TAC Cup: Round 17 review

The TAC Cup has now concluded with only the finals series to come. The North Ballarat Rebels, Bendigo Pioneers, Oakleigh Chargers and Sandringham Dragons all wrapped up their seasons with the eight other teams still alive for 2013. For the Western Jets, Northern Knights, Gippsland Power and Murray Bushrangers, they can’t afford to lose another match with elimination finals this week. While Geelong Falcons, Eastern Ranges, Dandenong Stingrays and Calder Cannons can earn a week’s break if they can win in their respective qualifying final.

TAC Cup: Round 17

Murray Bushrangers 9.10 (64)
Northern Knights 8.13 (61)

Bushrangers goals: Schache (4), King, McDonald, Impey, N. Holman, Turner
Knights goals: Curnow (2), Hunt, Haynes, Peet, McCabe, Murphy, Lennon
Bushrangers best: Turner, Howe, Gibbons, Schache, N. Holman, Impey
Knights best: Lennon, Hunt, Curnow, Short, Bontempelli, Potter

The Murray Bushrangers kept their season alive by defeating the top four-bound Northern Knights in Wangaratta. In one of the upsets of the season, the Bushrangers showed they could still match it with the best as Joshua Schache booted four goals in the three point win. Northern will regret their inaccurate kicking which now sees them face Gippsland in an elimination final. Despite the impact of Ben Lennon, it was all Murray who got the job done and now face the Western Jets in the other elimination final.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Ben Lennon (Northern Knights)
4- Jarman Impey (Murray Bushrangers)
3- Michael Gibbons (Murray Bushrangers)
2- Joshua Schache (Murray Bushrangers)
1- Nick Holman (Murray Bushrangers)

Oakleigh Chargers 17.16 (118)
North Ballarat Rebels 8.10 (58)

Chargers goals: De Goey (2), Dickson (2), Beasley (2), Urban (2), Billings, Maginness, Answerth, Hogan, Moore, Dove, Prowse, Kennedy-Harris, Byrne-Jones
Rebels goals: Butler (2), Palmer, Herbert, Vearing, Tucker, Cassidy, Brennan
Chargers best: Franetic, Byrne-Jones, Maginness, Kennedy-Harris, Toohey, Borland
Rebels best: Crouch, Herbert, Willsmore, Bennett, Tucker, Hendy

Summary: In a game that pitted two of the lowly cellar dwellers together, Oakleigh proved too strong and ran out 60 (I think) point winners. The first quarter was an entertaining affair in which North Ballarat made much of the running. However, from 1/4T onwards it was all Oakleigh – the Chargers’ willingness to run the ball through the centre of the field, rather than play the boundaries like North Ballarat, saw them prove too quick and too skillful. For Oakleigh, James Toohey was excellent all day, as was Hugh Beasley, who quelled the influence of North Ballarat’s defenders, and even managed to snag two goals. For North Ballarat, Matt Crouch toiled hard all day, but wasn’t as prominent as usual, and ruckman Kyle Hendy provided great contest around the ground.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- James Toohey (Oakleigh Chargers)
4- Hugh Beasley (Oakleigh Chargers)
3- Will Maginness (Oakleigh Chargers)
2- William Gowers (Oakleigh Chargers)
1- Kyle Hendy (North Ballarat Rebels)

Gippsland Power 11.19 (85)
Bendigo Pioneers 8.6 (54)

Power goals: Toussaint (2), Kearns (2), Carr, Rees, Walker, Hildebrand, Dennison, Cunico, Morris
Pioneers goals: Spurr (2), Ayre, Heavyside, Edwards, Hargreaves, Cua, Barrett
Power best: Morris, Wallace, Leslie, Mustoe, Buykx-Smith, Heppell
Pioneers best: Heavyside, Poyser, McGrath, Evans, Connelly, Cua

In the final round, the Bendigo Pioneers made the longest road trip in the TAC Cup, heading down to Morwell to play the Gippsland Power, it was a must win game for Gippsland if they were to make the finals, and they got the job done comfortably after a close first half. Ed Morris picked up a season high 39 disposals to go with eight tackles to finish off a superb season for the midfielder. Aaron Heppell also continued his good form for Gippsland, collecting 25 disposals and laying 10 tackles to cap off a sensational last six weeks. For Bendigo, Sam Heavyside was by far the Pioneers best player, gathering a game high 43 disposals. Gippsland finished the season in seventh spot on the ladder, and will face the Northern Knights in an elimination final at Visy Park on Sunday at 11:15am. For Bendigo, they begin to think towards next season, with some good young talent coming through the team, they could become a team to watch in 2014.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Ed Morris (Gippsland Power)
4- Aaron Heppell (Gippsland Power)
3- Sam Heavyside (Bendigo Pioneers)
2- Jack Leslie (Gippsland Power)
1- Christian Bukyx-Smith (Gippsland Power)

