Unbeaten Royal Park climb to top of the ladder

PERENNIAL battler Royal Park sits on top of the Maryborough-Castlemaine District Football League ladder after three rounds as it kept its unbeaten start to the season intact on Saturday.

Taking on what had been another unbeaten team in Campbells Creek, Bushy cruised to an 80-point win, 16.18 (114) to 5.4 (34).

At 3-0, it's the first time Royal Park has won three games in a row since 2006 - the year it last played finals.

After a tight opening in which Royal Park led by two points at quarter-time, 4.3 to 4.1, the rest of the game was one-way traffic.

Bushy booted 12 goals to one after quarter-time to storm to victory, led by performances from Tristan Maher, Trent Pye and Matthew Walker. Zac Stewart and Dylan McLean kicked three goals each for the ladder-leaders.

Key forward Joel Smith was Campbells Creek's best, kicking three of its five goals.

• Lexton defeated Avoca by 79 points, 18.14 (122) to 6.7 (43).

Matthew Brown (six) and Justin White (five) kicked 11 goals between them for the Tigers, with the pair among Lexton's best players, along with Damon Aspland, James Morrish and Ryan Wait.

The winless Avoca kicked three of its six goals in the final term after being held to just three for the first three quarters.

Hugh Bucknall, coach Adrian Pilgrim and Mitchell Kennedy played well for the Bulldogs, who had Murray Bond kick three goals.

• Another bag of goals from skipper Mark Ramsey led Newstead to an 88-point win over Dunolly, 22.11 (143) to 8.7 (55).

Ramsey booted nine goals to follow on from his 11 against Avoca the previous week.

The Steaders were already 71 points up at half-time as they retained their unbeaten record.

Along with Ramsey, the Steaders had dominant players in Joel Pearson, Adrian Conn (four goals) and Mitchell Woods.

Better players for the Eagles, who were able to limit the damage in the second half, were coach Tony Bellenger, Adrian Devereaux and Jay Pitto. Brendon Tyquin kicked three of their eight goals.

• Natte Bealiba won its second game, defeating Rovers by 19 points - 8.15 (63) to 6.8 (44).

The Swans led by a goal at half-time, but broke away in the third term when they kicked 3.5, while Rovers failed to score.

Brent Mortlock, Kurtis Torney (two goals) and Stephen Ross were good players for the Swans.

Karson Guareschi kicked four of Rovers' six goals. Ty Stewart, Ryan Guareschi and James Rowles were the best for the Rovers, who are proving more competitive early this season than last year's side that claimed the wooden-spoon.

• Navarre fought off a challenge from Talbot to continue its premiership defence with a 27-point win.

The Grasshoppers led the accurate Hawks by just nine points at three quarter-time, but finished strongly with 3.2 to 0.2 in the final term to win 14.12 (96) to 11.3 (69).

Kris Brennan starred with seven goals to be the best player for the Grasshoppers, who were also well served by Billy Parry, Luke Hendy and Daniel Reading.

In what was an encouraging performance from Talbot, the Hawks had Tim Solomon, Tylan Humm, Trent Barras and coach Rick Andrews in good form.

• Carisbrook continued Harcourt's tough start to the season on Saturday night, winning by 83 points - 17.17 (119) to 5.6 (36).

The pacy Cole Roscholler lit up the Redbacks with five goals and was well supported by Troy Nolan (four goals), Jackson Bowen and Clayton Furniss.

The battling Harcourt - which has lost all three of its games by at least 58 points - had Dean Watson kick three of its five goals.

• On Sunday, Trentham denied Maldon its first win of the season, holding off the fast-finishing Bombers 11.9 (75) to 10.10 (70).

Mark Strickland kicked five goals for the Saints, while Joel Cross was the best for Maldon.

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