TAC Cup wrap: Round seven


Geelong Falcons 9.12 (66) defeated by Calder Cannons 15.12 (102)

Falcons goals: A. Christensen 2, C. Curnow 2, B. Beardsell 2, J. Maishman, S. Dixon, H. Kershaw
Falcons best: Z. Cordy, D. Parish, T. Miles, H. Kol, R. Mathieson, M. Augerinos
Cannons goals: P. Wright 6, J. Foster 2, D. Cavka 2, P. Ahern, H. Kerbatieh, T. Miller, R. O’Brien, R. Smith
Cannons best: N. O”Kearney, M. Goodyear, Z. Wunhym, T. Nilsson, D. Cavka, J. Foster

In a history making game on Friday night under lights at Simonds Stadium, two of the leagues heavyweights went head-to-head in a top of the table clash that saw fourth-placed Geelong, host Calder for top of the ladder bragging rights.

The excitement and large crowd at Simonds Stadium ensured that this would go down to be one of the most thrilling encounters between the two sides in recent times. Although Geelong were missing their twin towers in Hugh Goddard and Patrick McCartin, Calder had their fair share of players out with Josh Cauchi, Victor Carboni and their star defender, Jake Lever.

The opening quarter was a mixture of fast-paced coast-to-coast and an arm wrestle of contested football. Geelong flew out of the blocks early, with key defender Charles Curnow being swung forward to help bridge the gap, and offer a key target inside 50. Curnow slotted to first quarter goals, but Calder’s superior ball movement through the middle of the ground, and risky options to run the ball at all costs paid off, with Calder’s Touk Miller and Damien Cavka providing first-quarter highlights, dominating play.

Although the Cannons held onto a slight lead at quarter time, it was another face-paced affair, with the lead changing several times. Although Geelong were able to steady with two consecutive goals, Calder replied with three straight, making it a goal-fest down at Kardinia Park.

Key forward Jayden Foster for Calder was fantastic in the first half, leaping at everything and provided great structure when Wright was struggling to make an impact on the game. Cavka’s 22 disposals through the midfield were impressive, whilst Zac Wunyhm was electrifying, enjoying 29 disposals and offering blistering, line-breaking runs cutting apart Geelong’s midfield.

Nick O’Kearney was close to best afield with 33 disposals and a disposal efficiency of 78 per cent, but it was Peter Wright who stole the nights headlines in the second half, going on to kick six second-half goals, three of which came from set shots beyond the 50 metre arc.

There were a total of nine lead-changes in the third quarter and it was bottom-age player Harison Kol who was among the more prominent for the Falcons when the whips were cracking. His 18 disposals were classy, but his maturity to spread and demand the ball, collecting eight handball receives showed he wasn’t afraid to demand the ball from his elder teammates.

20 disposals found Geelong co-captain Teia Miles seamlessly well, whilst Rhys Mathieson was found hunched over on the boundary line, throwing up after pushing himself to exhaustion during the blockbuster affair.

Despite keeping Wright to zero goals and two marks in the first half, Zaine Cordy succumbed to the power of probable number one pick, Peter Wright; however, he can hold his head high after a final quarter onslaught that saw his midfield give up, and the defensive 50 bombarded with entries.

Billy Beardsell kicked the opening two goals of the final quarter in as many minutes, but Calder went on to kick the next five goals running out six goal winners.

Next week Geelong host the Eastern Ranges at Essendon’s Avalon Airport ground, whilst Calder host bottom-placed Bendigo at home at Highgate Reserve.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Zach Wunyhm (Calder Cannons)
4 – Peter Wright (Calder Cannons)
3 – Nick O’Kearney (Calder Cannons)
2 – Damien Cavka (Calder Cannons)
1 – Touk Miller (Calder Cannons)

Sandringham Dragons 9.6 (60) defeated by Oakleigh Chargers 22.6 (138)

Dragons goals: J. Baker-Thomas, T. Grace, B. Maynard, T. Roos, G. Lok, H. Balic, A. Brayshaw, K. Lopo, L. Gogis
Dragons best: H. Balic, M. Manteit, B. Maynard, L. Ritchie, T. Grace, F. Huntington
Chargers goals: K. Dove 4, H. Beasley 4, D. Moore 3, T. McLean 2, X. Morgan 2, L. Kinsella 2, A. Mioni, L. Patterson, J. Sinclair, M. Giles, C. Bentley
Chargers best: A. Willett-Fatnowna, L. Kinsella, J. Sinclair, N. Taylor, H. Beasley, M. Giles

