BFL month in review: April - Dragons, Bulldogs set the pace

Sandhurst ruckman and reigning Michelsen medallist Tim Martin has made a dominant start to the season.

Sandhurst ruckman and reigning Michelsen medallist Tim Martin has made a dominant start to the season.

FOUR rounds down, 14 to go in the Bendigo Football League.

In the first of a regular Footy Focus monthly review of the BFL season, April is in the spotlight today.

BEST PERFORMED TEAM: Sandhurst and Gisborne proved themselves the BFL’s early pace-setters through the month of April.

Both the Dragons and Bulldogs won all four of their April games - Sandhurst by an average of 61.5 points and Gisborne by an average of 40 points, with that figure boosted by its 20-goal win over Castlemaine at Gardiner Reserve in round one.

Sandhurst impressed defensively, conceding just 24 goals in its four April games, while Gisborne’s youngsters, led by Shannon Greetham, Isaac Trickey and Trent Crosbie couldn’t have been more impressive.

April will also be a month Kangaroo Flat looks back on fondly.

After winning just two games last year and finishing last, the Roos were 3-1 through April in what has been an encouraging start.

MONTH TO FORGET: New South Bendigo coach Jeff Brennan entered the season with plenty of optimism that the Bloods could bounce back from last year’s finals absence.

But there’s plenty of work to do for the Bloods after a winless April that included games against Sandhurst and Eaglehawk were they kicked just five goals.

Yet they had their chances to win two games after losing by single-figure margins to Golden Square (one point) and Kyneton (eight).

Maryborough is the only other winless team, but considering the tumultuous off-season the Magpies had just to get a side on the park, they haven’t been too bad. 

April also threw up its challenges for Castlemaine.

While the Magpies came from behind at half-time to defeat Maryborough on Good Friday, they’ve copped the only two triple-figure losses of the season so far when beaten by Gisborne (121) and Strathfieldsaye (124).

PLAYERS OF THE MONTH:

Castlemaine: Jarryd Graham.

Eaglehawk: Tyler Miles.

Gisborne: Shannon Greetham.

Golden Square: Dale Lowry.

Kangaroo Flat: Nick Lang.

Kyneton: Ben Weightman.

Maryborough: Tyson MacIlwain.

Sandhurst: Tim Martin.

South Bendigo: Adrian Crawford.

Strathfieldsaye: Matthew Ladson.

GAME OF THE MONTH: Can’t go past the Good Friday clash under lights between Kangaroo Flat and Golden Square at Dower Park.

While the game was hyped as the Brendan Fevola show as the dual AFL Coleman medallist lined up for Kangaroo Flat and kicked four goals, it was a super contest to the final siren.

The Roos looked on track to beat Golden Square for the first time since 2001 when they led by 20 points at three quarter-time.

But they coughed up the advantage and lost by six points as Golden Square kicked five goals to one in the final term, including the match-winner to first-gamer Sam Harper, to prevail 13.12 (90) to 13.6 (84).

Square was involved in two other beauties during April - its one-point win over South Bendigo in round two and seven-point loss to Gisborne last Friday.

APRIL RECORD:

Sandhurst: 4-0, 239.7%.

Gisborne: 4-0, 153.3%.

Strathfieldsaye: 3-1, 134.2%.

Kangaroo Flat: 3-1, 129.1%.

Eaglehawk: 2-2, 113.8%.

Golden Square: 2-2, 90.9%.

Kyneton: 1-3, 77.0%.

Castlemaine: 1-3, 48.1%.

South Bendigo: 0-4, 70.0%.

Maryborough: 0-4, 64.9%.

TEAM OF THE MONTH:

B: Clayton Anderson (GS), Josh Houlden (Kyn), Jacob Smythe (SB)

Hb: Jarryd Graham (Cas), Ben Sonogan (Gis), Tyler Miles (Eh)

C: Shannon Greetham (Gis), Ryan Maldenis (Sand), Codie Price (Sand)

Hf: Jack Geary (GS), Ben Anderson (Sand), Ben Weightman (Kyn)

F: Mitch Dole (Sand), Cameron Rinaldi (KF), Stephen Milne (Strath)

R: Tim Martin (Sand), Dale Lowry (GS), Corey Greer (KF)

Inter: Nick Lang (KF), Adrian Crawford (SB), Matthew Ladson (Strath), Isaac Trickey (Gis)

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