Waubra 10.6 (66) d Bungaree 9.11 (65)
By Louis Gillett
WAUBRA put forth a timely reminder of its premiership credentials on Saturday, defeating fellow heavyweights Bungaree by a solitary point.
In a thrilling contest at Waubra, the Roos staved off the fast-finishing Demons, which had trailed by as much as 20 points in the final term.
“We were slow to react in the first quarter, Bungaree came out of the blocks strongly and really put pressure on us,” Roos coach Grant Luscombe said.
“We started playing well in the second quarter, though, and in the end holding them scoreless in that quarter was huge for us in winning the game.”
Coming into the clash with an impressive 7-1 record, the Demons came out all guns firing in the opening stanza to take a 21-point lead into the first break.
Christian Elliot slotted two early majors, while Dave Benson and Jackson Murphy also got on the board.
A clearly livid Luscombe unleashed on his charges at the break, and the Roos responded in clinical fashion, putting four majors on the board to level the scores at half time.
The Demons then slugged out a difficult third term to claim a slender one-point lead at the final stop, before the home side finished with wind in its sails to record a thrilling triumph.
Tim Boyle slotted three fourth-quarter goals for the Roos to end with six for the day and take man of the match honours. Defensive stalwart Nick Aringo and the industrious Thomas Cullinan also put in impressive shifts for the victors.
Chase Morgan, Mitchell Bowman and Jason Linke were best for the Demons.
Creswick 18.10 (118) d Carngham Linton 5.6 (36)
By Tim O'Connor
ADRIAN King celebrated his first success as Creswick’s senior coach on Saturday.
King, standing in for Damian Lubeek, who is overseas on work duties, led the Wickers to a comfortable victory over Carngham-Linton at Snake Valley.
With scores tied at quarter time, the Wickers charged clear to register their third win of the 2016 campaign by 82 points.
Caleb Hepworth overcame illness to be named best for the winners, while James Murray kicked five goals.
Hepburn 13.11 (89) d Rokewood-Corindhap 4.7 (31)
By Tim O'Connor
HEPBURN made some nice progress up the ladder thanks to a 58-point win over Rokewood-Corindhap.
The Burras moved from fifth to second after Beaufort and Bungaree were beaten and Gordon lost percentage in the victory over Daylesford.
Hepburn coach Jason Olver said onballer Dan O’Halloran racked up 38 touches and was a standout for the Burras along with ruckman Michael Watt and defenders Tanner Wills and Joe Malone.
Buninyong 24.13 (157) d Smythesdale 2.3 (15)
By Tim O'Connor
BUNINYONG greets the second half of the season on top of the ladder after disposing of Smythesdale.
The Bombers made light work of the Bulldogs early in the contest and never allowed their rivals a sniff of success in a 142-point drubbing on Saturday.
With its home ground damaged by vandals, Smythesdale hosted the match at Linton and took until the final term to register its two goals of the afternoon.
On the other hand, Buninyong blitzed the opening term and carried a 45-point lead into the first change.
Bombers joint-coach Jarrod Morgan said Alex Bomitali and Glen Phelps were rested on Saturday, with a senior debut given to Zane Whykes, who played off a wing.
Morgan said ruckman Liam Rigby, onballer Ned Gilbert, winger Jack Romeril and Morgan Turner off half back were among his best players.
Tom Nankivell and Damien Kennedy booted the majors for Smythesdale, which named Josh Szabo as its leading contributor.
Dunnstown 10.5 (65) d Beaufort 9.8 (62)
By Tim O'Connor
DUNNSTOWN has pushed a couple of finals-bound teams this season, but walked away without any real rewards.
That was until Saturday’s upset of premiership contenders Beaufort.
The Towners landed their biggest scalp of 2016 and gave their finals hopes a huge shot in the arm with a three-point victory on home soil.
Dunnstown coach Justin Abrams said his charges were “due to win against a top four team” after narrow losses to Waubra and Gordon.
“We were very good for the majority of the day,” he said.
“Our pressure and tackle count was the highest for the year with over 90 tackles.”
Abrams said some positional changes in the second half resulted in more players sharing the load.
“Our form has been extremely consistent and Saturday we really did not have any lapses,” he said.
Beaufort coach Dale Power said his team knew the round nine clash was a danger game and that it didn’t make the most of its chances when in control of the contest.
“It really hurts our top four chances,” Power said.
“Any time you lose to a top eight side, you pay the price in that league.”
Forward Peter McGettigan kicked five goals for Dunnstown, which named ruckman Aaron Brennan and onballer Sam Jenkins as its best.
Beaufort, which had Scott Howard pull out of the match in the warm-up after hurting an adductor and Damien Day sidelined with a recurrence of a hamstring injury in the first term, was best served by ruckman Jake Garvey and midfielder Joe Mason.
Springbank 14.16 (100) d Learmonth 3.3 (21)
By Tim O'Connor
SPRINGBANK moved a game clear inside the top four after landing its seventh-straight victory.
The Tigers finished convincing 79-point winners over Learmonth on Saturday.
Springbank joint-coach Michael Searl returned from injury at the weekend and said the end margin was perhaps a bit flattering to his side, which was made to work hard against the visitors.