Dandenong Stingrays 5.12 (42)
Geelong Falcons 13.5 (83)

Stingrays goals: Gawley, Hartung, Lamb, Scott, Pickess
Falcons goals: Thompson (3), S. Dixon (3), Bond (2), Goddard (2), Christensen (2), Adams
Stingrays best: Foote, Lamb, Bastinac, Kempster, Soroczynski, Hartung
Falcons best: Davis, Cross, Russell, Tsitas, Bourke, Beardsell

The Geelong Falcons flexed their muscles on the weekend minus Lewis Taylor and Patrick McCartin as they affirmed their place at the top of the TAC Cup ladder. The Falcons dismissed the inaccurate third placed Stingrays with disdain as Nic Bourke and James Tsitas were important in the middle. Luke Davis ensured the Falcons had first hands to it while Jye Cross was crucial in intercepting at half back. Tom Lamb was the best for the Stingrays booting a long 50 metre goal while Daylan Kempster did well in defence. Geelong now come up against the Calder Cannons on Saturday while in the other game, Dandenong meet Eastern Ranges.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Luke Davis (Geelong Falcons)
4- Nic Bourke (Geelong Falcons)
3- Jye Cross (Geelong Falcons)
2- Tom Lamb (Dandenong Stingrays)
1- Daylan Kempster (Dandenong Stingrays)

Calder Cannons 14.16 (100)
Eastern Ranges 8.5 (53)

Cannons goals: Wright (4), Ahern (3), Owen, Schraven, Clothier, Merlo, Blair, O’Brien, Carboni
Eastern Ranges goals: Parsons (2), Jones (2), Gibson, Cody, Staples, Cavarra
Cannons best: Miller, Jensen, Blair, Ahern, O’Brien, Wright
Eastern Ranges best: Welsh, Cavarra, Hannon, Cody, Bond, Fisher

The Calder Cannons secured a top four spot with an impressive win over an understrength Eastern Ranges outfit. Missing Christian Petracca, Mitch Honeychurch and Tom Boyd among other, Eastern Ranges couldn’t match it with the Cannons as Peter Wright and Paul Ahern had a field day with seven goals. Next week the Cannons face minor premiers Geelong Falcons while Eastern Ranges meet Dandenong Stingrays.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Peter Wright (Calder Cannons)
4- Paul Ahern (Calder Cannons)
3- Jake Lever (Calder Cannons)
2- Ben Cavarra (Eastern Ranges)
1- Touk Miller (Calder Cannons)

Votes thanks to our friends at the Mad Monday Show.

Western Jets 3.7 (25)
Sandringham Dragons 12.12 (84)

Jets goals: Robinson, Iaccarino, Sicily
Dragons goals: Maynard (3), Spencer (3), Kelly (2), Brayshaw, M. Hayes, Salem, Wilkinson
Jets best: Ellis, Duggan, Robinson, Iaccarino, Sicily, Greiser
Dragons best: Kelly, Amon, Merrett, Spencer, W. Hayes, Heatherley

The Sandringham Dragons weren’t able to make the finals after the Murray Bushrangers beat the Northern Knights but they still showed why they are a top side, belting the previously fourth-placed Western Jets. The Sandringham trio were again dominant while Max Hayes and Zac Merrett were also busy for the Dragons. Not much could be said for the Jets who arguably had their worst performance of the year, only booting three goals. Liam Duggan and Jason Robinson were amongst the best that could hold their heads high. Next week the Western Jets face the Murray Bushrangers in an elimination final while the Sandringham Dragons look to 2014 and for their top-age players, the draft and state combines.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Nathan Freeman (Sandringham Dragons)
4- Josh Kelly (Sandringham Dragons)
3- Christian Salem (Sandringham Dragons)
2- Max Hayes (Sandringham Dragons)
1- Zac Merrett (Sandringham Dragons)

Votes thanks to our friends at the Mad Monday Show.

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