Buninyong 24.22 (166) d Learmonth 7.5 (47)
By John McGregor
Buninyong ran rings around a fumbling Learmonth on Saturday to land a whopping 119-point win.
The Lakies kicked four goals in a row and led easily at the half-way mark of the first term.
But quick scoring in the last five minutes of the quarter from new recruit Jaymes Gorman and big man Liam Rigby tipped the scales in favour of the Bombers, which had the advantage by four points at the first change.
Buninyong then hit the scoreboard first in less than a minute with an Isaac Baker goal and he followed with another major and two behinds in the space of six minutes.
A lightning fast midfield provided the hosts with the upper hand and eight-goal hauls in the second and third quarters.
Learmonth dropped away dramatically with just three scoring shots – a goal and two behinds – in that period.
Buninyong had a 51-point lead at half time and a 105-point buffer going into the final term.
The Bombers were a player down in the second half, with Alec Wiltshire on the sidelines with crutches.
In the final term, Buninyong hit the scoreboard in less than a minute with a conversion from leading club goal-kicker Jake Dunne.
Dunne booted three majors and so did Josh Renga and Rigby. Five players – Baker, Gorman, Jake Coxall, Mark Phelps and Fraser Russell - kicked two each.
Bombers ruckman Anthony Ebery was king in the middle. He, Russell and Coxall were swift and accurate. Jack Robertson also stood out.
Todd Curran was the only multiple goal-kicker with two for the Learmonth side.
Lakies skipper Brenton Powell kept chipping away and had familiar faces like Kyle Mackay, Scott Whiting, Connor Dickson and James Mayall backing him up.
Learmonth’s leading goal-scorer Matthew Bond had a lean day, kicking one solitary major. He was well held by the Bombers’ Nick Shell.
Buninyong coach Jarrod Morgan had almost a full-strength side, and it was a fresh one after a break.
“It’s the closest to a full side we’ve had all year. We had a pretty horrid run of injuries all year. The couple of weeks off did us wonders to get almost a full side back,” Morgan said.
Learmonth coach Steve Biggin was disappointed in another test against a top side coming to nought.
Hepburn 12.14 (86) d Creswick 8.8 (56)
By Tim O'Connor
Premiership fancies Hepburn wasn’t given an easy time against lowly Creswick on Saturday afternoon.
Matt Miller kicked three of his four goals in the opening term to help the Wickers lead at the first change, before the hosts piled on seven majors in the second term to hold the advantage at the main break.
From there, the Burras were never headed en route to a 30-point success.
In an even display, Joe Clarke, Kamen Ogilvie and Daniel Rees were best for the winners, while Hepworth boys Caleb, Liam and Aaron led the way for Creswick.
The Burras remain third on the ladder following their 10th-straight victory, while the Wickers sit down the table in 14th position.
Waubra 43.26 (284) d Skipton 4.1 (25)
By Tim O'Connor
Waubra forward Tim Boyle has charged to the top of the league goal-kicking chart with a bag of 11 in the team’s 259-point thumping of Skipton.
Boyle now has 48 goals for the season and is five clear of Gordon’s Ash Munari and Beaufort’s Jack Duke.
With Waubra coach Grant Luscombe absent on Saturday due to the birth of his third child, the Roos were led by his assistant Matt James.
Springbank 11.15 (81) d Rokewood-Corindhap 9.5 (59)
By Tim O'Connor
Rokewood-Corindhap went close to securing its biggest win since joining the league, but was eventually overrun by the reigning back-to-back premiers on Saturday.
The Grasshoppers led Springbank by 10 points at half time and were right with the Tigers at the final change, but class eventually prevailed as the home side kicked clear to record a 22-point win at Wallace.
Peter Lewis was moved from defence into the ruck at half time and played a strong hand for Springbank, while Jesse Galea kicked four goals to be the most damaging forward on the ground.
For Rokewood-Corindhap, coach Jarrod Thompson and Jake Carr booted three majors each, Jordan Gercovich did a good job on Tigers spearhead Tom Eltringham and Sam Chapman was strong in the middle.
Thompson said it was disappointing to lose, but felt the result was a step in the right direction for his group.
Beaufort 28.15 (183) d Carngham-Linton 4.7 (31)
By Tim O'Connor
Carngham-Linton coach Matt Beaston said his side was given a football lesson in its loss to Beaufort on Saturday.
The Crows were 152-point winners at home to the Saints, with Jack Duke and Lachlan Murray kicking six goals each.
