STRATHFIELDSAYE’S credentials for back-to-back senior premierships were strengthened in Saturday’s 10th round of the Bendigo Football Netball League season.
Storm withstood a spirited challenge from Eaglehawk to win 14.8 (92) to 8.10 (58) at Tannery Lane in Strathfieldsaye.
The battle between the league’s top two lived up the finals-type pressure as the Troy Coates-coached Storm fought to lead 36-27 at half-time.
Strathfieldsaye key forwards Bryce Curnow and Hugh Robertson were in great touch as both ended the contest with four goals apiece.
The Hawks’ key forwards had little influence as Sean Williams and Ged Hommelhoff were best on two goals each.
After playing a key role in Calivil United’s premiership last season, Curnow has started to play major role in his return to Storm as he was best afield in the team’s ninth consecutive win.
Number one ruckman Harry Crone, Keelan Payne and Josh Formosa all starred for Storm.
Eaglehawk’s best were Jack Lawton, coach Josh Bowe, Hommelhoff and Sam Thompson.
An eight-goal haul by Ethan Foreman, his second of the season, highlighted Kyneton’s big win against South Bendigo at the QEO.
The big ground has been far from a happy venue for the Tigers in recent years, but on Saturday the yellow and black won every quarter on the way to a 20.14 (134) to 11.10 (76) victory.
Foreman’s play on the lead or at ground level was superb as he and Jake Ward, three goals, led the attack.
Key defender Harrison Huntly had a great duel with Bloods star Kaiden Antonowicz, as Foreman, Billy Mahony and Rhys Magin were major contributors in Kyneton’s seventh win of the season.
Antonowicz kicked three goals for the Bloods as Kieran Strachan and Joel Swatton added two each.
Best for South, which is now 10 points adrift of the fifth-placed Gisborne were Liam Bartels, Swatton, Adrian Coad and Daniel Johnstone.
Maryborough moved from the bottom rung on the ladder after a 23-point triumph at Castlemaine’s Camp Reserve.
The Borough led 44-16 at half-time, but the Maine won the second half, 44-39.
At the final siren the Ben Lavars-coached Maryborough celebrated a breakthrough victory, 11.17 (83) to 8.12 (60).
Jayden Templeton led the Maryborough attack on three goals as Mitch Kennedy chipped in with two.
Jack Chester capped a superb game as he kicked five goals for Castlemaine.
Maryborough’s best were Brady Neill, Coby Perry, Luke Bucknall and Jacob Long.
Best for Castlemaine were Darby Semmens, Chester, Jake O’Brien and Kal Huntly.
Golden Square won a hard-fought clash with Sandhurst at Wade Street by 29 points.
The Bulldogs led by a point at half-time, but teamed brilliantly to restrict the Dragons to a solitary goal in the final hour.
Key forward Jayden Burke was best afield as Square won 14.9 (93) to 9.10 (64).
Leading goalkickers for the Bulldogs were Dylan Johnstone, three; Burke, Hamish Morcom and Jake Thrum on two apiece.
Sandhurst coach Andy Collins marked another great game by kicking two goals among plenty of possessions, and Pascale Craig also kicked two goals.
Square’s best were Burke, Jack Geary, Brad Eaton and Adam Baird.
Collins, Zeb Broadbent, Zac East and Nick Stagg worked hard all match for the Dragons.
The Gisborne line-up overcame an almighty scare to win at Kangaroo Flat by 24 points.
There was plenty to play for as the Bulldogs marked the 200th game of Shaun Comerford and chased their fifth win in a row.
Kangaroo Flat played brilliant football to lead 38-34 at half-time.
Gisborne scored 5.4 to 1.2 in the third term on its way to an 11.11 (77) to 7.11 (53) victory.
Multiple goalkickers for the Bulldogs were Sebastien Bell-Bartels, Shaun Comerford and Tom Wood on two each.
Kangaroo Flat’s attack was led by Matt Filo and Cam Rinaldi on two.
Gisborne’s best were Jack Reaper, Ethan Minns, Anthony Belcher and Matt Goodyear.
The Roos’ best were ruckman Nick Lang, Liam Collins, Jonathan Lanyon and Nathan McHugh.
Ladder after 10 rounds:
Strathfieldsaye 36 points, 204 per cent; Eaglehawk 32, 186; Kyneton 30, 149; Golden Square 28, 149; Gisborne 24, 131; Sandhurst 20, 152; South Bendigo 86, 14; Kangaroo Flat 8, 46; Maryborough 4, 48; Castlemaine 4, 30.
In next Saturday’s play, Sandhurst takes on South Bendigo in the battle of the QEO co-tenants; Maryborough hosts Golden Square; Eaglehawk faces Castlemaine; Gisborne clashes with Strathfieldsaye; and Kyneton tackles Kangaroo Flat.