TAC Cup review: Round 14

Dandenong Stingrays 12.15 (87) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 2.10 (22)

Dandenong goals: L.Williams 4, T.Joyce 4, D.Kempster, J.Holden, A.Wilson, J.Weitering

Bendigo goals: C.Oliver, J.Ryan

Dandenong best: L.Williams, A.Wilson, S.Geurts, B.Mullane, D.Kempster, M.White

Bendigo best: L.Barrett, J.Ryan, J.Brain, B.Evans, T.Cole, M.Chisari

Round 14 of the 2014 TAC Cup season opened with the battle between cellar-dwellers Bendigo and the high-flying Stingrays at Shepley Oval. Dandenong returned to their home ground confident of a good result after a 20 point win against the Murray Bushrangers while their opponents were downed by 50 points against the Sandringham Dragons.

When the ball was bounced, the Stingrays were shocked, not least by the sunny conditions on what was predicted to be a poor Melbourne day. Bendigo bounced out of the blocks, dominating the game and had it not been for inaccurate kicking in front of goal, they would have taken a much larger lead into quarter time; the Stingrays were riddled by mistakes and were lucky to only trail by five points. Clayton Oliver kicked the first goal for the Pioneers while Lachie Williams opened the scoring for Dandenong.

The home side’s poor opening quarter continued into much of the second term, compounded by a red card to key forward Keegan Downie. Grey overtook the skies as Tom Lamb started to dominate off the half back flank, doing no harm to his claim of being a highly rated draft prospect. His rebounding opened the door for Lachie Williams to kick two goals in just five minutes. Williams’ great spring was seen as he took an impressive mark to slot his second goal and as an underage player should he bulk up and continue his development, he looks to be a decent prospect. Taylor Joyce chimed in with one goal but the Stingrays looked for the big sticks at most opportunities, contributing to their poor scoreline Despite this, they still managed to take a 19 point lead into the main break.

From then on, Dandenong didn’t look back as they extended their lead to 48 points before the final term. Taylor Joyce, Jack Holden and Aaron Wilson all kicked goals in quick succession, with the latter showcasing his booming kick and terrific marking ability. Bendigo, led by Thomas Cole, applied body work to the opposition with the ball in their forward 50 for large parts of the term, however the composure of Blake Mullane shone through as he worked his way with the ball up the ground. Jacob Weitering, who has played down back for the majority of the season, was placed up forward and managed to kick one before Lachie Williams added his fourth towards the end of the term.

The last quarter started well for the Pioneers with Josh Ryan slotting a goal home early. Big man Connor Toohey experienced a poor day in the ruck but he took a good mark close to goal and looked almost certain to add to Bendigo’s tally. Unfortunately his kick skewed off the side of the boot and there was no score. Jack Lonie was in the thick of things for the majority of the quarter and helped Taylor Joyce kick two more goals before Daylan Kempster finished it off, handing Dandenong a 65 point victory.

Williams with four goals and 17 disposals was best on ground with Tom Lamb a close second collecting 33 disposals and 8 marks. For Bendigo, Billy Evans disposed of the ball 31 times, the most on his team. The Stingrays travel to Trevor Barker Beach Oval this week for a clash with Sandringham while the Pioneers return home to face the Northern Territory.

BFGN Rising Star Medal Votes
5. Lachie Williams (Dandenong Stingrays)
4. Tom Lamb (Dandenong Stingrays)
3. Aaron Wilson (Dandenong Stingrays)
2. Blake Mullane (Dandenong Stingrays)
1. Billy Evans (Bendigo Pioneers)


Geelong Falcons 12.12.84 defeated Gippsland Power 8.8. 56

Geelong Goals: P. McCartin 6, P. Bright 2, H. Kol, R. Mathieson, M. Augerinos, D. Hodge

Gippsland Goals: T. Papley 2, C. Stockdale, A. Carr, C. Buykx-Smith, A. Di Ciero, T. Beck, D. Keilty

