TAC Cup wrap: Round 10


NSW-ACT Rams 15.13 (103) defeated Calder Cannons 12.5 (77)


NSW-ACT: A. Davis 5, J. Steele 3, J. Finlayson 3, J. Hiscox , N. Foster, C. Mills, L. Flagg.
Calder: J. Foster 4, M. Kovacevic 3, H. Kerbatieh, R. O’Brien, T. Wallis, T. Gawthrop, B. Laguda.


NSW-ACT: C. Mills, A. Davis, J. Finlayson, J. Steele, I. Heeney, M. Flynn
Calder: M. Kovacevic, R. O”Brien, V. Carboni, M. Stillman, R. Smith, J. Foster

A shock win by the NSW-ACT Rams kickstarted a topsy-turvy round with plenty of upsets. The Rams defeated the top-of-the-table Calder Cannons with an inspired game by Jack Steele who outshone his highly rated teammate Isaac Heeney. Steele collected 38 disposals, took 15 marks, laid nine tackles and booted three goals in arguably the performance of the season. He was also the umpires’ friend receiving six free kicks without giving any away. Speaking of Heeney, he still had a solid 27 disposals, five marks and five tackles, but a somewhat wasteful three behinds. Others for the Rams who impressed were Abe Davis who booted five goals from his 18 disposals and eight marks; and Callum Mills who had 26 disposals, seven marks, nine tackles and kicked a goal. For the disappointing Calder who were missing players due to Vic Metro duties, Mark Kovacevic and Jayden Foster were strong up forward booting seven goals between them, but contributors were few and far between.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Jack Steele (NSW-ACT Rams)
4- Abe Davis (NSW-ACT Rams)
3- Callum Mills (NSW-ACT Rams)
2- Isaac Heeney (NSW-ACT Rams)
1- Mark Kovacevic (Calder Cannons)

Northern Knights 13.14 (92) defeated Tasmania 7.11 (53)


Northern: B. Jordan 3, W. Murphy 2, L. Hunt 2, K. Malone , K. Declase, S. Switkowski , B. Fiorini , J. Gresham , J. El Moussalli
Tasmania: K. Pitchford 2, J. Watts , B. Sharman, P. Bellchambers, M. Rainbird, A. Dickenson


Northern: J. Short, D. Aujla, J. Gresham, B. Jordan, A. Di Paolo, W. Murphy
Tasmania: T. Jones, K. Pitchford, N, Dodge, C. Hislop, P. Bellchambers, J. Johnson

Northern led from start to finish in an impressive victory over Tasmania at Preston City Oval on Saturday. The Knights midfield were just too strong for their Tasmanian counterparts, with Knights ruckman Anthony Di Paolo giving his side first use of the ball all day, as he amassed an impressive 49 hitouts. Jayden Short and Will Murphy had big impacts while playing on the ball for Northern, while it was only Tim Jones who starred for Tasmania in the midfield that was able to keep pace with them. Bailey Jordan booted three goals in the first half and was instrumental in giving the Knights a four goal lead heading into half time. Tasmania were still in it at three-quarter time, but a three goal to zero last quarter saw the Knights pick up the points at home.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5- Tim Jones (Tasmania)
4- Jayden Short (Northern Knights)
3- Anthony Di Paolo (Northern Knights)
2- William Murphy (Northern Knights)
1- Jade Gresham (Northern Knights)

Dandenong Stingrays 15.10 (100) defeated Gippsland Power 11.9 (75)


Dandenong: T. Joyce 4, J. Tomkins 2, K. Downie 2, T. Young, J. Di Pasquale, B. Dale, L. Batten, T. Stoffels, L. Williams, L. Myatt.
Gippsland: T. Papley 3, N. Holmes 2, D. Grech, B. Olsson, C. Ambler, M. Jacobsen, A. Di Ciero, A. Ferreira.


Dandenong: A. Harnett, S. Geurts, B. Dale, T. Glen, T. Joyce, K. Gray.
Gippsland: N. Holmes, B. Dessent, B. Timms, T. Papley, A. Di Ciero, T. Beck.

