THE footy season ticked over the halfway mark during June, while the winter weather well and truly kicked in. Luke West takes a look back at the month that was in the Bendigo Football League.
BEST PERFORMED TEAM: As was the case through April and May, it was again undefeated Sandhurst leading the way in June.
The Dragons were 3-0 through June with wins over Eaglehawk, South Bendigo and Kyneton.
The Dragons’ percentage of 257.5 throughout June edged out Strathfieldsaye’s 212.0, with the Storm also unbeaten for the month on the back of wins over South Bendigo, Golden Square and Eaglehawk.
While the Dragons and Storm maintained their status as the BFL’s two standout teams, one of the big movers of the month was Maryborough.
The Magpies entered June 0-8 and had been ranked No.10 through May.
But the Magpies won two of their three June games, both against sides that have finals aspirations - Kyneton and Kangaroo Flat.
Third-placed Gisborne restored some momentum into its season through June.
The Bulldogs were ranked No.6 in May, but bounced back to be ranked the best of the sides behind the Dragons and Storm in June.
The Bulldogs belted Castlemaine and Maryborough in June, with their only a blemish for the month a one-point defeat to Kangaroo Flat after the siren on the Queen’s Birthday Monday at Dower Park.
MONTH TO FORGET: June looks like it could be the month that cooked Kyneton’s finals chances.
The Tigers had entered June just percentage outside the top five and right in the mix to challenge for their first finals series since 2003.
However, the Tigers lost all three games to Maryborough, Eaglehawk and Sandhurst through June and have now dropped two games, plus percentage, outside the top five.
South Bendigo and Castlemaine were also winless throughout June.
GAME OF THE MONTH: Hard to go past the drama of the Eaglehawk v Kyneton game at Canterbury Park on June 14.
With both sides going into the game 4-5, it was a crunch match for both sides in the battle for fifth spot.
What unfolded that afternoon was extraordinary.
The Hawks raced to a 47-point lead at half-time and the game looked as good as over.
However, the Tigers unleashed a brutal third quarter of football when they piled on 11.1 to 1.4 and by the final change, that 47-point deficit had become a 10-point advantage.
But the Tigers couldn’t sustain their momentum in the final term and the Hawks responded to win 17.16 (118) to 18.3 (111). What a game.
Meanwhile, in another game where the Tigers were on the wrong end of the result, for all Maryborough endured during the pre-season just to get a side on the park, the Magpies’ breakthrough win over Kyneton by 59 points on June 7 was also a highlight.
PLAYERS OF THE MONTH: Castlemaine: Thomas Godsell.
Eaglehawk: Brodie Collins.
Gisborne: Tim Walsh.
Golden Square: Corey Jones.
Kangaroo Flat: Luke Lougoon.
Kyneton: Jake Hyland.
Maryborough: Luke Bucknall.
Sandhurst: Tim Martin.
South Bendigo: Ben Jones.
Strathfieldsaye: Jake Hall.
CASTLEMAINE (0-3): lt Golden Square by 92, lt Gisborne by 109, lt Kangaroo Flat by 2.
EAGLEHAWK (1-2): lt Sandhurst by 33, d Kyneton by 7, lt Strathfieldsaye by 30.
GISBORNE (2-1): lt Kangaroo Flat by 1, d Castlemaine by 109, d Maryborough by 91.
GOLDEN SQUARE (2-1): d Castlemaine by 92, lt Strathfieldsaye by 39, d South Bendigo by 25.
KANGAROO FLAT (2-1): d Gisborne by 1, lt Maryborough by 25, d Castlemaine by 2.
KYNETON (0-3): lt Maryborough by 59, lt Eaglehawk by 7, lt Sandhurst by 43.
MARYBOROUGH (2-1): d Kyneton by 59, d Kangaroo Flat by 25, lt Gisborne by 91.
SANDHURST (3-0): d Eaglehawk by 33, d South Bendigo by 124, d Kyneton by 43.
SOUTH BENDIGO (0-3): lt Strathfieldsaye by 99, lt Sandhurst by 124, lt Golden Square by 25.
STRATHFIELDSAYE (3-0): d South Bendigo by 99, d Golden Square by 39, d Eaglehawk by 30.
The average margin in June games was 51 points, compared to 58 in May.
1. Sandhurst (1) 12 pts, 257.5%
2. Strathfieldsaye (2) 12 pts, 212.0%
3. Gisborne (6) 8 pts, 225.9%
4. Golden Square (4) 8 pts, 145.9%
5. Maryborough (10) 8 pts, 97.7%
6. Kangaroo Flat (8) 8 pts, 90.6%
7. Eaglehawk (5) 4 pts, 79.9%
8. Kyneton (3) 0 pts, 69.3%
9. South Bendigo (7) 0 pts, 38.2%
10. Castlemaine (9) 0 pts, 37.0%
* Last month position in bracket.
Ben Weightman (Kyneton) 14
Jarrad Lynch (Gisborne) 13
Matthew Bond (Maryborough) 13
Stephen Milne (Strathfieldsaye) 12
Ryan Haythorpe (Sandhurst) 11
Corey Jones (Golden Square) 10
Patrick McKenna (Gisborne) 8
Tyson MacIlwain (Maryborough) 8
Sam Mildren (Strathfieldsaye) 8