Bendigo FNL dominates championship clash with AFL Outer East
by Nathan Dole
THE Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s senior footy team blitzed AFL Outer East in Saturday’s clash in the Worksafe AFL Victoria Community Championships action.
Bendigo’s slick teamwork, non-stop run and strong defence were all key factors in the 18.17 (125) to 3.8 (26) victory at BFNL headquarters on Queen Elizabeth Oval.
The Darryl Wilson-coached BFNL was below Outer East in the rankings, but fans would not have known as the blue and gold raced to a 10-goal lead by half-time and never eased up.
A group of 16 represented Bendigo for the first time, and many are likely to play an integral role in the leagues bid to keep climbing the country rankings.
Although he started the contest on the interchange bench, Golden Square’s Jake Thrum had a dramatic impact on the match.
Thrum’s run and precise disposal was a feature in many of the BFNL’s attacking moves.
Many team-mates could have earned best on ground honours, but it was Thrum who earned the highly sought-after Derrick Filo Medal as Bendigo’s best.
A sign of Bendigo’s strength was its tally of a dozen goalkickers in which Gisborne’s Jack Scanlon led the way on three goals.
Victorious captain Jack Geary enhanced his “big game” reputation by racking up plenty of possessions through midfield and at centre clearances.
A first-year coach at South Bendigo, Nathan Horbury starred from a half-back flank.
Two years ago, Horbury played a big role in Ballarat’s win against Bendigo.
This time his skill and cool play under pressure stood out in a strong defensive effort led by Strathfieldsaye’s Bryce Curnow at centre half-back.
Golden Square’s Liam Barrett, Sandhurst’s Jack Pallpratt, and Kyneton Tigers team-mates Josh Govan and Harrison Huntley were superb as they restricted Outer East to just three goals.
All players, officials and supporters enjoyed the victory, but few more so than Castlemaine’s Jake O’Brien who played well in midfield and also kicked two goals.
Young ruckmen Callum Crisp from South Bendigo, and Strathfieldsaye’s Harry Crone gave team-mates first possession at centre clearances or boundary throw-ins many times.
The marking power of Golden Square’s Jayden Burke, Strathfieldsaye’s Hugh Robertson, and Gisborne’s Pat McKenna was a key factor in an attack that included Storm’s Lachlan Sharp, a Michelsen medallist and Ron Best medallist.
Bendigo 4.4 10.10 12.15 18.17 (125)
Outer East 0.3 1.4 1.7 3.8 (26)
GOALS – Bendigo: Jack Scanlon 3, Jack Geary, Alex Marklew, Jake O’Brien, Lachlan Sharp 2, Jayden Burke, Matt Goodyear, Josh Govan, Pat McKenna, Ben McPhee, Hugh Robertson, Jake Thrum, Outer East: L. Bee-Hugo, M. Homfray, M. Hottes.
BEST – Bendigo: Jake Thrum, Jack Geary, Nathan Horbury, Bryce Curnow, Liam Barrett, Pat McKenna. Outer East: B. Osborne, M. Hottes, T. Gunn, W. Arthurson, P. Bruzzese, Z. Monkhorst.
Bendigo’s victorious line-up:
Jake O’Brien (Castlemaine); Brodie Collins, Ben McPhee (Eaglehawk); Matt Goodyear, Pat McKenna, Jack Scanlon (Gisborne); Adam Baird, Liam Barrett, Jayden Burke, Jack Geary (capt.), Alex Marklew, Jake Thrum (Golden Square); Josh Govan, Harrison Huntley, Rhys Magin (Kyneton); Callum Crisp, Nathan Horbury (South Bendigo); Jake Pallpratt (Sandhurst); Bryce Curnow, Harry Crone, Sam Heavyside, Bailey Henderson, Hugh Robertson, Lachlan Sharp (Strathfieldsaye).
Coach: Darryl Wilson.
Assistant coaches: Rick Ladson, Stephen Milne, Simon Rosa, Damian Slater.
Manager: Mick Farrell.