Shepley Oval played host to the round 10 TAC Cup encounter between the Dandenong Stingrays and Gippsland Power. Due to the AFL U18 Championships, both sides had not played a match for two weeks however Dandenong would have gone into battle more confident, having won their last encounter against the Knights while the Power had fallen short on their own turf against the Cannons.

Gippsland started fast and put two goals on the board in the opening minutes. The dewy conditions didn’t faze Taylor Joyce who took a strong mark 25 meters from goal and claimed one back for the Rays. The Power replied straight away before Dandenong piled on four goals straight through Jayden Tomkins (two), Travis Young and Joyce again to end the first term. Despite a slow start, the Stingrays teamwork shone through, with their shepherding in particular fantastic, and they led by 11 points at quarter time.

The second term started underneath light rain, causing the game around the ground to close up. It’s in these conditions that Bailey Dale began to shine, with his roving exceptional. Lachlan Batten kicked the first goal of the quarter from a free kick to increase the lead for the home side. Daylan Kempster dropped a mark in the wet conditions which opened the door for Tom Papley to hit straight back. Gippsland’s kicking efficiency was poor and it helped Dandenong keep the ball in their forward half for large periods of the term. Debutant Jake Di Pasquale kicked one of their four goals as the home side’s lead increased to 31 points as the siren blew.

Leigh Brown must have given his charges a rev up at the main break as the Power came out firing and kicked the first two of the term. Gippsland tried their best to rattle the opposition as little scuffles broke out during the quarter on the wing and the Stingrays forward 50, however Keegan Downie was unaffected as he slotted one home quickly followed by Taylor Joyce’s third. Alex Harnett stood out for the home side and his attack at the ball could not be questioned. Nash Holmes got one back before Dandenong rounded out the term with two goals to hold a 49-point lead.

Aloysio Ferreira gave the away side some hope at the start of the final quarter as the rain eased off and the game became more free-flowing. From then on it was goal for goal before Darnell Grech broke the trend and kicked the last goal of the game, but it was too late for the Power. Bailey Dale continued his impressive performance as he kicked one while Tom Papley also stood out, taking a great mark on the wing considering the conditions. The home side put in a nice performance and eventually ran out 25-point winners.

Best on ground was Alex Harnett with 31 disposals while Bailey Dale and Taylor Joyce were also impressive for the Stingrays. Nash Holmes was best for the Power with 25 disposals. Next week, Gippsland take on Bendigo while Dandenong travel to Ballarat to battle the Rebels.

BFGN Rising Star Medal

5- Alex Harnett (Dandenong Stingrays)
4- Bailey Dale (Dandenong Stingrays)
3- Nash Holmes (Gippsland Power)
2- Taylor Joyce (Dandenong Stingrays)
1- Sam Guerts (Dandenong Stingrays)

Murray Bushranges: 12.8 (80) defeated by North Ballarat Rebels: 13.6 (86)


Murray: N. Coughlan 5, J. Schache 3, J. Clarke 2, J. Carroll , B. Hodgson
North Ballarat: R. Marshall 3, K. Mason 2, T. Templeton 2, J. Palmer 2, B. Simpson , J. Wheelahan , B. Lloyd , M. Johnston


Murray: N. Mellington, N. Coughlan, M. Waite, B. Hodgson, C. Brown, J. Schache
North Ballarat: O. McDonald, K. Mason, R. Marshall, J. Webster, B. Lloyd, J. Palmer

In a game which was considered an eight-point match for both the Murray Bushranges and North Ballarat Rebels, the ending could not have been more fitting for a game that deserved the nail-bitting ending. With both clubs sitting outside the top-eight, with significant players out of each club’s sides, it was a cold afternoon at Highgate arena but it was a hot ball early in a sea-sawing affair.

The Rebels who’ve found form of late winning their past five consecutive matches, willed themselves over the line in a terrific final quarter with several lead changes, but nothing more exiting that coach David Loading pulling out his ace in his deck of cards, throwing ruckman Rowan Marshall forward for the final quarter where he clunked three contested marks and kicked as many goals within seven minutes of play which not only bought the Rebels back in touch with the Bushrangers, but steer his team to the lead.

It was the battle of the midfields all day, with the Bushranges seemingly having the better of the contested ball. GWS Academy and AFL-AIS member Nick Couglan was a focal point up forward as the Bushie’s big man slotted five goals straight for the afternoon in a terrific display on the comeback from injury.