The Oakleigh Chargers reaffirmed their premiership status with a thumping 78-point win over the Sandringham Dragons.  Oakleigh had 11 individual goal scorers, including  six players with multiple goals. They trailed at quarter time and held a narrow lead at half time, but a 15 goal to four second half destroyed the Dragons with Hugh Beasley and Liam Kinsella the key players for the Chargers. Michael Manteit and Harry Balic were admirable in defeat, while Angus Brayshaw was well held. Next week Oakleigh host NSW-ACT while the Dragons travel to Wangaratta to face the Bushrangers.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5- Liam Kinsella (Oakleigh Chargers)
4- Hugh Beasley (Oakleigh Chargers)
3- Jack Sinclair (Oakleigh Chargers)
2- Michael Manteit (Sandringham Dragons)
1- Ambrose Willet-Fatnowa (Oakleigh Chargers)

Murray Bushrangers 8.10 (58) defeated NSW-ACT Rams 7.5 (47)

Bushrangers goals: H. Peni 2, B. Webster 2, J. Schache, D. McDonald, K. Ellis, L. Tiziani
Bushrangers best: C. Marchbank, D. Howe, N. Drummond, B. Hodgson, M. Mahady, B. Pritchard
Rams goals: J. Cornell 3, J. Thompson, J. Steele, D. Spinks, A. Davis
Rams best: J. Foote, I. Heeney, J. Steele, J. Cornell, M. Flynn, A. Davis

The Murray Bushrangers secured a well earned win over the NSW-ACT Rams despite another phenomenal effort from Isaac Heeney. Heeney had 28 disposals and 16 tackles, throwing himself everywhere in a bid to see his side salute. It wasn’t to be with the likes of Daniel Howe  (26 disposals, eight marks) and Caleb Marchbank (17 disposals, five marks) repelling the attack. Nathan Drummond was again consistent for the Bushrangers while Jock Cornell was a key target up forward for the Rams, booting three goals. Next week the Rams travel to face Oakleigh while the Bushrangers host the Dragons in Wangaratta.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5- Isaac Heeney (NSW-ACT Rams)
4- Daniel Howe (Murray Bushrangers)
3- Caleb Marchbank (Murray Bushrangers)
2- Jock Cornell (NSW-ACT Rams)
1- Nathan Drummond (Murray Bushrangers)

North Ballarat Rebels 11.18 (84) defeated Northern Knights 8.8 (56)

Rebels goals: J. Palmer 4, J. Wheelahan 3, T. Templeton, T. Ludeman, D. Butler, M. Johnston
Rebels best: M. Johnston, T. Ludeman, J. Palmer, T. Templeton, O. McDonald, J. Wheelahan
Knights goals: B. Fiorini, J. El Moussalli, J. Short, K. Malone, J. Gresham, K. Proctor, L. Hunt, G. McDonagh
Knights best: L. Hunt, Z. Ballard, J. Gresham, D. Macpherson, K. Malone, R. Tester

The North Ballarat Rebels first tasted victory two weeks ago and then liked it, making it two wins in a row for the cellar dwellars, knocking off the Northern Knights who were missing a few players through injury. Liam Hunt stood up in their absence with a clear best on ground performance, while Zac Ballard continued his great form to be amongst the best again. Michael Johnston laid 11 tackles to go with his 23 disposals in a great defensive effort, while Jess Palmer was the key target on the ground with four goals, ably assisted by Jacob Wheelahan with three. Despite only leading by four points at the last change, the North Ballarat Rebels ran away with it, booting five goals to one in the last quarter. Next week North Ballarat travel to Warrawee Park to face the Power, while Northern host the Western Jets at Preston.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5- Liam Hunt (Northern Knights)
4- Michael Johnston (North Ballarat Rebels)
3- Zac Ballard (Northern Knights)
2- Jess Palmer (North Ballarat Rebels)
1- Jacob Wheelahan (North Ballarat Rebels)

Bendigo Pioneers 4.4 (28) defeated by Western Jets 14.10 (94)

Pioneers goals: H. Conway 2, B. Evans 2
Pioneers best: B. Evans, M. Pickering, T. Cole, D. Davie, J. Mangan
Jets goals: M. Norton 4, J. Laverde 2, T. Vujanic 2, J. Viola, C. Ellis, M. Orr, C. Menadue, C. Sullivan, L. Pulitano
Jets best: L. Duggan, B. Monk, M. Norton, D. Viojo, B. Myers, M. Orr, B. Ferrari

