TAC Cup review: Round 3

The third round of the TAC Cup kicked off with a few surprises as Sandringham and Geelong remain the only teams undefeated. Oakleigh came from behind to upset Gippsland in the  replay of last year’s Grand Final, mimicking the great match last year. Murray Bushrangers won in an ugly contest, easily accounting for the disappointing Bendigo Pioneers. In the evening match at Bayswater, Dandenong scored its first win of the season, belting Eastern Ranges by 48 points.
Highgate Recreation Reserve saw the Sandringham Dragons and Northern Knights play out a draw while the Western Jets continued their good form, accounting for the winless Calder Cannons. Both teams earn a break next week unlike the Geelong Falcons and North Ballarat Rebels who played in Warrnambool with the Falcons comprehensive winners to sit only two points behind Sandringham on the TAC Cup ladder with a game in hand.

TAC Cup Round 3

Gippsland Power 14.7.91
Oakleigh Chargers 14.12.96

Power goals: Scott (5), Saunders (2), Dennison, Pattison, Carr, Morris, Muir, Channing
Chargers goals: Hogan (5), Urban (3), Franetic (2), Toohey, McKenzie, Polidoros, Prowse
Power best: Scott, Paredes, Hildebrand, Buykx-Smith, Pattison, Channing
Chargers best: Franetic, Hogan, Beasley, Urban, Donoghue, McKenzie

A rematch of last year’s Grand Finalists was always going to be a great clash, but it was everything that was to be expected as the Chargers came from behind to sneak home by five points. Billy Hogan was the star in the last quarter booting four goals to help the visitors to the four points. For the Power, Josh Scott was equally impressive slotting home five goals while Nathaniel Paredes and Lachlan Channing were impressive throughout. Hugh Beasley did a good job in defence for the Chargers, continuing his impressive start to the season. Gippsland travel to Queen Elizabeth Oval next week to face the Bendigo Pioneers while Oakleigh get a well earned bye.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal
5- Josh Scott (Gippsland Power)
4- Lachlan Channing (Gippsland Power)
3- Billy Hogan (Oakleigh Chargers)
2- Nathaniel Paredes (Gippsland Power)
1- Hugh Beasley (Oakleigh Chargers)

Murray Bushrangers 8.15.63
Bendigo Pioneers 3.5.23

Bushrangers  goals: Neagle (3) Gibbons (2) Wales, King, Norris
Pioneers goals: Poyser, McGrath, Ryan
Bushrangers  best: Neagle, Gibbons, Marchbank, Munro, Cary, Sharp
Pioneers best: Chisari, Heeps, Bacon, O’Meara, Helman, Barrett

Unlike the contested struggle in Morwell, the clash at Deakin Oval in Shepparton left a lot to be desired. After an impressive first half by the Bushrangers to lead by 34 points and hold the Pioneers to just one goal, it turned into a a scrum of which saw only four goals booted in the second half. Three of those came in the last few minutes of their respective quarters with two to the Pioneers in the third to get them within 32 points and the final goal of the game in the last quarter to the Bushrangers as the siren rang. Jydon Neagle was impressive up forward for the Bushrangers, marking everything and presenting regularly. In the midfield it was a great battle with Michael Gibbons and Kristian Cary gaining the upper hand over a sluggish Pioneers outfit who lacked contributors. Jacob Chisari battled hard while Bryce Heeps was solid. Overall it was a pretty comprehensive victory to the Bushrangers who bounced back from their loss to the Falcons last week. Next week the Bushrangers face the winless North Ballarat Rebels while the Pioneers face off against the Gippsland Power, both at Queen Elizabeth Oval.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal
5- Jydon Neagle (Murray Bushrangers)
4- Michael Gibbons (Murray Bushrangers)
3- Caleb Marchbank (Murray Bushrangers)
2- Matthew Munro (Murray Bushrangers)
1- Kristian Cary (Murray Bushrangers)

Eastern Ranges 12.14.86
Dandenong Stingrays 20.14.134

Eastern goals: Apeness (5), Roth (3), Staples (2), Burt, Petracca
Stingrays goals: McCartney (4), Soroczynski (3), Pearson (2), Pickess (2), Gardiner (2), Harmes (2), Tohiariki, Lamb, Harnett, Marks-Logan
Eastern best: Gibson, Miles, Apeness, Walker, Cavarra, O’Sullivan
Stingrays best: Gawley, McCartney, Scott, Bastinac, Jones, Pearson

Dandenong Stingrays have secured their first win for the season with a 48 point belting of Eastern Ranges. Angus Scott and Clayton McCartney were dangerous for the Stingrays while Ben Cavarra was best on ground despite being on the losing team. Michael Apeness continued his good form up forward booting five goals while sneaky forward Andreas Roth snagged three goals. Dale Gawley and Jordan Bastinac were other players who impressed for the Stingrays. Next week Dandenong travel to Queen Elizabeth Oval to play Geelong in the third game of the day while Eastern Ranges get to have a bye to come back rejuvenated in a fortnight after two straight losses.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal
5- Ben Cavarra (Eastern Ranges)
4- Angus Scott (Dandenong Stingrays)
3- Clayton McCartney (Dandenong Stingrays)
2- Blake Pearson (Dandenong Stingrays)
1- Michael Apeness (Eastern Ranges)

