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MATCH OF THE ROUND
By John McGregor
Waubra's pace and pressure finally cracked Central Highlands Football League heavyweights Hepburn on Saturday, with the Roos running out 10-point winners.
There was no let-up from both sides as they strived to shake off their opponents and open up the game.
The first half saw a powerful display by Waubra, which kicked six goals to Hepburn's two and looked like it would crush any resistance in the last half.
The Burras came into the clash with some big names missing through injury and the late withdrawals of Siga Asa Leausa and Joe Malone just added to their manpower woes.
Hepburn also lost star recruit Tom Horne, who copped a broken nose early in the game and was sent off to hospital.
So the signs weren't good for the Burras when the third quarter started.
Stung by a coach's serve at the half-time break, Hepburn came out all guns blazing with Nathan and Sam Dunstan kicking two goals each to steady the ship.
Mitch McKay also kicked a goal and the Burras found themselves with a four-point lead and momentum going into the last quarter.
But it was a rampant Waubra that hit the scoreboard first with a Jarred Crabtree goal - the first of two for the term.
Majors from James Lukich and ruckman Ryan Head pushed the margin out to 22 points.
It was a thrilling pair of goals in the last minutes from Hepburn's Sam Dunstan and Mitch McKay that made a respectable dent in the final Waubra winning margin.
There were great performances from Waubra players. The standout was Dean Robertson, but Josh Crawford, Ben Wilson, Andy Wettenhall and William Booth were solid.
Hepburn had stars in a depleted side. Julian Lockwood, Andy McKay, Alan Ware, Brad McKay and Zac Hansford were gutsy throughout.
Waubra coach Matt James rode every bump and kick home in a "bloody good win".
"It was getting a bit tight towards the end. We had a bit of an idea where the clock was at in the last two minutes. They had to kick four or five to win... it was a bloody good game of footy," he said.
Hepburn joint-coach Clive Raak was perplexed at the way the Burras failed to fire on Saturday.
"First quarter was terrible. The second very much again... we're slow starters. I gave them a bit of a rocket at half time. We got back into it again," he said.
Waubra 3.3, 6.5, 7.7, 11.11 (77)
Hepburn 1.3, 2.6, 7.11, 9.13 (67)
GOALS, Waubra: James Lukich 2, Jarred Crabtree 2, Andrew Wettenhall 2, Caleb McGrath 1, Thomas Nash 1, Dean Robertson 1, Lachlan Briody 1, Ryan Head 1
Hepburn: Samuel Dunstan 4, Nathan Dunstan 2, Mitchell Mc Kay 2, Daniel O'Halloran 1
BEST, Waubra: Dean Robertson, James Lukich, Joshua Crawford, Ben Wilson, Andrew Wettenhall, Jarred Crabtree
Hepburn: Julian Lockwood, Andrew McKay, Alan Ware, Bradley McKay, Zachary Hansford
THE OTHER GAMES
Buninyong 4.5, 6.6, 9.8, 11.9 (75)
Newlyn 2.5, 5.8, 5.10, 9.13 (67)
A strong win for the Bombers, which held out a Cats side that was fresh-up off the bye.
Newlyn joint-coach Dan Wehrung was a little critical of a decision not to award his side a 50m penalty late in the game that would have likely resulted in a goal.
Adam Sewell was one of the best for the Cats, while Marcus Darmody booted five goals in another commanding display in attack.
Lachlan Baker, Samuel Russell and Jarrod Morgan led the way for the Bombers.
GOALS, Buninyong: Isaac Baker 3, Caius Barrenger 3, Joshua Lee 2, Ned Gilbert 1, Derick Micallef 1, Nick Shell 1
Newlyn: Marcus Darmody 5, Tristan May 1, Daniel Wrigley 1, Lou Campana 1, Patrick Parr 1
BEST, Buninyong: Lachlan Baker, Samuel Russell, Jarrod Morgan, Caius Barrenger, Ned Gilbert, Timothy Brayshaw
Newlyn: Joshua Milne, Adam Sewell, Daniel Wehrung, Myles Sewell, Marcus Darmody
Springbank 4.5, 8.6, 11.9, 12.12 (84)
Gordon 2.4, 4.5, 7.8, 11.13 (79)
Springbank reclaimed the Jimmy Toohey Memorial Shield with a narrow victory over rivals Gordon.
