63 victory.
After an evenly-fought opening term, Eaglehawk surged clear in the next to build a three-point lead into a 21-point break by half-time.
The Borough won the third term, 14-8, but it was the Bulldogs who lifted their ferocity at the contest and was rewarded with goals in a dramatic final quarter.
Gisborne captain Pat McKenna kicked a team-high three goals and was among the best in a contest where key defender Jack Reaper, Jarrad Lynch, Nick Doolan, Jake O’Brien and Trent Crosbie starred for the red, white and blue.
Eaglehawk’s attack was led by Jack Dye, three goals; Jarrod Findlay and Darcy Richards, two each.
Best for the Two Blues were Dylan Hanley, Jack Lawton, Billy Evans, Noah Wheeler, Dye and Joel Mullen.
Strathfieldsaye Storm was too strong for South Bendigo at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
After a 0-2 start to the season, Storm has surged to fourth place on the ladder.
It was consecutive defeats for the Bloods as Storm won the first three quarters, 40-27, 32-14 and 32-7.
Storm’s best was clearly the third as it scored 5.2 to 1.1 to open a 56-point buffer at a quarter to go.
The Bloods fought back to score 4.2 to 1.5 in the last, but it was Strathfieldsaye which marked an emphatic victory, 17.13 (115) to 11.8 (74).
Storm star Lachlan Sharp kicked six goals in another superb display as co-coach Shannon Geary kicked two.
Strathfieldsaye’s defence made it extremely difficult for the Bloods to find avenues to goal.
Leading goalkickers for South Bendigo were Michael Herlihy and Cooper Leon on two.
Storm’s best were Jake Moorhead, Tim Hosking, Lachlan Ratcliffe, Fergus Payne, Daniel Clohesy and Lachlan Gill.
Best for the Bloods were Brody Haddow, Oscar White, Tom Brereton, Leon, Herlihy and Zac Hare.
Second in the premiership race just a fortnight ago, South Bendigo is now fifth and could slide further by the end of the round as Golden Square will start favourite to win at Kangaroo Flat next Saturday.
Kyneton surged clear in the final quarter to complete a 31-point victory against Maryborough in the Tigers’ lair at Kyneton Showgrounds.
The Paul Chapman-coached Tigers led 76-1 at a quarter to go and then slammed on 7.2 to 3.5 in the last for a 17.13 (115) to 12.12 (84) result.
Ben Cameron kicked five goals in a best afield performance for Kyneton as classy onballer Rhys Magin and Bailey McGee chipped in with three apiece.
Maryborough’s attack was led by Ashley Humphrey on four as Tom Gardam added two.
The Tigers best included McGee, Ned O’Sullivan, Jordan Mangan, James Gaff and Chris Barry.
Best for the Magpies were rising star Aiden Hare, Jayden Hooper, Lachlan Ratcliff and Lachlan Hull.
Sandhurst slammed on 13 goals as it kept Castlemaine scoreless in the third quarter of their clash at Camp Reserve.
The Dragons raced to a 27-nil lead by the 16-minute mark of the clash as Joel Wharton, Lachlan Zimmer, Oscar McKinley and co-captain Nick Stagg were on target.
Castlemaine fought back through goals by Klai Jermyn and Callum McConachy.
Sandhurst led 37-13 at quarter-time and 70-14 by the long break.
It was one-way traffic in the third term as the Dragons poured on the pressure and the goals.
Multiple goalkickers in the quarter were Brodie Montague (2), Mitchell Rovers (2) and Joel Wharton (2).
They have starred in defence all season, but even Noah Walsh and Lachlan Ross joined in the goalkicking run.
By the final siren Sandhurst led 31.21 (207) to 2.7 (19).
The Dragons’ attack was led by Joel Wharton, seven; McKinley, Montague, Rovers, Zimmer and Walsh on three each.
Co-captain Nick Stagg was best afield as Wharton, ruckman Chris Down, Walsh, James Mittell and Lachlan Ross starred for Sandhurst.
Best for Castlemaine were Will Moran, Liam Wilkinson, McConachy, John Watson, David Stephens and Dakota Slingo.
Round six will be completed next Saturday when Kangaroo Flat and Golden Square clash from 4pm at Bendigo Mazda Oval in Dower Park.
Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder after Saturday’s matches:
Sandhurst 229 per cent, 24 points; Eaglehawk 259, 16; Gisborne 179, 16; Strathfieldsaye 159, 16; South Bendigo 118, 16; Golden Square 136, 12; Kyneton 94, 12; Maryborough 61, 4; Kangaroo Flat 23, 0; Castlemaine 17, 0.
In the battle for the Ron Best Medal as leading goalkicker, Lachlan Sharp has a 10-goal buffer to Pat McKenna.
A multiple winner of the award, Sharp has kicked 33 goals in six games, and McKenna’s haul is 23 in four matches.
Next best are South Bendigo’s Kaiden Antonowicz and Eaglehawk’s Darcy Richards on 20; Sandhurst’s Joel Wharton, 18; Maryborough’s Jayden Templeton and Golden Square’s Jake Thrum on 16.
Written by Nathan Dole