Sandhurst charges to victory in reserves grand final
by Nathan Dole
A FIVE-GOAL haul by the classy Brodie Montague earned best on ground honours as Sandhurst beat Strathfieldsaye Storm in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League reserves football grand final.
Storm led 14-1 at quarter-time, but the Dragons fired up to score 4.1 to 1.1 and hold a five-point lead at the long break of the match at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Led by the play of Montague, Lachlan Ross and Martin Leyden, Sandhurst increased its buffer to 11 points at a quarter to play.
Although it was Storm which had a week’s rest after beating Sandhurst in the second semi-final, it was the Dragons who finished this contest full of running.
The Dragons slammed on 5.3 to 2.0 in the last term to seal a 12.5 (77) to 6.9 (45) victory and cap a great run in the finals series.
Jake McLean booted two goals for Sandhurst as Jotham Higgs, Leyden, Jasper Stewart and Alex Wharton were also on target for the premiers.
Storm’s attack was led by Josh Martyn on two goals as Wade Donnan, Lachlan Gill, Jacob Heavyside and Tim Jansen added a goal each.
Best for the Dragons were Brodie Montague, Lachlan Ross, Martin Leyden, John Harvey, Layton Ross and Ben Edwards.
Storm’s best were Jansen, Rhys Zera, Lachlan Gill, Jacob Heavyside, James Blood and Jack Neylon.
A great season for Montague included being runner-up for the Alan McDonald Medal as best and fairest in the reserves competition.
The R.F. Turner Medal was awarded to Montague.
A talented grand final line-up for the Dragons included McLean, Montague, Mitchell Dole, Galen Munari, Seb Greene and Wharton who brought a fair amount of senior footy experience to the field.
Storm’s team in the grand final included Patrick Blandford, Jordan Formosa, Torin Petrie and Connor Aldous.
The club’s depth was tested many times through a run of injuries this season.
The Dragons achieved a 17-1 record in the home and away series, but it was Storm which began the finals in great style by winning the qualifying final against Eaglehawk and then the second semi against the maroon and blue.
The runner-up in the reserves grand finals in 2010 and ’11, Sandhurst has won four of the past seven showdowns for the premiership cup.