RECENT form counts for little in Bendigo footy this year.
Going into Saturday’s clash with South Bendigo, Castlemaine had lost its previous four games by an average margin of 105 points.
South Bendigo was coming off a competitive loss to Kangaroo Flat and its first win of the season against Maryborough.
The Bloods looked to be gaining momentum and were expected to be too good for the young Magpies.
Castlemaine produced its best football of the season, humiliating the Bloods by 41 points.
Despite their lack of competitiveness at times this season, the Magpies are now one game clear of South Bendigo and just two games and percentage outside of the top five.
The 15.7 (97) to 7.14 (56) win was sparked by Castlemaine’s best first quarter of the season – 6.3 (39 to 1.2 (8).
The Magpies had previously averaged just 11 points in first terms this season.
The margin was still 28 points at the main break before the Magpies withstood some pressure from the Bloods in the third term.
South Bendigo won the quarter 3.3 to 2.3 to cut the deficit to 22 points at three-quarter time.
The Bloods needed to get early goals in the final term to put scoreboard pressure on the Magpies, but they didn’t execute well enough inside forward 50.
South kicked 1.5 in the final term, while at the other end the Magpies couldn’t miss – adding 5.0 to run out comfortable winners.
Jarryd Graham continued his remarkable season for the Magpies, with another best on ground performance.
Graham has been named the Magpies’ best player five times in eight games and has been in the top four in the other three matches.
Ruckman Tom Godsell impressed, while Zach Hansford won plenty of the ball and kicked three goals.
Key forward Tallan Wright bagged four goals for the Magpies.
At the other end of the ground, Ash Morris played a lone hand inside 50 for the Bloods.
The livewire kicked five of South Bendigo’s seven goals.
Joel Swatton and Jacob Smythe were best for the Bloods.
Next Monday, South Bendigo hosts Strathfieldsaye at the QEO, while on Saturday the Magpies travel to MyJet Oval to play Golden Square.