STRATHFIELDSAYE extended what is the club’s longest winning streak in its Bendigo Football League history to eight on Saturday after downing Eaglehawk by 30 points at Flight Centre Park.
The Storm - who before this season had never won more than six games in a row - prevailed 11.11 (77) to 7.5 (47).
“As expected in the wet conditions and the wind and the sleet, it was a real scrappy contest, so to get away with the four points was really pleasing,” Storm coach Darryl Wilson said.
“Like the first time we played Eaglehawk, they wanted to bottle it up and make a real contest of it and they did that well, so we had to work through that.
“I thought when we got them on the outlet, took a bit of a risk and ran and switched the ball we looked fairly good.”
The Storm made what proved to be the crucial move of the match in the second quarter.
After leading by one point at quarter-time, the Storm added 4.3 to 1.1 in the second term to open a 21-point gap at half-time that was decisive in the tough conditions.
Stephen Milne and Sam Mildren both kicked three goals for the Storm, whose better players included Jake Hall, Kellan Smith, Matt Smith, Ben Lester and Matthew Ladson.
With Milne’s three, he’s the first player to reach the 50-goal mark in the BFL this season.
The game was the first of the season for Storm onballer Shaun Everington, who suffered an ankle injury during a practice match against Rochester in March.
“Shaun got a few touches in the middle and got through, so that was a good start,” Wilson said.
The 30-point loss followed what is becoming a frustratingly familiar script for Eaglehawk coach Luke Monaghan against the top sides - competitive for most of the game, but lapses in quarters, this time the second, proving costly.
“They got on top of us in at the stoppages in the second quarter and were able to get the ball inside 50 where they were good enough to score some good goals,” Monaghan said.
“You take that period of time out and it was fairly even, but it was obviously a disappointing result.
“There were a couple of times in the second half I thought we were really coming at them, but we just got ourselves too far back after that second quarter.”
Eaglehawk star Brodie Filo (three goals) dominated for his side, along with Sean Williams (two goals), consistent half-back Glenn Daly and impressive defender Tyler Miles, who had another good duel with Milne.
Eaglehawk dropped out of the top five with the loss, while the Storm now prepare for the most-anticipated match of the season against Sandhurst.