But it was the Bushrangers who had the jump early on, taking a seven-point lead into quarter time. The Rebels responded in the second quarter kicking away to a 21-point lead at half time, but more importantly enjoying a six goal to two second term whilst allowing the Bushranges to kick just two goals. Co-Captain Keegan Mason led from the front, winning the hardball and finishing with two goals for the afternoon.

Just when the game couldn’t have another twist, the Bushranges kicked three goals in the third term, keeping the Rebels goalless in what set up a final term whereby North Ballarat lead by just three points.

After a passionate speech at the final break from Loader, it seemed in the first 15 minutes that his word had fallen upon deaf ears, as the game looked to have slipped away from the Rebels, with the Bushrangers kicking the opening two goals in the first 10 minutes, but a goal to Coughlan for his fifth of the afternoon and a 50-metre penalty to Josh Schache would be the final goal the Bushrangers would kick for the afternoon.

Cometh the moment, cometh the man – ruckman Rowan Marshall went bezerk with three final-quarter goals, but more importantly it was the influence of youngster Billy Lloyd who was the spark the Rebel’s needed all afternoon, finishing with 25 disposals, five tackles and five inside 50’s and was prominate throughout the game, but exciting left-footer Jacob Wheelahan bobbed up to be a revelation in a game that demanded x-factor. His final quarter performance delivered a goal to go with several possessions that help swung the momentum of the game in the Rebels’ favour to help the Rebels run out six-point winners in a remarkable game of TAC Cup football.

BFGN Rising Stars:

5 – Rowan Marshall (North Ballarat rebels)
4 – Billy Lloyd (North Ballarat Rebels)
3 – Oscar McDonald (North Ballarat Rebels)
2 – Nicholas Coughlan (Murray Bushrangers)
1 – Keegan Mason (North Ballarat Rebels)

Oakleigh Chargers 11.5 (71) defeated Sandringham Dragons 9.12 (66)


Oakleigh: L. Patterson 3, T. McLean 3, L. Waddell, L. Kinsella, J. Allen, A. Oppy, X. Morgan
Sandringham: A. Spencer 4, B. Maynard, L. Gogis, H. Dear, S. Gunning, L. Ritchie


Oakleigh: M. Rivett, J. Halsall, J. Sinclair, L. Waddell, T. McLean, L. Patterson
Sandringham: H. Dear, B. Maynard, M. Neiwand, D. James, R. Iudica, L. Ritchie

Oakleigh Chargers moved to the outright top-of-the-table with a narrow five-point win over the Sandringham Dragons. It was a tightly contested game with Sandringham getting the jump early to lead by 22 points at the first change. Oakleigh then narrowed it to 16 and 13 points at half-time and three quarter-time respectively before keeping the away side to just two behinds in the last quarter and booting 3.2 themselves. Overall, the Chargers had booted ten goals to five after quarter time for a resounding comeback in low-scoring conditions. Liam Patterson and Toby McLean booted three goals up forward for the Chargers while Alex Spencer managed four for the away side. Mackenzie Rivett (30 disposals, six marks) and Joshua Halsall (19 disposals, four marks, six tackles) were the best for the winners, while Harry Dear impressed in the ruck with 35 hitouts to complement his 13 disposals, four marks, eight tackles and a goal. It was a disappointing loss for the Dragons who will be aiming to bounce back in a fortnight, while Oakleigh have earned a rest, sitting pretty at the top of the table.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Mackenzie Rivett (Oakleigh Chargers)
4- Joshua Halsall (Oakleigh Chargers)
3- Harry Dear (Sandringham Dragons)
2- Brayden Maynard (Sandringham Dragons)
1- Alex Spencer (Sandringham Dragons)

Geelong Falcons 9.9 (63) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 10.10 (70)


Geelong: L. Melican 2, B. Remmos, M. Augerinos, L. Wagener, H. Kol, J. Hudson, J. Hickey, S. Dixon.
Bendigo: A. Johnson 4, M. Chisari 2, M. Hore 2, C. Toohey , J. Muscatello.


