Dragons hand Roos a reality check

CONTESTED BALL: Kangaroo Flat's James Saville and Sandhurst's Ryan Maldenis. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

CONTESTED BALL: Kangaroo Flat's James Saville and Sandhurst's Ryan Maldenis. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

SANDHURST handed Kangaroo Flat a reality check in the Bendigo Football League on Saturday, destroying the Roos by 107 points.

With just one loss between them heading into the QEO clash, the game garnered match of the round status, but was never a contest after the Dragons kicked the first four goals in the opening nine minutes.

The top-of-the-ladder Dragons did as they pleased for the rest of the game, cruising to a commanding 20.19 (139) to 4.8 (32) win, playing a brand of footy that showed why they had been wound into $2 for the flag during the week.

The Dragons blitzed the Roos with their pace, slick transition and smooth skills.

While the Dragons played an attacking, free-flowing brand of football, they were also strong in their defensive pressure and constantly outnumbered the disappointing Roos at the contest.

The Dragons piled on seven goals in the first quarter, five in the second and seven in the third, before taking their foot off the pedal in the last, adding just one.

Kangaroo Flat kicked two goals in the first 16 minutes of the match, but only added two more for the remainder of the game as it was comprehensively outplayed in every facet in what was the Roos' third-straight loss by more than 100 points against Sandhurst.

The Dragons had winners all over the ground, with Tim Martin again outstanding in the ruck, while midfielders in Ryan Maldenis (four goals, including three in the third quarter), Blair Holmes, Nick Stagg and co were all influential.

Ryan Haythorpe kicked five goals before spending the last term in defence, while the backline was again superb in limiting the Roos to just four goals - the fourth time this season Sandhurst has held the opposition to five or less goals.

The Dragons' score of 20.19 included an accurate 14.5 to the city end in the first and third quarters, and a more wasteful 6.14 to the Barnard Street end in the second and fourth terms.

Nick Lang again battled hard in the ruck for the Roos, while Ross Turner did well to hold Sandhurst's Mitch Dole to one goal - which was gifted by a turnover from Kangaroo Flat's Tim Brooks that summed up his side's day.

Match statistics:

Centre clearances: Sandhurst 15; Kangaroo Flat 12.

Inside 50s: Sandhurst 66; Kangaroo Flat 44.

Stoppages: Sandhurst 28; Kangaroo Flat 17.

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