TALBOT has put itself in a strong position to play in the Maryborough-Castlemaine District Football League finals for the first time since 2008 after moving back into the top eight.
The Hawks will go into this week’s final round sitting in eighth position after defeating Rovers by 38 points on Saturday in a result that tipped Maldon out of the top eight.
Talbot won 11.21 (87) to 7.7 (49) on the back of a strong first half.
The Hawks held Rovers to just one goal in the first half to set up a 45-point lead at the main break.
Bottom side Rovers fought the game out well in the second half, outscoring the inaccurate Hawks six goals to four.
Richard Clark, who kicked three goals, played another outstanding game for the Hawks, while other good players included Matthew Smith, David Clark, Rowan Prentice and Ryan Erkamps.
Corey Taylor kicked five of Rovers’ eight goals to be among their best, along with Matthew Stiles, Dion Hedger, Lauchlan Williams and Graeme Kennedy.
● Maldon slumped to its fifth loss in a row after copping a 75-point hiding from Lexton.
The Tigers had control of the game from the outset in their 15.15 (105) to 4.6 (30) victory as they returned to form.
Full-forward Matt Brown booted six goals for the Tigers to take his season tally to 66.
Other players to impress in the Tigers’ win included Lachlan Pryor, Bryce Karslake, Michael Jennings and James Morrish.
The loss cost Maldon its position in the top eight, with its score of 30 its lowest since being held to 4.3 (27) by Harcourt in round four, 2007.
The best for the battling Bombers – who are now 7-8 after one stage being 7-3 – were Hayden Kelly, Wayne Burchell, Kyle Winstanley and Shaun Burchell.
● Newstead full-forward Daniel Christmas had another day out against Trentham.
Christmas booted 13 goals in the Steaders’ 24.14 (158) to 3.1 (19) win to take his season tally to 82.
Earlier in the season, Christmas bagged 11 goals against the Saints in round two.
The Steaders were at their most ruthless in the second and third quarters when they slammed on 15.6 to 0.1.
As well as the dominant performance from Christmas – who has kicked four double-figure hauls this season – Matthew Culvenor, Dylan Connor, Jayden Bott and Bradley Mitchell were others to stand out in Newstead’s 139-point win.
Coach Clayton Scoble, Luke Whitehouse and Sam Gardiner battled hard for Trentham in what was its seventh loss of the season by more than 100 points.
● A haul of 12 goals from Ben Scott helped Navarre to a rampaging 175-point win over Campbells Creek.
The Grasshoppers continued their domination of the Creekers with the 30.14 (194) to 3.1 (19) victory.
Since joining the MCDFL in 2011, the Grasshoppers have beaten the Creekers by margins of 116, 116, 149 and 175 points in their four meetings.
Scott’s 12 goals took him to 50 in what has been a superb season.
Jayden Fowkes, Brian Lovison, Bryce Tickner (four goals) and Aiden Lee were others to impress for the Grasshoppers.
Campbells Creek kicked two of its three goals in the first term. Sean Moss, Nathan Stubbings, Daniel Klimeck and Joel Smith were the best for the Creekers.
● Natte Bealiba won its fifth game in a row, defeating Dunolly by 82 points.
Led by six goals from Zac Perez, the Swans were far too good for the Eagles in their 18.16 (124) to 7.0 (42) win.
The in-form Swans had the game well in hand when they led by 45 points at half-time.
Daniel Gifford (two goals), Jacob Long, Perez and Dean Graco were influential for the Swans.
Grant Raven, Israel Mofalesi, Jamie Townsend and Lee Jackson were good contributors for the accurate Eagles.
● Avoca booked its finals berth with its 16.16 (112) to 7.14 (56) win over Royal Park.
The Bulldogs led by 20 points at half-time, but put the foot down in the third term, kicking six goals to two to break the game open.
Murray Bond and Nathan Coghlan kicked four goals each for the Bulldogs, who were also well served by Alec Wiltshire, Lachlan Edwards and Sam Kaye.
Zack Short, Jayden Humphrey and James Shelton were the best for Royal Park, which lost to Avoca for the 11th-straight time.
● The round continues today when Carisbrook hosts Harcourt.