The Tigers' five-point win was their first of the season and first for new coach Joe Otto.
Springbank led at every change, but the Eagles refused to lie down and kicked four goals to one in the final term to just fall short.
Tigers forward Billy Driscoll won the best on ground medal for his five-goal display.
Otto said defender Peter Lewis (Achilles) and forward Mitch Keighrey (groin) were the main injury concerns for his side.
GOALS, Springbank: William Driscoll 5, Todd Finco 3, Kieran Maher 1, Wil McGannon 1, Matthew Lakey 1, Justin Simpson 1
Gordon: Brendan Sutcliffe 3, Bradley Horsham 2, Matthew Spezza 2, Adam Toohey 1, Jordan Clampit 1, Zackery Ryan 1, James Murphy 1
BEST, Springbank: Johnathan O'Brien, William Driscoll, Todd Finco, Jack Kennedy, Kieran Maher
Gordon: Jordan Clampit, Bradley Hallam, Mark Gunnell, Ethan Crackel
Bungaree 2.0, 6.3, 10.4, 13.6 (84)
Dunnstown 5.5, 5.10, 7.11, 8.12 (60)
The Demons kept the Towners winless for season 2019 with a strong second half on Saturday.
Coach Heath Pyke and his men kicked seven goals to three after the main break to win by 24 points.
Pyke said Matt Geary was set to undergo scans on an injured back, while John Butler suffered concussion from a nasty clash in the second half.
GOALS, Bungaree: Shaun Finlayson 4, Steven Butler 4, Jack Walter 3, Andrew Milroy 1, Cameron Jackson 1
Dunnstown: Josh Renga 2, Hamish Hallahan 2, Timothy Collins 1, Jack Sutherland 1, Mitchell Henderson 1, Daniel Westblade 1
BEST, Bungaree: Bailey Veale, Jackson Murphy, Alex Browning, Jordan Crone, Jack Oostendorp, Justin Dummett
Dunnstown: Jack Sutherland, Mitchell Henderson, Harry McKimmie, Daniel Westblade, Timothy Collins, Ben Collins
Beaufort 3.5, 9.12, 13.16, 18.18 (126)
Skipton 2.1, 4.3, 8.5, 9.6 (60)
The Crows bounced back from a round two defeat with a big win over the Emus.
While Skipton coach Greg Middleton felt many of his side's top players were off, Beaufort coach Rohan Brown was pleased with his team's even spread of contributors.
Both agreed that Crows onballer Rupert Sangster was brilliant on Saturday, while Xavier Lourey did well in his match-up with Beaufort forward Lachlan Murray.
GOALS, Beaufort: Lachlan Murray 4, Dean Kelly 4, Rupert Sangster 2, Nick Sullivan 2, Michael Foster 2, Heath Black 1, Jarrod Trigg 1, Jayden Orr 1, Alexander Petrie 1
Skipton: Kal Dubbeldam 2, James Cusack 2, Lachie Johns 2, Lakota Stranks 1, Mark Hoare 1, Andrew Pitson 1
BEST, Beaufort: Rupert Sangster, Lachlan Pfeifer, Josh McDermott, Joseph Mason, Joel Chester, Brendan Howard
Skipton: Xavier Lourey, James Cusack, Joshua Hassan, Joshua Draffin , Cooper Henson, Adam Romey
Rokewood-Corindhap 5.2, 11.3, 13.3, 16.11 (107)
Carngham-Linton 1.2, 3.7, 6.10, 7.10 (52)
Rokewood-Corindhap will greet the Easter break in foreign territory after beating rivals Carngham-Linton on Saturday.
