TAC Cup: round eight review

The halfway mark of the TAC Cup season passed over the weekend with a number of teams surprising across the state.  The Western Jets pumped the Murray Bushrangers in Wangaratta; the Cannons, Power and Eastern Ranges all had victories in terrible conditions against the Stingrays, Knights and Pioneers respectively; the Falcons powered on by smashing the Dragons and the biggest surprise was left till last – the North Ballarat Rebels secured their first win for the year, belting a depleted Oakleigh Chargers.

TAC Cup: round eight

Murray Bushrangers 4.8 (32)
Western Jets 14.11 (95)

Bushrangers goals: Holman, Vescio, Mellington, Clarke
Jets goals: Norton (2), Iaccarino (2), Myers (2), O’Leary, Robinson, Hickey, Viojo, Stuhldreier, Sullivan, King, Sicily
Bushrangers best: Squire, Cousins, Mennen, Mellington, Clarke, Holman
Jets best: Iaccarino, Duggan, Sicily, Pulitano, Burton, King

In very wet conditions at Wangratta, the Western Jets flexed their muscles and handed out a 63 point thrashing to the understrength Murray Bushrangers. The Bushrangers, who were missing captain Michael Gibbons, leading goalscorer Jydon Neagle, vice captains Kieran Ellis and Kristian Cary, as well as Matt Munro and Brydan Hodgson to NSW duties, plus the late withdrawal of key playmaker Jarman Impey, were dominated from start to finish by a cleaner and harder Western Jets team. Led by midfielder James Sicily, the Jets lead from start to finish with their stronger bodies much more suited to the wet conditions than the smaller Bushrangers. Key defender Harley Walshe was a rock in defence for the Jets and their midfield was lead by Sicily and David Iaccarino, while David Mennen, Jackson Clarke and Nick Holman toiled hard for the Bushies.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- James Sicily (Western Jets)
4- David Iaccarino (Western Jets)
3- Harley Walshe (Western Jets)
2- Nick Holman (Murray Bushrangers)
1- David Mennen (Murray Bushrangers)

Calder Cannons 14.5 (89)
Dandenong Stingrays 6.11 (47)

Cannons goals: Christensen (3), Cauchi (2), Merlo (2), Prestia, Kovacevic, Owen, Goodyear, Cooke, Quillerat, Schraven
Stingrays goals: Hartung (2), Gardiner, Lonie, Johnson, Tomkins
Cannons best: Merlo, Owen, Prestia, Lever, Thompson, Jensen
Stingrays best: Bastinac, Harmes, Newman, Jones, Wilson, Hartung

The Calder Cannons have continued to show why they are a finals contender with a thumping seven goal win over the Dandenong Stingrays. Calder had plenty of contributors across the board including Anthony Prestia, Matthew Merlo and Josh Cauchi who were all dangerous across patches. They controlled the game from start to finish, including keeping the normally high scoring Stingrays goalless in the first half. For the losers, captain Nathan Foote and playmaker Billy Hartung were amongst the best with livewire Clayton McCartney completely nullified. Both sides are currently battling for a top eight spot at the half way mark of the season.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Anthony Prestia (Calder Cannons)
4- Matthew Merlo (Calder Cannons)
3- Josh Cauchi (Calder Cannons)
2- Mark Kovacevic (Calder Cannons)
1- Nathan Foote (Dandenong Stingrays)

Gippsland Power 13.19 (97)
Northern Knights 10.11 (71)

Power goals: Scott (5), Saunders (2), Keilty (2), Morris (2), Thomas, LeslieKnights goals: Iacobaccio (2), Smith (2), Bramble (2), Bowkett, Langford, Hunt, Bromley
Power best: Carr, Leslie, Walker, Dennison, Scott, Morris
Knights best: Bromley, Haynes, Short, Murphy, Iacobaccio, Langford

Gippsland Power bounced back from their shocking loss to the Murray Bushrrangers last week to account for the understrength Northern Knights who were missing a number of stars including Jake Kalanj, Marcus Bontempelli, Jesse Tardio and Ben Lennon. While the Knights were gallant in defeat, it was Josh Scott who again dominated the forward line with the BFGN Rising Stars Medal leader booting five goals, including three in quick succession to sink Northern. Alex Carr, Bohdi Walker and Edward Morris were also busy for the Power, while Chas Bromley was the clear standout for the Knights. Both sides will be looking to find consistency after the break.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Alex Carr (Gippsland Power)
4- Josh Scott (Gippsland Power)
3- Bohdi Walker (Gippsland Power)
2- Chas Bromley (Northern Knights)
1- Edward Morris (Gippsland Power)

