SANDHURST marked its seventh victory in a row after a hard-fought contest with Eaglehawk in Saturday’s seventh round of the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s senior footy action.
There were no spectators as two of the league’s fiercest rivals who were first and second on the ladder met at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
The Sandhurst Dragons led 32-17 at quarter-time, but the Hawks fought back to make it 40-all by the long break.
Eaglehawk had most of the play in the second term, but was let down by wayward kicking inside the forward 50m arc as it scored 3.5 to 1.2.
Led by the play of key forward Matt Thornton, midfielder Lachlan Tardrew, and the skilful Lachlan Ross it was Sandhurst which kicked away to lead 66-57 at a quarter to play.
Both line-ups added 20 points apiece in the final term as the Dragons prevailed 13.8 (86) to 10.17 (77).
Thornton led Sandhurst’s attack on four goals in a best afield performance.
Michelsen medallist and co-captain Lee Coghlan added two goals, which was a feat matched by Oscar McKinley and Lachlan Zimmer.
Leading goalkicker for the Hawks was Jack Dye on four as Darcy Richards added three.
Sandhurst coach Ash Connick was rapt to have Tardrew’s experience from playing in the VFL with Collingwood to be in the engine room for his team.
The Dragons’ best included James Mittell, Lee Coghlan and Noah Walsh.
Best for Eaglehawk were Koby Hommelhoff, Joel Mullen, Dylan Hanley, Ben Thompson, Ged Hommelhoff and Sam Harper.
It was a super effort by the Travis Matheson-coached Eaglehawk as it was without stars such as Billy Evans, Brodie Filo, Lewin Davis, Jarrod Findlay, Shaun Knott, Kobe Lloyd and Noah Wheeler.
The Borough dropped from second to fifth and face a red-hot Strathfieldsaye next Saturday in the Hawks’ nest at S & R Park in Canterbury Park.
Golden Square shored up its place in the top five in a 28-point win against South Bendigo at Fur Life Vet Oval in Wade Street.
The Bloods made a brilliant start and led 32-11 at quarter-time.
It was the Bulldogs who dominated the second term as they slammed on 7.3 to 1.2 to gain a 16-point lead by the long break.
Just five points separated the teams at the start of the final quarter.
Golden Square led 83-78 at the last break and then scored 6.7 to 3.2 to complete an 18.18 (126) to 15.8 (98) victory.
Classy forward Joel Brett booted a match-high seven goals and key forward Jayden Burke added five.
The Bloods’ attack was led by Kaiden Antonowicz, five, and Alex Smith-Ralph, three.
Brett and Burke were best for the Christian Carter-coached Bulldogs as captain Jack Geary, onballer Ryan Hartley, second-gamer Jack Threlfall and Terry Reeves starred for the blue and gold.
Bloods’ captain Brody Haddow played a great game, as did Antonowicz, ruckman Riley Walsh, Smith-Ralph, Zac Hare in defence, and Michael Herlihy in attack.
After a 4-0 start to the season, the Nathan Horbury-coached South Bendigo now has a 4-3 record and has fallen a win and more than 36 per cent behind the fourth-placed Golden Square.
Seven goals in his seventh senior game by Lachlan Wilson led Kangaroo Flat to a 23-point victory on Maryborough’s turf at Barkers Oval in Princes Park.
The James Flaherty-coached Kangaroos broke their season “duck” as Wilson, key defender Nathan McHugh, and onballer Hakeem Johnson led the way.
It was an 11-point buffer lead for Maryborough at quarter-time and 57-52 in favour of the Pies at the long break.
Kangaroo Flat won a pulsating third term, 31-24.
It was the Kangaroos who kicked on from a two-point lead at the start of the final term to score 5.5 to 2.2 on the way to an 18.10 (118) to 15.5 (95) victory.
Wilson was the star in the Kangaroos’ attack as Jack Barras marked his first senior game by kicking two goals.
Kevin Clark, Brodie Fry and Max Johnson added two goals apiece for the Roos.
