Magpies blow Gold away early at Vic Park

STAND-IN SKIPPER: Tyrone Downie was one of the Gold's best on Saturday,

STAND-IN SKIPPER: Tyrone Downie was one of the Gold's best on Saturday,

THE Bendigo Gold's recent trend of ordinary first quarters continued after they were jumped early by Collingwood in their VFL clash at Victoria Park on Saturday.

The Magpies bolted to a 47-point lead at quarter-time on the way to a 21.26 (152) to 5.7 (37) victory. 

In the Gold's past three games against the Magpies, Port Melbourne and Footscray they have been outscored 137-16 in first quarters.

The winless Gold's recent poor starts come after Bendigo had earlier led their opening three games of the season at quarter-time.

"We've been consistent with our preparation and warm-up and there were no issues with our first three first quarters, which were all unbelievable," Gold coach Aussie Jones said.

"But we've started really poorly the past three weeks, so we need to find a way to change things up so we get that energy right because it's hard to fight your way back into a game when you're seven goals down at quarter-time.

"Once the game is out of reach at quarter-time, we've then got to try to look for those small wins and we don't want to be doing those things so early in a game."

From 47 points up at quarter-time, the Magpies extended their lead to 64 points at half-time and 86 at three quarter-time before the final margin of 115.

The Collingwood side included 17 AFL-listed players, including 14 who have played at least one AFL game for the Magpies.

"They were just that bit better than us right across the park. Some of their ball movement from one end to the other was very slick, and we expected that to be the case with the side they had in," Jones said.

The performance of the Gold's best player, Liam Byrne, drew high praise from Jones.

"Liam is a star and was just brilliant today, particularly with his clearance work," Jones said.

"He's a big-bodied, strong, aggressive footballer who is smart and wins the ball, so that's a really good combination."

For the third game in a row, midfielder Sam Heavyside was named the Gold's second best player as his red-hot form continued.

"He was fantastic again and is doing some real damage out of stoppages. He's not only getting his hands on it, but giving us some really good wins in there with his bursts of speed," Jones said.

Defender Jesse Wallin and acting captain Tyrone Downie up forward were others to impress for the Gold, while in his VFL debut, Lachlan Collins kicked one goal.

Patrick Karnezis, who kicked four goals, was the best for the Magpies in their fourth win of the season.

The Gold take on country rivals North Ballarat at Swan Hill's Allen Garden Reserve this Sunday in round eight.

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