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MATCH OF THE ROUND
By John McGregor
It was a fiery and bone-jarring encounter on Saturday as Waubra brushed aside reigning premiers Beaufort and put it to the sword.
The 54-point victory was payback for Beaufort causing Waubra's humiliating exit from the Central Highlands Football League finals race last season.
It was an arm-wrestle in the opening term, with the Kangaroos a slender four points ahead as the cracks in the Crows side started to show.
A few undisciplined actions behind play and rough-housing saw Crows players lose their grasp on the match.
Just before the half time siren, Kangaroo Austin Murphy slotted a goal which saw a wrestling match ignite in the goal square.
Waubra's Dean Robertson was awarded a free kick after the siren and his goal was brutal punishment for the Crows' transgressions.
Two rapid-fire majors by Robertson in the third quarter galvanised the Kangaroos, which ran rings around the Crows while keeping them scoreless.
The last term saw Andy Wettenhall add two great goals to the scoreboard. One was a low dribbling ball that evaded defenders and the other a snap from a red-hot scrum in the goal square.
Top goal-scorers for Waubra were Murphy and Robertson with four each, but top players included James Lukich, Tom Nash, Nicholas Moran, William Booth and courageous Jackson Kinna, who copped an ankle injury.
Ruckman Ryan Head gave Waubra the edge from the centre and he had a great partner in Lincoln Barnes.
For the Crows, Lee Marshall was the only multiple goal-scorer with two, but unbowed players were Brendan Howard, Mick Foster, Ben Hayes, Lachie Pfeifer, Mitch Jenkins and Nick Sullivan.
For Waubra coach Matt James it was a sweet win after last season's preliminary final defeat.
"It's a new year. New players. You don't know what you're going to get. It was hard at the start then we got some clean footy. And with tackling pressure, we got the opportunities to score," James said.
For Beaufort coach Rohan Brown the Crows' fade-out after half time was hard to explain.
"We just didn't play the way we wanted to after half time. We don't go out to lose a game of football," Brown said.
In round three, Waubra will travel to Hepburn while Beaufort is back home against Skipton.
THE OTHER GAMES
It took an eight-goal final quarter, but Buninyong has finally ended the long drought against rivals Springbank.
The Bombers trailed at every change before storming over the top of the Tigers in the last quarter to score an 18-point triumph.
Isaac Baker and Derick Micallef kicked three goals each for Buninyong, while Jarrod Rodgers roamed the ground to be named best for the winners.
Buninyong was left a man down for much of the third term after veteran Mark Phelps was yellow-carded and charged with intentionally striking Callum Winter. The case will go to tribunal this week.
Saturday's win was the first by the Bombers over the Tigers since 2013.
Hepburn gave four youngsters a senior debut during its 62-point win over Carngham-Linton.
Missing star players like Andy and Brad McKay and Zac Hansford, the Burras had first-gamers Shannon Harraghy, Phoenix Sewell, Max Johns and Daniel Klimeck as part of the side.
In other games on Saturday, Ballan coach Tristan Batten was celebrating his first win at the helm after the Blues defeated Clunes by 14 points, twin towers Adam Toohey and Brendan Sutcliffe booted five goals each in Gordon's success against Bungaree, 2018 Emus best and fairest Kal Dubbeldam also kicked five as Skipton defeated Dunnstown, Rokewood-Corindhap made it two from two with a hard-fought nine-point success at Daylesford and Learmonth capped Brenton Powell's 200th senior game with a triumph over Creswick.
CLUNES v. BALLAN
Ballan 1.1, 3.4, 6.4, 6.8 (44)
Clunes 1.5, 1.8, 1.10, 3.12 (30)
GOALS, Ballan: Jack Gibbs 2, Beau Runnalls 2, Lachlan Snaith 1, Tyler Trickey 1
Clunes: Brad Dolan 3