Tim Haase and Michael Foster were among the other standouts for Beaufort, while the likes of Beau Ketchen, Brodie Doolan, Jacob Dawson and Lachlan Isbister were better players for Carngham-Linton.
Bungaree 14.11 (95) d Daylesford 9.11 (65)
By Tim O'Connor
Bungaree continues to fend off the challengers for its place inside the Central Highlands Football League top four, stretching its winning run to eight matches on Saturday.
The Demons came under heavy attack from a young and dangerous Daylesford outfit, but had the answers in defence on their way to a 30-point triumph.
Led by the likes of Steve Ryan and Chris Cowan, the defensive division got the pats on the back from senior coach Heath Pyke after the win.
“There was a little bit of a sprinkling through the midfield and up forward, but the back six were tremendous,” Pyke said.
Pyke’s men broke the game apart in the third term, with goals to Grant and Jake Trevenen and Alex Browning helping increase the half time advantage of 11 points to 22 at the final change.
The Bulldogs tried hard in the last term, but were never able to close the gap to under three goals.
Bungaree remains fourth on the ladder following the win, a game clear of the fifth-placed Gordon.
“They (Daylesford) played some good footy to be fair and our inability to be accountable at stages probably hurt us in the first half,” Pyke said.
“We made a few changes structurally at half time and I probably put the onus back on the playing group a little bit in the second half. The pleasing thing was that we were able to grind out a win and what was a workman-like win to a certain to degree.
“We spoke about it coming into this game that this month was going to be pretty crucial in terms of where we’re headed. In the end, that’s just the first week of a four-week patch that we’ve really got to play some good footy and stand up to prove that we are a top four side.”
Jake Trevenen booted three majors in a good display for the Demons, while Joel Mirtschin, Grant Trevenen and Andrew Milroy finished with two apiece.
Jackson Murphy was solid around the ground, while Pyke praised the efforts of backman Matt Geary and young onballer Ben Willian.
Daylesford coach Marcus Goonan was frustrated at the skill errors that cost his side.
“We are right in the hunt, but you can’t afford to make little mistakes against good sides because they carve you up,” Goonan said.
Ruckman Sam Winnard had a good game for the Bulldogs, Joel Cowan was lively through the middle and showed class, while Patrick Rowe was busy out of defence.
The loss of defender Toby Hughes to concussion was a blow for the visitors early in the match and he appears in doubt for next weekend’s clash with Gordon.
Daylesford remains a game clear in eighth spot on the ladder despite Saturday’s defeat.
Gordon 22.15 (147) d Newlyn 6.14 (50)
By Tim O'Connor
Ash Munari continued his superb run of form as Gordon easily accounted for Newlyn on Saturday.
Munari’s shift from defence to roles up the ground continues to work wonders for the Eagles, which blitzed the Cats by 97 points.
He kicked six goals to take his 2017 tally to 43 and be named the home side’s best ahead of a host of standouts including Mark Gunnell, Matt Raworth and Brad Hallam.
The win did come at a cost for the fifth-placed Eagles, with coach Gary Learmonth reporting injuries to Jye Cousins (concussion), Luke Gunnell (concussion), Steve Nicholson (hand) and Tye Murphy (leg).
Joint-coach Dan Wehrung was rated as Newlyn’s best.
Dunnstown 24.13 (157) d Clunes 3.2 (20)
By Tim O'Connor
Dunnstown’s run of success in recent weeks had delivered wins, but not any massive knockout blows.
That was until Saturday afternoon.
The Towners put an exclamation mark on their five-match winning streak, thumping Clunes to the tune of 137 points.
Dunnstown did beat Skipton by 83 points in round 10, but this was a more complete performance.
The Towners climbed to 11th spot on the ladder following the result, which was set up in the opening minutes of the match.
The home team led by 39 points at quarter time and never looked back on its way to a huge triumph.
Dunnstown coach Justin Abrams said the club’s leaders like Aaron Brennan, Sam Jenkins and Harry McKimmie shone for his side. McKimmie and Rhys Cahir led the scoring with five goals each.
“We just had 22 contributors. We didn’t have a weak link at all and it was probably the best game that they’ve strung together,” Abrams said.
Clunes managed just three majors for the afternoon and they came through Josh Thompson, Jesse Baird and Jake Seers.
Liam Newton, Matthew Wrigley and Andrew Spence were named the Magpies’ best players.