Northern Knights 10.11.71
Sandringham Dragons 9.17.71

Knights goals: Turner (2), Bowkett, Crouch, Perry, McCabe, Haynes, Tardio, Bromley, Lowe
Dragons goals: Cathcart (2), M. Hayes (2), Marchetti, Freeman, Wilkinson, Smith, Langdon
Knights best: Tardio, Short, Langford, Perry, Switkowski, Boundy
Dragons best: Merrett, Howes, M. Hayes, Munro, Langdon, Wilkinson

In the game of the round, both the Northern Knights and Sandringham Dragons came within an inch of celebrating a win but it was a case of so close, yet so far as both teams had to split the points at Highgate Recreation Reserve. Sandringham’s dangerous midfield/forward combination of Callum Cathcart, Tom Wilkinson and Max Hayes caused headaches for the Knights, while Josh Turner and Kyle Langford were particularly impressive for Northern as they tried to bounce back from last week’s loss to the Western Jets. Hayes continues to be a force up forward with a strong mark and booming kick that will no doubt make him an attractive prospect to many AFL clubs. Both teams get a break next week with the Vic Metro Intra Trials on before resuming the following week.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal
5- Max Hayes (Sandringham Dragons)
4- Josh Turner (Northern Knights)
3- Callum Cathcart (Sandringham Dragons)
2- Tom Wilkinson (Sandringham Dragons)
1- Kyle Langford (Northern Knights)

North Ballarat Rebels 5.6.36
Geelong Falcons 14.14.98

Rebels goals: Herbert, Whitehead, Coleman, Vearing, Bennett
Falcons goals: Goddard (3), Lang (2), Fort (2), McCartin (2), Batarilo (2), Couch, Sharp, Dixon
Rebels best: Herbert, Blake, Webster, Cassidy, Bowman, Hendy
Falcons best: Lang, Boag, Hickey, Maishman, Moloney, Cordy

Geelong Falcons have joined Sandringham as the only other undefeated team, knocking off the North Ballarat Rebels by 62 points in Warrnambool. Alex Hickey and Darcy Lang were superb for the Falcons while over-aged stars ruckman Kyle Hendy  and the tough Louis Herbert stood up for the Rebels. Geelong have been nothing short of impressive so far and will be keen to continue that next week against the Dandenong Stingrays at Queen Elizabeth Oval. North Ballarat also play at QEO as they take on the Murray Bushrangers in the second game of the triple header.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal
5- Alex Hickey (Geelong Falcons)
4- Darcy Lang (Geelong Falcons)
3- Kyle Hendy (North Ballarat Rebels)
2- Hugh Goddard (Geelong Falcons)
1- Louis Herbert (North Ballarat Rebels)

Western Jets 14.11.95
Calder Cannons 14.9.93

Jets goals: Norton 3, King 2, Manivong 2, Sicily 2, Iaccarino, Corso, Burton, Hickey, Orr
Cannons goals: Cooke 4, Van Der Byl 3, Walker 2, O’Brien 2, Blair, Merlo, Goodyear
Jets best: Hickey, Norton, Sicily, Iaccarino, Orr, Dawam
Cannons best: O’Brien, Blair, Van Der Byl, Cooke, Rule, Clothier

The Calder Cannons remain winless at the bottom of the TAC Cup table after a heartbreaking two point loss at the hands of the Western Jets in a seesawing game at Highgate Reserve. With the exception of the centre clearances, dominated by Jets’ tall timber of Duom Dawam and Mark Orr, the Cannons held much of the early sway and were able to capitalise on the scoreboard. Jason Cooke was used sparingly up forward for Calder but proved a handful for the Jets’ defence when on the ground, booting three early goals while the combination of Charlie Van Der Byl and Jayden Walker were also presenting well. In a game played largely between the two arcs, the Jets’ midfield began to assert their dominance in the second term pegging back the early deficit and carried it through for the duration of the match,with captain Lachlan Hickey and James Sicily standouts with their speed through the middle. The Cannons had a number of chances to take the lead in the final quarter but forced errors in their back half led to turnovers and costly goals. Mitch Norton lifted with some scintillating run across half-forward for the Jets while Calder big man Reilly O’Brien continued to illustrate speed and attack on the football not often seen by players of his size. Next week both teams get a rest before playing off in the Metro round the week after.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal
5- Lachlan Hickey (Western Jets)
4- Reilly O’Brien (Calder Cannons)
3- Mitchell Norton (Western Jets)
2- David Iaccarino (Western Jets)
1- Jason Cooke (Calder Cannons)

TAC Cup Round 1 (Country Round) fixture
Bendigo Pioneers vs. Gippsland Power (10:00am, Saturday 13th April at Queen Elizabeth Oval)
Murray Bushrangers vs. North Ballarat Rebels (12:30pm, Saturday 13th April at Queen Elizabeth Oval)
Geelong Falcons vs. Dandenong Stingrays (3:00pm, Saturday 13th April at Queen Elizabeth Oval)

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