Searl said it was one of his team’s better defensive games for the campaign and rated the performances of defenders Matt Tyler and Tim Malone among the best for the Tigers. He also praised Andrew Tyler, Joel Maher and Nick Couch through the middle and Paul McMahon for his three goals up forward.
Springbank started the match well, said Searl, with a four-goals-to-zero first term setting up the result in difficult conditions at Wallace.
Ruckman Ryan Barnes and coach Brenton Powell were standouts for the beaten brigade.
Newlyn 12.14 (86) d Clunes 3.5 (23)
By David Bilbrough
Split Enz once sang "History Never Repeats".
There was no telling that to the footballers from Newlyn as they wound back the clock to celebrate the club's 1936 premiership victory with a 63-point thumping of Clunes at home on Saturday afternoon.
The Cats donned replica jumpers to commemorate, and then replicate, the grand final triumph over its neighbouring rivals 80 years ago.
Victorious Cats coach Kal Young was pleased with the result.
“I was really happy with the way the boys responded after quarter time,” Young said.
“We really played poor football in that first quarter and didn't capitalise on our forward entries, but we moved the ball more efficiently and hit our targets after the first term.”
Newlyn's Sean Massey (six goals) opened the scoring in the eighth minute from point blank range and when Clunes youngster Ash Anderson found the back of the net à la Euro '16, it was 1-1 at the first change.
Big Cat Will Young made it 4-1 after an hour as he made the second term his own. He booted all three goals for the hosts to maximise the terrific ball use of the ageless Adrian Chew, Dave Richardson on a wing and the ever-busy Nathan Skewes.
With solid contributors across the ground, Kal Young made special mention of two young Cats - Luke and Cormac Prendergast – both just 17 years of age.
“I was really pleased with our younger players that have struggled the last two or three weeks,” he said.
Kal Young's counterpart Ryan Hudson-Morgan praised the efforts of Mark Paramonov in the ruck and young Joel Nevill.
“(Joel’s) only a kid, still in the under-18s. He was fantastic, we gave him a job and he did that well, then we freed him up and he hunted and won his own footy,” Hudson-Morgan said.
Aside from a brief purple patch in the third term, with two goals in even time as skipper Jesse Baird slotted a beauty from the fence and Jake Seers bent one through on the run, the Magpies’ lack of scoring power was telling compared with the Cats’ twin peaks of Will Young and Massey.
Hudson-Morgan was disappointed with a couple of undisciplined acts during the second term that cost the Magpies goals and momentum.
This will be something his team will look to rectify when it takes on Skipton next weekend. This fixture is a golden opportunity for the team to break its 2016 duck against a fellow winless outfit.
Meanwhile, Newlyn will take some winning form to Learmonth.
Ballan 14.12 (96) d Skipton 3.5 (23)
By Tim O'Connor
BALLAN coach Justin McConnell has again lamented his team’s inability to string together four quarters of good football, despite a convincing 76-point victory at Skipton.
McConnell was disappointed with a poor second term that saw the hosts boot three goals to two.
However, he said it was still a pleasing result – one that keeps Ballan a game outside the top eight – and rated onballer Luke Souter as the team’s standout performer.
Gordon 13.14 (92) d Daylesford 9.5 (59)
By John McGregor
GORDON smashed any Daylesford resistance with a six-goals-to-one final term on Saturday at Victoria Park.
Scores were level at the final break after the Bulldogs clawed their way back into the game.
But Daylesford was in trouble when Gordon was on the scoreboard in less than a minute in the last quarter.
And then the Eagles went on to win the clash by 33 points.
There were nine goal-kickers for Gordon, but standout performances came from Mick Nolan, with three, and Ash Munari and Brad Hallam, who booted two each.
Munari was a thorn in the Bulldogs side the whole match and was influential everywhere on the ground.
The Eagles engine room was running smoothly and it was damaging. Mark Gunnell, Matt Raworth, Ben Quinlan, Luke Gunnell and Tye Murphy put the pedal to the metal, especially in the last term.
The return of Gordon forward Brendan Sutcliffe was fairly low key, but another returnee in Jeremy Krojs was full of pace and also kicked a goal.
Daylesford looked dangerous for three quarters and appeared capable of knocking off Gordon.
One of the best players for the home side was Nick Oliver, who kicked four majors, one of which he soccered out of the air on the run to the goal square.
Max Risstrom was the only other multiple goal-scorer for the hosts, finishing with two.
Mick Cummings, Jordan Alexander, Patrick Rowe and Ken Cummings led Daylesford with strength and courage.
Injuries to Bulldogs backman Toby Hughes and forward Seb Walsh put a dent in Daylesford’s efforts.
“The last three weeks have been similar. We got over the line in the end, but it’s been a tough slog,” Gordon coach Gary Learmonth said.
“Shows character to continue on even though things aren’t going our way. The boys worked hard.”
Daylesford coach Marcus Goonan showed frustration at the fightback in the third term.
“I’m sick about having fightbacks, to be honest. I think in the end we should have won the game of footy. It’s frustrating…,” Goonan said.
“Two guys going down before half time always makes it difficult. In the end we just ran out of legs.”
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