Stingrays capitalise on Bendigo Pioneers turnovers

NINE goals from turnovers played a big part in Dandenong Stingrays winning Saturday's TAC Cup under-18 football clash with the Bendigo Bank Pioneers.

Mistakes by foot and hand meant the Pioneers were stung many times as Dandenong went on to win 12.10 (82) to 7.11 (53) on Bendigo's turf at Queen Elizabeth Oval.

The Pioneers were first to goal when Rochester's Jed Brain marked a pass from Strathfieldsaye's Fergus Payne in the fourth minute.

Dandenong went on to score the next four goals and led 25-6 at quarter-time.

After being down by four goals near the 10-minute of the second term, Bendigo hit back to score the next three majors through Maryborough's Bailey Edwards, Brain and South Mildura's Josh Ryan.

Momentum was all Bendigo's as it headed to the half-time break within four points, 32-28.

The pendulum swung dramatically in Dandenong's favour throughout the third.

The Stingrays continually swept the ball forward and were rewarded with five unanswered goals.

Dandenong led 68-31 at a quarter to go.

Another Stingrays in the second minute of the final term put them well in control.

The Stingrays run was eventually broken when Strathfieldsaye's Tommy Cole swooped on the ball and snapped truly.

Desperate to score goals, Bendigo could not do so.

A run of nine minutes without a goal was ended when Aaron Wilson leapt high to mark in the city end goalsquare and score Dandenong's 12th goal.

The Pioneers scored consecutive goals for the first time in a long time through the hardworking Billy Evans from Sandhurst .

Superb play by Edwards and Cole along the swimming pool wing was capped with a goal by South Bendigo's Ryley Barrack.

A final margin of 29 points flattered the Pioneers.

"We were embarassed by that performance," Bendigo Pioneers coach David Newett said.

"We didn't use the ball well, didn't stick to structures, and just gave up possession far too easily."

He said it was hard to believe what was close to an unchanged line-up from the previous round could "dish up" that sort of effort.

"Nine goals from turnovers really hurt us. At times we worked hard to win possession, but then just gave the ball back through wayward kicks or fumbles.

"Dandenong gave us as lesson in sustained pressure and being able to deal with it."

Newett said a positive was the patches of play through the second quarter when the Pioneers started to take control of the game.

"We just didn't do so for long enough.

"The first half was an arm-wrestle, but it was Dandenong which kicked away, not us."

Bendigo's best included Sandhurst's James Coghlan in defence, Kyneton key defender Daniel Davies, and Evans who has played well in all three matches this season.

The Pioneers record stands at 1-2.

After a break for Easter, the Pioneers travel to Preston on April 26 to fight Northern Knights.

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