Geelong Best: J. Nelson, H. Goddard, P. McCartin, T. Miles, P. Bright, D. Parish

Gippsland Best: D. Keilty, L. Nash, G. Low, A. Di Ciero, T. Beck, T. Papley

In bleak condititions, the Falcons took the four points on the back of the workload of their superstars. It was a day out for number one draft hopeful Patrick McCartin, who finished with six goals, but could have easily had eight or nine. The key forward finished with 6.4 along with 10 marks and 17 disposals. His work on the lead was incredible, as he burned off his opponent time after time. McCartin also displayed Nic Naitanui-like x-factor, as his roved the opposition ruckman’s tap to snap a wonderful goal from inside a tight pack.

At the other end, Hugh Goddard had a game of two polar opposite halves. He struggled to have an impact early, but after half time he won every single contest that came his way, as his marking was as good as it’s ever been. His 12 disposals and six marks don’t seem great on paper, but he was nearly best on ground.

Under age stars Rhys Mathieson and Darcy Parish dominated both on the inside and out, with many influential bursts forward stemming from their work. Workhorse Jackson Nelson was valiant too, with 12 tackles and 23 disposals highlighting his effort. Nelson suffered a heavy knock midway through the game, but continued on like nothing ever happened.

There wasn’t much to like about the Power. Josh Dunkley was sensational with a ridiculous 18 tackles and 15 disposals, but aside from that, their stars were well held and it was clear that the Falcons were far superior on the day.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal Votes
5. Patrick McCartin (Geelong Falcons)
4. Hugh Goddard (Geelong Falcons)
3. Rhys Mathieson (Geelong Falcons)
2. Darcy Parish (Geelong Falcons)
1. Josh Dunkley (Gippsland Power)


Sandringham Dragons 10.6 (66) defeated Calder Cannons 7.8 (50)

Calder Goals: Wright 4, Ahern, Miller, Cavka

Sandringham Goals: Clayton, Brayshaw, Wilkinson 2, Kelly, Dear, Grace, Neiwand

Calder Best: Wright, O’Kearney, Smith, Miller

Sandringham Best: Grace, Clayton, Brayshaw, Neiwand

The Sandringham Dragons have stunned top of the table prospect Calder Cannons away from home at Highgate reserve, in what could be a season defining win in their 2014 TAC Cup season.

The Dragons continued on their mid-season form, notching up their third win in a row in convincing fashion after leading by 36 points at the main break and keeping the Cannons goalless in the final term.

The Dragons didn’t have it all their way though, having to weather a spirited Cannons fight back in a third quarter where star draft prospect Peter Wright shone, kicking three of the Cannon’s five goals to reduce the lead to just 8 points.

In an intriguing first quarter and what would later prove to be the theme of the day, the Dragons got numbers around the contests and pressured Calder into rushed possessions to force consistent turnovers.

Despite leading by just four points in the first quarter, it was clear that the Dragons had come to play, and Calder looked a shadow of their best.

The second quarter proved to be a pivotal one. After Wright kicked the first to put the Cannons into the lead, the Dragons piled on six unanswered goals through six individual goal scorers to leave the Cannons reeling at the half time break.

The Dragons charge was led by Taylor Grace, who amassed 32 possessions, seven marks, and kicked a goal of his own in the second quarter onslaught.

The Cannons struggled to move the ball with confidence from defence, as the Dragons’ defensive structures that shut down the Falcons two weeks ago proved too much of a hurdle for even one of the best teams in the competition to handle.

Josh Clayton and Angus Brayshaw provided the x-factor for the Dragons, creating goal scoring opportunities in attack, while the midfield brigade in Grace, Will Fordham, Brayden Maynard, Malcolm Neiwand and father-son prospect Tyler Roos opened up the Calder defence through run and carry and precision disposal under pressure.

Despite the major deficit the Cannons switched on after half time and completely turned the game around, dominating possession and generating nine scoring opportunities to just 1 in the third term.

