TAC Cup: round four review (Country round)

In the final split round for the year, the Geelong Falcons, Dandenong Stingrays and Murray Bushrangers all recorded wins. The Falcons held off a spirited Pioneers outfit with the Bendigo midfield standing strong against the classy Falcons. The North Ballarat Rebels matched it with the Stingrays for a half, but after key forward Dallas Willsmore sat down at half time to take no further part, the Stingrays powered home by 53 points. In the final game of the round, the Murray Bushrangers defeated the highly-touted Gippsland Power with both sides depleted. With the Power leading most of the match, a goal after the siren saw the Bushrangers cause a huge upset.

TAC Cup: round four (Country round)

Bendigo Pioneers 8.8 (56)
Geelong Falcons 9.11 (65)

Pioneers goals: Poyser, O’Meara, Harvey, Payne, Ryan, Heeps, Miller, Conway
Falcons goals: Buchanan (3), Boag (2), Taylor, Bourke, Gardiner, Mathieson
Pioneers best: Chisari, L. Barrett, Miller, Heavyside, Payne, Jones
Falcons best: Beardsell, Cameron, Davis, Gardiner, Tsitas, Taylor

An understrength Geelong Falcons team recorded another win over the Bendigo Pioneers in a tightly contested match at Highgate Recreation Reserve. The Falcons jumped the Pioneers early, as Matthew Boag bagged two goals in the opening five minutes, and the Pioneers struggled to deal with the outside run of Lewis Taylor and classy skills of James Tsitas. As the match wore on the Pioneers battled back into the match as Issiah Miller began to break the lines and create some movement in the Pioneers forward line. Ultimately the Falcons foot skills and ball movement was the catalyst for a tough nine point win over the Pioneers. The Geelong Falcons play the Sandringham Dragons at Chirnside Park next week while the Bendigo Pioneers travel to Box Hill to play Eastern Ranges.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Lewis Taylor (Geelong Falcons)
4- Issiah Miller (Bendigo Pioneers)
3- George Cameron (Geelong Falcons)
2- Darcy Gardiner (Geelong Falcons)
1- Billy Beardsell (Geelong Falcons)

Dandenong Stingrays 13.10 (88)
North Ballarat Rebels 5.5 (35)

Stingrays goals: Tomkins (3), Gardiner (2), Hartung (2), Rennie (2), Harnett (2), Lonie (2)
Rebels goals: Butler, Mellington, Vearing, Hooper, McDonald
Stingrays best: Hartung, Gray, Bastinac, Gardiner, Tomkins, Harnett
Rebels best: Vearing, Bowman, Symons, Bell, Webster, Cassidy

Dandenong Stingrays survived a first half scare to dispose of the winless North Ballarat Rebels in the first game at Shepley Oval for the year. The Dandenong locals were out in force as they saw their side struggle with the Rebels pressure early, but as the game wore on the Stingrays gained ascendency, booting nine goals to two in the second half to run away 53 point winners in a match that was closer than the scoreline. Billy Hartung was everywhere in a clear best afield while the likes of Nathan Gardiner and Jayden Tompkins provided some good targets up forward in the absence of Clayton McCartney. For the Rebels, Xavier Vearing continues to impress across the ground, taking several strong marks and standing up in the defeat. Joseph Symons and Lachlan Cassidy also found a lot of the footy with Symons being a catalyst for the Rebels staying in the contest for a half. Illness to Dallas Willsmore cost the Rebels who were without a permanent tall target up forward and therefore struggled to find a mark inside 50. The Stingrays face the Calder Cannons at Highgate Recreation Reserve next week while the North Ballarat Rebels make the trek to Horsham City Oval to meet the Oakleigh Chargers.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Billy Hartung (Dandenong Stingrays)
4- Xavier Vearing (North Ballarat Rebels)
3- Joseph Symons (North Ballarat Rebels)
2- Nathan Gardiner (Dandenong Stingrays)
1- Alex Harnett (Dandenong Stingrays)

Murray Bushrangers 10.7 (67)
Gippsland Power 8.16 (64)

Bushrangers goals: Van Berlo (2), Mellington (2), Squire (2), Sneyd (2), Vescio, Wilson
Power goals: Scott (4), Channing (2), Carr, Paredes
Bushrangers best: Sharp, Mellington, Squire, Mennen, Sneyd, Martyn
Power best: Muir, Scott, Pattison, Russell, Carr, Channing

The Murray Bushrangers celebrated an amazing upset win with a goal after the siren to defeat the Gippsland Power by three points. Gippsland led for most of the day and were raging favourites going into the match despite missing many due to the Vic Country match, but it was Murray that had the last laugh to win by a narrow three points at Highgate Recreation Reserve. Jacob Sharp continually repelled attacks while Bryden Squire was busy for the Bushrangers all day. Josh Scott booted a telling four goals in the low scoring contest with Tom Muir and Alex Carr being busy around the ground. It was to be the Power’s inaccuracy that was to be their undoing in the end. Next week Murray host the Western Jets in Wangaratta while Gippsland host the Northern Knights in Morwell.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Jacob Sharp (Murray Bushrangers)
4- Josh Scott (Gippsland Power)
3- Tom Muir (Gippsland Power)
2- Bryden Squire (Murray Bushrangers)
1- Alex Carr (Gippsland Power)

Round eight:

Murray Bushrangers vs. Western Jets (11:00am, Saturday 1st June at Wangaratta Showgrounds)
Calder Cannons vs. Dandenong Stingrays (11:30am, Saturday 1st June at Highgate Recreation Reserve)
Gippsland Power vs. Northern Knights (1:00pm, Saturday 1st June at Morwell Football Ground)
Eastern Ranges vs. Bendigo Pioneers (2:00pm, Saturday 1st June at Box HIll City Oval)
Geelong Falcons vs. Sandringham Dragons (2:00pm, Saturday 1st June at Chirnside Park)
North Ballarat Rebels vs. Oakleigh Chargers (12:00pm, Sunday 2nd June at Horsham City Oval)

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