The Grasshoppers are top of the Central Highlands Football League ladder after an undefeated start to the 2019 campaign.
Rokewood-Corindhap kicked clear from the Saints in the first half and was never threatened in the 55-point win on home soil.
Joint-coach Damon Delaney said defender Jono Willey was taken to hospital after suffering concussion as a result of a heavy tackle.
It's understood that Willey was also taken to hospital following an incident in the clash against Carngham-Linton late last season.
Standouts for the Grasshoppers on Saturday included forwards Sam Chapman and Tyler Mookhoek (four goals each) and Jordan Grant across half back.
Saints coach Matt Beaston said the likes of Joel Radlof, Dean O'Brien and Jake Tanner played well, while youngster Joshua Foley made his senior debut for the club.
GOALS, Rokewood-Corindhap: Samuel Chapman 4, Tyler Mookhoek 4, Luke Philp 3, Jake Carr 2, Lachie Baker 1, Douglas Arthur 1, Fallon Wanganeen 1
Carngham-Linton: Dean O'Brien 3, Jackson Cranny 1, Jake Pring 1, Aaron Braeckmans 1, Joel Radlof 1
BEST, Rokewood-Corindhap: Jordan Grant, Luke Philp, Leigh Ryall, Lachie Baker, Douglas Arthur, Jackson O'Neil
Carngham-Linton: Dean O'Brien, Joshua Foley, Jackson Cranny, Jake Pring, Jake Tanner, Joel Radlof
Creswick 1.4, 2.8, 5.9, 10.14 (74)
Daylesford 3.0, 4.7, 5.8, 7.10 (52)
The Wickers made it two wins from two appearances on home soil with victory over the Bulldogs on Saturday.
Creswick coach Ryan Knowles was pleased with the efforts of winger Alex Lovel, defender Clinton Robinson and onballer Pearce Antonio and said the trio of Aaron Sedgwick, Joel Antonio and Sam Gibson stood up in the second half.
Daylesford coach Zac Tisdale, who remains winless in 2019, said his side wasted its opportunities in front of goal when on top during the second quarter.
GOALS, Creswick: Ethan Tibbles 3, Rhys Antonio 2, Bradley Jennings 2, Ryan Knowles 1, Aaron Sedgwick 1, Joshua Mitchell 1
Daylesford: Thomas Hunt 2, Sebastian Walsh 2, Cameron Ralph 1, Michael Cummings 1, Thomas Conroy 1
BEST, Creswick: Pearce Antonio, Clinton Robinson, Joshua Mitchell, Joel Antonio, Rhys Antonio
Daylesford: Cameron Ralph, James Evans, Sebastian Walsh, Sam Winnard, Eli Kinnell
Learmonth 4.3, 9.7, 11.11, 15.12 (102)
Ballan 4.0, 7.0, 10.3, 14.4 (88)
Lakies ruckman James Pratt played arguably his best game for the club during Saturday's win over Ballan.
Pratt's teammate Anthony Zelencich booted six goals in a top display, while Beau Runnalls and Jack Gibbs both kicked four for Ballan.
Blues coach Tristan Batten said onballer Harley Bongart was probably his team's best performer, but was ruing too many skill and decision making errors.
GOALS, Learmonth: Anthony Zelencich 6, Matthew Jackson 2, Nick Willox 2, Darcy Robinson 1, Brenton Powell 1, Nathan Beasley 1, Matthew Harbour 1, Liam Smith 1
Ballan: Beau Runnalls 4, Jack Gibbs 4, Harley Bongart 2, Dylan Trickey 2, Tyler Trickey 1, Christopher Sharp 1
BEST, Learmonth: James Pratt, Anthony Zelencich, Kyle Mackay, Darcy Robinson, Thomas Martin, Brenton Powell
Ballan: Harley Bongart, Trent Laurie, Hayden Thompson, Beau Runnalls, Jack Gibbs, Tyler Trickey