The Cannons got on top in the midfield and locked the ball in their forward half with Nick O’Kearney and Roarke Smith finding space and penetrating the Dragons defence with repeated inside 50’s.

Touk Miller slotted his first goal, rewarding the endeavour he showed to keep Calder in the game in the first half, before Peter Wright took three important marks and nailed the last three goals of the quarter to give Calder a sniff.

The Cannons appeared to have all the momentum going into the final quarter and the Dragons looked unsettled early, with some fumbles that almost gave Cannons the opportunities they were looking for to take the lead.

But a strong defensive effort from the Dragons to get numbers back to kill the contests and support their defence saw them snuff out any chance of a Cannons comeback.

Clayton sealed the victory with a 50 metre long bomb that sailed through the middle to cap off a major upset.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal Votes
5. Taylor Grace (Sandringham Dragons)
4. Josh Clayton (Sandringham Dragons)
3. Peter Wright (Calder Cannons)
2. Angus Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons)
1. Nick O’Kearney (Calder Cannons)


Oakleigh Chargers 13.15 (93) defeated Northern Knights 9.6 (60)

Oakleigh goals: J. De Goey 3, T. McLean 3, B. Crocker 2, L. Waddell, L. Patterson, A. Urban, K. Answerth, D. Moore
Northern goals: K. Malone 4, J. Gresham, L. Hunt, B. Fiorini, Z. Ballard, R. McKenzie
Oakleigh best: J. De Goey, H. Beasley, A. Urban, T. McLean, L. Waddell, B. Crocker
Northern best: K. Malone, B. Jordan, Z. Ballard, L. Hunt, J. Short, W. Murphy

Oakleigh Chargers enjoyed a 33-point win over the Northern Knights on an overcast day in Preston. Conditions weren’t ideal but the slickness of the Chargers saw them home in an inaccurate performance. Jordan De Goey was sensational in the middle and up forward, finishing with three goals, while Hugh Beasley was sensational off half back. For the Knights it was harder to find winners but Kieran Malone was as dominant as he could be considering the delivery inside 50, booting four goals and almost had a fifth late. Another underrated performance was that of Bailey Jordan who held All-Australian forward Darcy Moore to just one goal for the day. Other contributors for the winners were Alex Urban, Toby McLean and Lachlan Waddell.

It was far from a complete performance from the Chargers who did enough to keep ahead, missing gettable shots on goal which ultimately humbled the final score for the Knights. Disposal from both sides was ordinary with DeGoey being a rare exception. By far the highlight of the day was a hanger taken by Toby McLean, sitting on top of a pack for what seemed like an eternity. It was a disappointing performance from the Knights who could never quite get within reach after the Chargers booted the first five goals. Both sides get a week off next week as the Chargers will have one eye on finals and a top two spot. Northern Knights will need a lot of luck to play finals this year, sitting two wins outside the top eight.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal Votes:
5. Jordan De Goey (Oakleigh Chargers)
4. Hugh Beasley (Oakleigh Chargers)
3. Kieran Malone (Northern Knights)
2. Alex Urban (Oakleigh Chargers)
1. Bailey Jordan (Northern Knights)


Murray Bushrangers 11.10 (76) defeated Western Jets 8.13 (61)

Murray Goals: L.Smith 2, M.Waite 2, J.Carroll 2, I.Muller, N.Coughlan, J.Schache, N.Mellington, C.Marchbank

Western Goals: J.Laverde 3, L.Duggan 2, C.Menadue, P.Manivong, J.Volpato

Murray Best: K.Ellis, B.Hodgson, C.Marchbank, N.Mellington, I.Muller, L.Smith

Western Best: B.Myers, J.Volpato, J.Laverde, L.Duggan, D.Viojo-rainbow, B.Monk

In a match between two sides filled with returning representative players, it was Murray Bushrangers that found themselves coming away with the four points after the final siren. It was an enthralling back and forth contest for the whole game, as both teams traded the lead at different stages.