Maryborough’s leading goalkicker was Matt Bilton, four, as Lachlan Bond, Bailey Edwards and Jordan Fraser chipped in with two each.
Best for the Kangaroos were Lachlan Wilson, Nathan McHugh, Hakeem Johnson, Kyle Symons, Kevin Clark and Max Johnson.
Maryborough’s best were Bilton, Edwards, Jayden Hooper, Harrison Monk, Bond and Sam Mackie.
Key forward Pat McKenna and Jack Scanlon were in hot form as Gisborne scored an emphatic victory against Kyneton at Gardiner Reserve.
Depth of both clubs was tested because of travel restrictions imposted on Melbourne-based players.
The Rob Waters-coached Gisborne led 41-6 at quarter-time and kicked away to lead by 55 points at half-time.
Both teams scored three goals apiece in the third term, but it was Gisborne which finished strongly against the Paul Chapman-coached Tigers.
The Bulldogs scored 8.3 to 3.1 in the last for a 149-49 victory.
Although it was McKenna and Scanlon who led the attack, Gisborne also had Lachlan Shore and Tom Wood add three goals.
Kyneton’s only multiple goalkicker was Tom O’Sullivan on two.
Best for the Bulldogs were Mack Lord in his fifth senior game, along with Flynn Lakey, Scanlon, Jake O’Brien, Sam Graham and Tom Fraser.
Ned and Tom O’Sullivan, Rhys Magin, Jordan Mangan, Angus Nolte and Sam Foreman were best for the Tigers.
Strathfieldsaye was in ruthless form against Castlemaine at Triple M Park in Tannery Lane.
The Storm surged to an 80-nil lead by quarter-time and then scored six, nine and five goals across the next three terms.
Just as impressive was Strathfielsaye’s defensive workrate and pressure to keep the Magpies scoreless.
At the final siren, Strathfieldsaye led 33.15 (213) to nil.
A multiple winner of the Ron Best medal for leading goalkicker, Lachlan Sharp showed he will be tough to beat as he kicked 12 goals.
Lachlan Gill added five as Cooper Jones and Jordan Wilson booted three apiece.
In his first match of the season, premiership-winning captain Kallen Geary kicked two goals for Storm.
Best for Strathfieldsaye were Callum McCarty, Daniel Clohesy, Bailey Henderson, Sharp, Baxter Slater and Gill.
On what was always going to be a daunting task, Liam Wilkinson, Brodie Byrne, David Wilson, John Watson, Will Moran and Jackson Hood were the Magpies’ best.
After a 0-2 start to the season, Storm has won five in a row and heads to Eaglehawk for next Saturday’s eighth round showdown.
Standings in the Bendigo FNL’s senior football competition:
Sandhurst 206 per cent, 28 points; Strathfieldsaye 211, 20; Gisborne 193, 20; Goldne Square 146, 20; Eaglehawk 219, 16; South Bendigo 110, 16; Kyneton 81, 12; Maryborough 64, 4; Kangaroo Flat 37, 4; Castlemaine 14, 0.
Ron Best Medal, senior goalkicking:
45 Lachlan Sharp, S’saye; 28 Patrick McKenna, Gis.; 25 Kaiden Antonowicz, SB; 23 Darcy Richards, Eh; 22 Joel Brett, GS; 20 Jayden Burke, GS; 19 Jack Dye, Eh; 19 Jack Scanlon, Gis.; 19 Jake Thrum, GS; 19 Joel Wharton, Sh; 17 Jayden Templeton, Mb; 16 Oscar McKinley, Sh; 15 Lewin Davis, Eh; 15 Cooper Jones, S’saye.
Highlight of next Saturday’s action will be Eaglehawk against Strathfieldsaye at S & R Park in Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park.
Kyneton takes on Sandhurst at Kyneton Showgrounds.
Gisborne faces Maryborough at Gardiner Reserve.
Castlemaine plays Golden Square at Camp Reserve.
South Bendigo will strive to return to the winner’s list at the QEO when it meets a Kangaroo Flat team chasing back-to-back wins.
Written by Nathan Dole