The traveling Western Jets were too strong for the Bendigo Pioneers winning 66 points in a match heavily influenced by the damp conditions of the Epsom Huntly Reserve. Liam Duggan again showed his potential for the Jets as he produced his second best on ground performance in the last three weeks, standing up when the game was in the balance during the second quarter of the match to help set up a 31-point lead at half time. Bendigo’s Billy Evans and Thomas Cole were gallant in defeat never giving up the chase all afternoon, however late goals to Mitch Norton and Tyler Vujanic before the three-quarter time siren were enough to break the spirit of the Bendigo side as the Jets chalked up a comfortable 66-point victory. When TAC Cup action returns on Saturday 24th of May, the Pioneers travel to Highgate Reserve to take on second placed Calder Cannons while the Western Jets will face the Northern Knights at Preston City oval on Sunday 25th of May.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Liam Duggan (Western Jets)
4 – Mitch Norton (Western Jets)
3 – Brayden Monk (Western Jets)
2 – Billy Evans (Bendigo Pioneers)
1 – Braden Ferrari (Western Jets)

Eastern Ranges 11.13 (79) defeated Dandenong Stingrays 6.9 (45)

Eastern goals: R. Sheridan-Ferrie 4, C. Petracca 3, D. Crocker, R. Harvey, S. Horner, J. Edwards
Eastern best: J. Healy, L. Hannon, R. Sheridan-Ferrie, J. Parsons, C. Petracca, B. Mitchener
Stingrays goals: B. Dale 2, A. Wilson, J. Tomkins, T. Lamb, J. Bennett
Stingrays best: D. Kempster, B. Dale, J. Lonie, L. Williams, D. Moloney, A. Wilson

Eastern Ranges lead from start to finish to record a 34-point win over the Dandenong Stingrays at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday. The rain played a part in the quality of the game as the first quarter was a very contested and scrappy affair, with only three goals kicked to quarter time. Eastern added four goals in the second term to Dandenong’s five behinds, to give them a 33 point lead at half time. James Parsons was brilliant for the Eastern Ranges in the first half, as he continually showed his skill and poise in the wet conditions, something that many others struggled with throughout the game. Christian Petracca also had a big first half, booting three goals.

It was more of the same after half time as the Eastern pressure was too much for the Stingrays players to handle. They mounted a small run at the beginning of the fourth term but it wasn’t enough as Rory Sheridan-Ferrie kicked his third and fourth goals of the game to put the game beyond reach of the Stingrays.

Eastern Ranges travel to Geelong in next week to face the sixth-placed Falcons, while Dandenong host a Tasmanian side looking for its win of the season.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5- James Parsons (Eastern Ranges)
4- Christian Petracca (Eastern Ranges)
3- Rory Sheridan-Ferrie (Eastern Ranges)
2- Jarrod Healy (Eastern Ranges)
1- Jack Lonie (Dandenong Stingrays)

Gippsland Power 10.11 (71) defeated by Queensland Scorpions 9.18 (72)

Power goals: A. Di Ciero 4, J. Cunico 2, D. Keilty 2, J. Dunkley, C. Ambler
Power best: S. Skinner, D. Keilty, A. Di Ciero, J. Dunkley, A. Carr, J. Cunico
Scorpions goals: D. Mutu, D. Henderson, L. Dawson, C. Haberfield, L. Weller, J. Rayner, H. Andrews, D. Cameron-Reeves, J. Walton
Scorpions best: L. Weller, N. Jackson, J. Rayner, C. Wagner, H. Bertoli-Simmonds, N. Dennis

Queensland Scorpions scored their first win of the TAC Cup season when they overcame a dogged Gippsland Power in wet conditions at Morwell Football Ground. It was a tight tussle all day with the Scorpions having 27 scoring shots to 21, only for inaccuracy to keep the Power in it. Lachlan Weller, brother of St Kilda’s Maverick was sensational, collecting 35 disposals, five marks, 11 tackles and kicking a goal for clear best on ground honours. For Gippsland, Jordon Cunico again showed poise up forward while Ashley Di Ciero was important with four crucial goals. Next week Gippsland host North Ballarat at Warrawee Park while Queensland have a nice break.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5- Lachlan Weller (Queensland Scorpions)
4- James Rayner (Queensland Scorpions)
3- Jordon Cunico (Gippsland Power)
2- Josh Dunkley (Gippsland Power)
1- Ashley Di Ciero (Gippsland Power)

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