Early goals to Pete Manivong and Liam Duggan saw the Jets out to a 13-point lead before Josh Schache replied for the Bushies. From then on both teams traded goals until the quarter time break where scores were level at sunny Wangaratta.

Murray came out firing in the second quarter and raced to a 17-point lead after goals from Murray Waite, Caleb Marchbank and Luke Smith, who kicked two in a matter of minutes. Dillon Viojo-Rainbow lifted for Western and began to take control in the midfield and they went into the long break facing a 13-point deficit after a late goal from Jayden Laverde.

Few highlights followed in the third quarter as both teams turned the ball over repeatedly, with neither team able to get the ball past halfway without making skill errors. Western were able to gain the ascendency later in the quarter but couldn’t take advantage of their dominance and kicked the only goal of the quarter after a Jayden Laverde hanger, which was unfortunately overshadowed by Toby Mclean’s mark for Oakleigh, who passed off to Liam Duggan who goaled from long range.

Western continued their dominance early in the fourth and it looked like they might run away with the game, after Connor Menadue kicked truly from outside 50 to put them in front by seven points. However Murray lifted again and the midfield of Brydan Hodgson, Nick Mellington and Murray Waite saw the ball continually being pumped inside 50, where Nick Coughlan, Jim Carroll and Nick Mellington kicked goals to take them out to an eight point lead with not long to go.

Both teams sensed this and the game lifted again, as defences on both sides played exciting kamikaze footy, running from end to end trying desperately to score. Ultimately it was the Bushrangers getting the win, as a late snap from Isaac Muller sealed it for them but it was an exciting and tough game of football.

Billy Myers, Dillon Viojo-Rainbow and Jayden Laverde stood out for Western while Nick Mellington was super for Murray in his return from VFL duties and he was ably supported by Caleb Marchbank and Brydan Hodgson.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal Votes:
5. Nick Mellington (Murray Bushrangers)
4. Billy Myers (Western Jets)
3. Brydan Hodgson (Murray Bushrangers)
2. Caleb Marchbank (Murray Bushrangers)
1. Dillo Viojo-Rainbow (Western Jets)

Eastern Ranges 13.10 (88) defeated North Ballarat Rebels 7.7 (49)

Eastern Goals: C.Petracca 5, B.Hardwick 4, R.Phillips, S.Weideman, A.Cotte, D.Crocker

North Ballarat Goals: J.Palmer 2, T.Taurau, D.Butler, O.McDonald, J.Wheelahan, T.Templeton

Eastern Best: C.Petracca, A.Cotte, S.Weideman, L.Hannon, R.Harvey, B.Mitchener

North Ballarat Best: O.McDonald, R.Marshall, J.Palmer, J.O”Beirne, T.Templeton, L.McLeod

It was the Christian Petracca show at Box Hill Oval as Eastern Ranges tried to take down the North Ballarat Rebels and end their spectacular winning streak.

In an arm wrestle early, it was moments of class from Petracca that allowed Eastern to pull away. Petracca has 12 touches and a goal in the first quarter and continued to dominate but North Ballarat had all the answers and responded each time Eastern tried to pull away.

He kicked five for the day and was ably supported by Blake Hardwick who bagged four goals, as Eastern finally pulled away from a gallant North Ballarat team in the final quarter. The margin was just thirteen points at the final change but a five goal to one final term saw them kick clear to a big lead and more importantly, bounce back from a loss last week to remain in the top eight with Murray Bushrangers breathing down their necks.

Petracca was the star for Eastern but Aaron Cotte, Liam Jeffs and Sam Weideman also impressed for the victors. Oscar McDonald continued his great form for North Ballarat and was their best once again while Rowan Marshall dominated in the ruck, compiling 52 hitouts as well as 18 possessions.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal Votes:
5. Christian Petracca (Eastern Ranges)
4. Oscar McDonald (North Ballarat Rebels)
3. Rowan Marshall (North Ballarat Rebels)
2. Aaron Cotte (Eastern Ranges)
1. Sam Weideman (Eastern Ranges)

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