Maryborough ends six-year drought against South

By Richard Jones

Maryborough snapped its six-year hoodoo against South Bendigo with a three-goal win over the Bloods in late July, 2011.

A decade back the Matt Aston-coached Pies had plenty of match-winners with Matt Johnston, Adam Hurse, Lachlan Woodward, Matt Bond, Tyson MacIlwain and Cole Roscholler on the list.

Club record-holder Cameron Skinner (400-plus games) was also adding to his senior match tally and booted three goals (all in the second quarter) against the Bloods.

And so the Princes Park Pies got home over the inaccurate South by 18 points: 11.14 (80) to 8.14 (62).

In other games Castlemaine soared to a massive 78-point thumping of Kyneton at the Tigers’ Showgrounds, while Eaglehawk sneaked home by six points over Storm with Borough spearhead Matt ‘G-Train’ Gretgrix kicking the only major of the last quarter.

Sandhurst put paid to Kangaroo Flat’s 2011 finals hopes with a 39-point Dower Park victory while in the battle of the Bulldogs Square stretched its winning streak to 22 (the best in the BFNL since 1995) after downing Gisborne by 39 points at Wade Street.

Gun spearhead Grant ‘Weeka’ Weeks bagged nine goals as prolific possession-gathering Square mids Jack Geary, Simon Rosa and Nathan Bell kept pumping the ball inside 50.

Elusive small forward Darren Farrugia bagged four majors for the Graveyard Dogs.

Maryborough’s six-season hoodoo against an inaccurate South Bendigo was snapped at Princes Park when the Magpies triumphed by three goals.

Consecutive second quarter goals from Skinner handed the Pies the lead before South battled back with a vital major to Brady Childs.

This left the margin at just three points by the main break: 4.4 (28) to 3.7 (25).

The lead extended to 15 points by the last change as Maryborough’s Martin Dell and Matt Bond both were successful with wide-angle shots.

Just as Skinner had done in the second term Matt Bond marked and goaled three times in the final term before a last-ditch South fightback with goals to Damon Byrne, Daniel Anderson and Brad Wright left the Bloods just short.

First year coach Matt Aston said “it was great to finally get a win over a club that has dominated against us for so long” as the Pies ended the Bloods’ run.

The Maine Magpies snared five goals in each quarter to put paid to memories of their narrow defeats in Rds. 10 and 12.

On-baller Wayne Schultz was best afield, joined Square’s James Bristow in the lead for the Bendigo Advertiser 2011 Player of the Year award and nailed three of the Maine’s 20 majors.

Just ahead of Schultz in Castlemaine’s goalkicking tallies was Joel Smith who drilled four with Harmit Singh level with Schults on three.

Jack Redpath was the standout for the Derrick Filo-coached Tigers. He nailed five majors but was Kyneton’s only multiple goalkicker.

Others in the ‘best list’ for the Tigers were defender Jayden Dole, Rory Healy, Will Gunter and Shane Page.

Just behind Schultz in Castlemaine’s best-on list were Ben Rose, Angus Fortune, Lachlan Brown, Rhys Ford and James O’Brien.


The game I covered for the Bendigo Addy was clearly the closest of the round and match-of-the-day.

Eaglehawk’s  gun forward Matt ‘G-Train’ Gretgrix kicked the only goal of the final term to steer the Hawks home by that margin: six points.

Scores had been level four times in the exciting last quarter before Gretgrix booted the sealer.

He marked 45 metres out with just 30 second left on the clock before calmly drilling his second major of the day

The Storm had four more scoring shots in the gun Canterbury Park clash, but apart from Lachlan Sharp (four goals) no visiting forward could get past Jeremy Brown and 50-gamer Tim Hill.

Strathfieldsaye’s tally of seven behinds in the closing term wasn’t the sort of score coach Darryl Wilson and Storm’s match committee were looking for.

“Even though we got smashed in the middle our back half held up pretty well,” Wilson said after the game.

“But when you have a few players trying to torpedo the ball rather than pass it to a teammate that cost us in the end.”

Hawks’ coach Luke Monaghan was pleased with his side’s second half fightback after they’d trailed by 14-points at the long break.

“That (fightback) in the second half was pleasing although I’d been extremely disappointed at our undisciplined acts early on.

“We showed a lot of character to fight back although the skill errors, decision-making mistakes and then the undisciplined acts were disappointing.”

Storm led by 14 points at half-time after a low-scooring first two terms, with the lead down to the efforts of centreman Jake ‘Stingray’ Hall and the two Gearys --- Daniel and Shannon.

Josh Bowe and Anthony Dennis kept the Two Blues within reach as Ryan Threlfall worked hard around the packs to try and counter the two Gearys and Hall.