BEST, Ballan: Hayden Thompson, Austin Bongart, Lachlan Conlan, Darren Tanti, Ashley Mullane, Ryan Bongart
Clunes: Jack Fenner, Josh Thompson , Khyal Thompson, Brody Lawford, Jasper Chatham, Craig McMickan
SPRINGBANK v. BUNINYONG
Buninyong 1.3, 1.5, 4.9, 12.11 (83)
Springbank 1.3, 4.6, 8.9, 9.11 (65)
GOALS, Buninyong: Isaac Baker 3, Derick Micallef 3, Caius Barrenger 2, Jarrod Morgan 2, Jarrod Rodgers 1, Liam Rigby 1
Springbank: William Driscoll 3, Michael Otto 1, Ben Beasley 1, Justin Simpson 1, Todd Finco 1, Joel Maher 1,
Wil McGannon 1
BEST, Buninyong: Jarrod Rodgers, Derick Micallef, Harli Givvens, Jake Dunne, Liam Rigby
Springbank: Johnathan O'Brien, William Driscoll, Joel Maher, Shannon Donegan, Kieran Kennedy
BUNGAREE v. GORDON
Gordon 3.3, 5.5, 9.7, 14.7 (91)
Bungaree 1.0, 4.3, 6.5, 7.8 (50)
GOALS, Gordon: Adam Toohey 5, Brendan Sutcliffe 5, Zackery Ryan 2, Ethan Crackel 1, Bradley Horsham 1
Bungaree: Cameron Jackson 2, Jack Walter 1, John Butler 1, Steven Butler 1, Justin Dummett 1, Alex Browning 1
BEST, Gordon: Mark Gunnell, Jordan Clampit, Adam Toohey, Ethan Crackel, Scott Nippress, Tye Murphy
Bungaree: Bailey Veale, Matthew Geary, Jackson Murphy, Alex Browning, Charles Martin, Cameron Jackson
SKIPTON v. DUNNSTOWN
Skipton 6.3, 8.6, 12.13, 15.16 (106)
Dunnstown 2.2, 6.5, 7.8, 10.14 (74)
GOALS, Skipton: Kal Dubbeldam 5, Jack Peeters 2, James Cusack 2, Tim Huglin 1, Thomas Miller 1, Adam Romey 1,
Angus Mason 1, Curtis Townrow 1, Daniel Zinn 1
Dunnstown: Harry McKimmie 3, Joshua Mann 2, Hamish Hallahan 2, Peter McGettigan 1, Matthew Bulluss 1, Jed Millard 1
BEST, Skipton: Mark Hoare, Adam Romey, Angus Mason, Xavier Lourey, Sam Peeters, Kal Dubbeldam
Dunnstown: Ben Collins, Kade Rattley, Riley Adams, Daniel Westblade, Timothy Collins, Harry McKimmie
WAUBRA v. BEAUFORT
Waubra 2.5, 6.7, 10.12, 14.18 (102)
Beaufort 2.1, 3.3, 3.3, 7.6 (48)
GOALS, Waubra: Austin Murphy 4, Dean Robertson 4, James Lukich 2, Andrew Wettenhall 2, Paul Dodds 1, Ryan Head 1
Beaufort: Lee Marshall 2, Levi Cox 1, Michael Foster 1, Dean Kelly 1, Lachlan Murray 1, Benjamin Hayes 1
BEST, Waubra: James Lukich, Dean Robertson, Thomas Nash, Nicholas Moran, William Booth, Jackson Kinna
Beaufort: Brendan Howard, Michael Foster, Benjamin Hayes, Lachlan Pfeifer, Mitchell Jenkins, Nick Sullivan
CARNGHAM-LINTON v. HEPBURN
Hepburn 4.4, 6.11, 8.14, 14.17 (101)
Carngham-Linton 2.1, 4.1, 4.3, 6.3 (39)
GOALS, Hepburn: Samuel Dunstan 8, Tommy Horne 2, Jackson Hogan 1, Julian Lockwood 1, Bryce Coffey 1
Carngham-Linton: Bradley Dunbar 1, Jake Pring 1, Aaron Braeckmans 1, Jayson Gilbert 1, Brodie Doolan 1, Dean O'Brien 1
BEST, Hepburn: Jackson Hogan, Samuel Dunstan, Julian Lockwood, Nathan Dunstan, Tommy Horne, Daniel O'Halloran
Carngham-Linton: Jayson Porter, Jayson Gilbert, Justin O'Brien, Brodie Doolan, Jake Pring, Bradley Dunbar
DAYLESFORD v. ROKEWOOD-CORINDHAP
Rokewood-Corindhap 0.3, 6.7, 6.8, 12.10 (82)
Daylesford 3.4, 4.5, 8.5, 11.7 (73)
GOALS, Rokewood-Corindhap: Samuel Chapman 4, Fallon Wanganeen 2, Damon Delaney 2, Douglas Arthur 2, Mitchell McLaughlin 1, Jake Carr 1
Daylesford: Sebastian Walsh 4, Dylan Muscat 3, Mitchell Steen 1, Thomas Conroy 1, Cameron Ralph 1, Joel Cummings 1
BEST, Rokewood-Corindhap: Keegan Powell, Jackson O'Neil, Luke Philp, Mitchell McLaughlin, Douglas Arthur, Jordan Grant
Daylesford: Joshua Clough, Thomas Conroy, Thomas Hunt, Zac Tisdale, Sebastian Walsh, Cameron Ralph
LEARMONTH v. CRESWICK
Learmonth 6.1, 9.1, 11.5, 14.6 (90)
Creswick 0.1, 2.2, 4.5, 10.7 (67)
GOALS, Learmonth: Anthony Zelencich 5, Brodrick Campbell 3, Nick Willox 2, Brenton Powell 2, Darcy Robinson 1, Oliver Ross 1
Creswick: Ryan Knowles 4, Liam Blake 3, Kaylab Eggers 2, David Tier 1
BEST, Learmonth: Jason Rae, Anthony Zelencich, Kyle Mackay, Thomas Martin, James Pratt, Brenton Powell
Creswick: Mitchell Arnold, Jayke Arnold, Joel Antonio, Jack Marshman, Rhys Antonio, Ryan Knowles