Eastern Ranges 13.14 (92)
Bendigo Pioneers 4.14 (38)

Eastern Ranges goals: M. Honeychurch (4), T. Boyd (3), J. Walker, J. Edwards, C. Petracca, B. Cavarra, J. Belo, N. Gatwech-Chuol
Pioneers goals: Goal Kickers: A. Hywood, J. Mc Grath, H. O”Meara, J. Chisari
Eastern Ranges Best: M. Honeychurch, D. Neilson, J. Walker, T. Boyd C. Petracca
Pioneers Best: J. McGrath, J.Chisari, J. Cakitaki, D. Jones, H. O’Meara

Eastern Ranges are a game clear in second position on the ladder after recording a 54 point win over the Bendigo Pioneers. Best a field was the Eastern Ranges’ Mitchell Honeychurch, who kicked their first two goals and finished with four majors. Despite kicking the first goal of the game and having more genuine thrusts forward, the Pioneers could only manage two goals for the first quarter and four for the match. Conditions didn’t favour the Ranges in form key forward Tom Boyd, but that didn’t stop him from having a purple patch in the second quarter where he had four shots on goals, took five marks and set up two score attempts. He finished with three goals.  The forward lines proved the difference in the end as the Pioneers failed to capitalise on countless entries, unlike the Ranges. The Eastern Ranges’ Danny Nielson was solid down back, Jordan Walker provided good run through the midfield and Ben Cavarra was instrumental early when the game was in the balance but faded late. For the Pioneers small forward Jaden McGrath was gallant, midfielder Jacob Chisari was tiresome in the midfield and backman Danny Jones did a solid job on Tom Boyd after halftime.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Mitchell Honeychurch (Eastern Ranges)
4- Daniel Nielson (Eastern Ranges)
3- Jordan Walker (Eastern Ranges)
2- Jaden McGrath (Bendigo Pioneers)
1- Thomas Boyd (Eastern Ranges)

Geelong Falcons 16.11 (107)
Sandringham Dragons 4.2 (26)

Falcons goals: Presani (6), Cameron (2), Bourke (2), Tsitas (2), Thompson, Buchanan, Beardsell, Hudson
Dragons goals: Maynard (2), Smith, T. Langdon
Falcons best: Taylor, Tsitas, Cameron, Presani, Cross, Hickey
Dragons best: Daidone, Maynard, Grace, Marchetti, Hodges, Gabron-Uhe

A full strength Falcons outfit against an APS-depleted Dragons outfit only meant one thing – an annihilation. That’s exactly what took place with the Falcons smashing the Dragons by 81 points to continue their unbeaten streak this season. AIS kids Lewis Taylor and James Tsitas led the midfield charge while lesser known forward Steven Presani booted six goals in the huge win. There wasn’t a lot to smile about for the Dragons, but Tom Langdon was busy while Brayden Maynard booted two goals. The Falcons have all but assured themselves a top four spot, and barring a complete disaster of a second half, the minor premiership; while the Dragons are fighting to keep their finals and in particular, top four chances alive.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Lewis Taylor (Geelong Falcons)
4- James Tsitas (Geelong Falcons)
3- Steven Presani (Geelong Falcons)
2- George Cameron (Geelong Falcons)
1- Alex Hickey (Geelong Falcons)

North Ballarat Rebels 16.15 (111)
Oakleigh Chargers 5.10 (40)

Rebels goals: Butler (2), Cassidy (2), Mason (2), Willsmore (2), Hooper (2), Fisher (2), Herbert, Robinson, McAuliffe, Glover
Chargers goals: Indovino (2), Toohey, Morgan, Urban
Rebels best: Herbert, Hendy, Webster, Hoy, Cassidy, Symons
Chargers best: Toohey, Smith, Mioni, Dickson, Canterbury, Gladman

If any side needed a win this round, it was the lowly North Ballarat Rebels. Sitting on the bottom winless after seven matches, the Rebels smashed a depleted Oakleigh outfit in Horsham to the tune of 71 points. It was a massive relief for a side that was still missing Matt Crouch and having missed other key players for patches throughout the year. Louis Herbert continued his fantastic form with Lachlan Cassidy and Josh Webster chipping in. Anthony Indovino was the only multiple goal scorer for Oakleigh while James Toohey and Guy Dickson were at least solid in the loss. The Rebels will be keen to continue this form after the break while Oakleigh will want to bounce back with a strong performance.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Louis Herbert (North Ballarat Rebels)
4- Lachlan Cassidy (North Ballarat Rebels)
3- Josh Webster (North Ballarat Rebels)
2- Kyle Hendy (North Ballarat Rebels)
1- Liam Hoy (North Ballarat Rebels)

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