The central umpires were busy with whistle and pen in the first half.

Strathfieldsaye’s Ryan Eastman was sent off in the opening term. And then Eastman’s teammate Sam Mildren and the Two Blues’ Luke Button also spent mandatory 15-minute spells on the pine

The Hawks needed a big third quarter. And they got it with Shane ‘Dog’ Davis and Threlfall providing the midfield spark as the home side added 5.1.

The pick of this quintet of goals came off the boot of Jarrod Findlay who curled home a spectacular left-foot snap at the Simpson’s Rd. end.

The Storm surged in time-on with majors to Paddy O’Connor and Sharp as the visitors narrowed the gap to just two points at the final change.

But their accuracy deserted them early in the final term. Strathfieldsaye landed four behinds --- no goals --- as they snuk out to a two-point lead.

With seven minutes to go scores were level for the third time.

Minor scores to Lachlan Bonney (Storm) and Gilmore tied the scores up once more. But that was to be the end of the heartache for the Two Blues and their army of supporters.

Tom Metherell’s accurate pass from centre half-forward found Gretgrix for the match-defining goal of a great contest.


Final scores: Maryborough 11.14 (80) def. South Bendigo 8.14 (62), Golden Square 18.15 (123) def. Gisborne 13.6 (84), Sandhurst 16.14 (110) def. Kang. Flat 10.11 (71), Eaglehawk 11.9 (75) def. Strathfieldsaye 9.15 (69) and Castlemaine 20.18 (138) def. Kyneton 8.12 (60).

Top five: Golden Square 13 wins, 0 losses, 52 prem. points; Gisborne 9-4, 140.8% 36; Eaglehawk 9-4, 129.7% 36; South Bendigo 8-5, 32 and Strath Storm 7-6, 126.5%, 28.

Sixth: Maryborough 7-6, 85.8%, 28.

With five votes following the Maine’s crushing victory over Kyneton Magpie on-baller Wayne Schultz joined James Bristow as equal leader in the Advertiser Player of the Year count.

Both players had polled a total of 23 votes.

Behind them came Justin Maddern (KF) on 20 and a pair of players on 19 – Tom Waters (Gis) and Lachlan Woodward (M’bor), with his three-vote against South.

Grant Weeks’ nine majors against Gisborne had him clearly in the lead in the Ron Best goalkicking award.

Weeks had booted 75, a runaway leader over Maddern (KF) on 54, Matt Gretgrix (Eh) with 52, Sam Mildren (Storm) on 47 and big James Bristow (G. Square), 44.


In the A grade netball Gisborne upset ladder leader Golden Square with a comfortable win at the Wade Street court.

Final scores: Gisborne 42 def. G. Square 28, Sandhurst 46 def. Kang. Flat 32, Eaglehawk 50 def. S’saye 22 and South Bendigo 36 def. M’borough 35.

Top five: G. Square 11 wins, 2 losses, 44 points; Sandhurst 10-2 and 1 draw, 42; Eaglehawk 10-3, 40; Gisborne 9-3 and 1 draw, 38 and Kang. Flat 8-5, 32.


Around the traps and Donald, Boort and Wedderburn posted strong North Central FNL wins.

It was still a seven-club league --- Sea Lake-Nandaly hadn’t yet joined --- with Donald beating Charlton 16.11 (107) to 12.6 (78) while Boort got home over Birchip-Watchem in the closest game of the round.

The score in that fixture was Boort 9.12 (66) to the Bulls 6.7 (43) with Wedderburn downing the Wycheproof-Narraport Demons 18.10 (118) to 4.16 (40).

St Arnaud had the bye.

Just like in 2021 Mitiamo was on top of the Loddon Valley ladder with a 10-3 record after disposing of Newbridge: 16.21 (117) to 10.9 (69).

With Klai Jermyn nailing seven majors Calivil beat Marong 25.14 (164) to 11.12 (78) with Bridgewater home by 38 points over Pyramid Hill: 14.8 (92) to 8.6 (54).

In the other game Bears Lagoon-Serpentine trounced Inglewood (who hadn’t notched a win in 2011 and were cellar dwellers): 25.25 (175) to 9.7 (61).

Bridgewater, Pyramid, YCW (before the Maiden Gully merger), Mitiamo and Calivil United made up the Top Five.

Winners in the Heathcote DFL were top team Lockington-Bamawm United, second placed Elmore (with a massive 140-point win over Mt. Pleasant), Leitchville-Gunbower (by just six points over Heathcote (18.9 to 15.21) and the Colbinabbin Hoppers.

Huntly and Mounts had managed just one win each by mid-July 2011.

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