Geelong: T. Miles, H. Kol, D. McMahon, L. Maddock, S. Dixon, K. Davis
Bendigo: A. Johnson, S. Harper, J. Lawton, J. Mangan, B. Edwards, D. Davie

A severely weakened Geelong Falcons were beaten by a more impressive Bendigo outfit on the weekend with a shock loss to the Pioneers at Avalon Airport Oval. The Pioneers led all day and managed to just withstand a Falcons fightback in the last quarter to hold on by seven points. Statistically the Falcons dominated the game with Teia Miles (31 disposals, nine marks), Damian McMahon (24 disposals) and Harrison Kol (20 disposals, six marks) were the top players for the game. Bailey Edwards (26 disposals0 and Daniel Davie (22 disposals, seven marks) were the only two over 20 disposals for the Pioneers. For all the statistics, the Pioneers managed to beat the Falcons in the area that mattered most – on the scoreboard. Aidyn Johnson was the key up forward with four goals, five marks and seven tackles to be the number one scorer on the ground. Both sides will have to get up next week with the Falcons traveling to face the Bushrangers while the Pioneers ‘host’ the Power in Preston.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:
5- Aidyn Johnson (Bendigo Pioneers)
4- Teia Miles (Geelong Falcons)
3- Harrison Kol (Geelong Falcons)
2- Daniel Davie (Bendigo Pioneers)
1- Bailey Edwards (Bendigo Pioneers)

Eastern Ranges 12.9 (81) defeated by Western Jets 13.7 (85)


Eastern: S. Weideman 3, P. Klep 2, S. Lennox 2, B. Hardwick 2, M. Traynor, R. Sheridan-Ferrie, L. Sverns.
Western: B. Coletta 5, L. Spiteri 3, C. Menadue 2, M. Orr, L. Delahey, R. Stuhldreier.


Eastern: L. Hannon, D. Crocker, J. Collins, J. Healy, M. Traynor, A. Cotte
Western: B. Myers, C. Menadue, B. Monk, B. Coletta, M. Orr, L. Spiteri

Eastern Ranges and Western Jets engaged in an intriguing battle at Box Hill City oval on a cold a dewy day. Despite both sides missing several of their best players to the Metro squad, the game was high scoring and disposals were clean.

The Jets kicked the first through Brandon Coletta, but Sam Weideman replied for the Ranges not long after. Jayden Spiteri was everywhere for the Jets, with three first quarter goals and plenty of the ball. Rory Sheridan – Ferrie and Patrick Klep both kicked goals to keep Eastern in it.  Spiteri led Western into quarter time a goal ahead, with the scores being 4.1 (25) to 3.1 (19)

With the Eastern Ranges starting to put defensive work into Spiteri, Connor Menadue stepped up. He set up four quick goals within less than 10 minutes, as he burst out of the centre square and delivered to Mark Orr and Coletta. It was then Coletta who booted four goals in quick succession. The man with the mullett Blake Hardwick worked hard in contested marking situations and kicked a goal, while a few more Eastern goals trimmed the lead back to 19 points. Weiderman kicked a freak drop punt on the run on the boundary from 35 metres out under pressure to inspire the Eastern Ranges. After a half time brawl, the Jets went into the rooms three goals ahead.

Coletta kicked his fifth and Delahey kicked one early in the third quarter, as the Jets seemed to pull away again, but Hardwick kicked another. Jarrod Healy played well all game across half back and kicked a crucial goal. Just when the Ranges had some hope, Connor Menadue stepped up to crush their spirits with a critical goal. He was hitting targets, breaking lines and dominating all game, in a Ryan Griffen-esque game.

The Jets led by 25 points going in to the final change, but the Ranges came out firing. Eastern kicked the first four of the quarter, including Weideman’s third and for the first time, the Ranges had the lead, albeit by the slimmest of margins. Without Liam Duggan, Jayden Laverde and Corey Ellis, it was Menadue’s time to shine. He stomped the Ranges again, with the final goal coming off his boot to seal the win by four points.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Connor Menadue (Western Jets)
4 – Brandon Coletta (Western Jets)
3 – Leigh Spiteri (Western Jets)
2 – Sam Weideman (Eastern Ranges)
1 – Jarrod Healy (Eastern Ranges)

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