Sandhurst regains cup from Bloods

SANDHURST regained the Graeme Wright Cup after a 51-point victory against South Bendigo in Saturday's opening round match of the Bendigo Football League season.

Just three goals separated the QEO co-tenants at half-time before the Dragons slick midfield, rebounding defenders and key forwards took control.

Sandhurst's run of six unanswered goals in more than 1 1/2 quarters put the result beyond doubt.

Full-forward Ryan Haythorpe and the classy Mitch Dole led the Dragons attack on four goals apiece.

South's only multiple goalkicker in the contest was onballer Ash Morris on two.

In his first match as Sandhurst senior coach, Brett Fitzpatrick said repeat efforts was one of the highlights.

"Our defensive pressure and willingness to roll back and help team-mates was excellent for most of the match," said Fitzpatrick, who has crossed from Castlemaine to the Dragons.

Inaccuracy was the one blight on Sandhurst's play as it missed several shots in the near-still conditions.

Codie Price's creativity and dash off half-back and through midfield earned best-on-ground honours.

Michelsen medallist Tim Martin won many ruck duels and racked up plenty of marks, and Luke O'Sullivan, Ryan Maldenis and Alex Wharton played well.

The Jeff Brennan-coached South Bendigo showed glimpses of fine teamwork and skill.

A highlight was the goal by South Mildura's and Pioneers-listed player Matthew Chisari from a tight angle in the pocket in the first term.

Jayke Barrack, Adrian Crawford, Matthew Chisari and Ben Allen were South Bendigo's best.

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