Grasshoppers fend off Swans to remain unbeaten

REIGNING premier Navarre fended off a challenge from Natte Bealiba to retain its unblemished Maryborough-Castlemaine District Football League record on Saturday.

Only once before Saturday had an opposition finished within six goals of Navarre this year, but the Swans were right in the contest at three quarter-time when they trailed by six points in the low-scoring contest.

However, the Swans were unable to pull off the upset as the Grasshoppers responded with a 4.2 to 1.2 final term to win 9.10 (64) to 6.4 (40).

Such was the defensive effort of the Swans, Navarre’s score of 64 was less than half the 136 points it had been averaging going into the game.

No Navarre details were supplied, while better players for the Swans included Brent Mortlock, Joshua Tong, Jamie Evans and Chris Jardine. Thomas Douglas kicked three of their six goals.

• Campbells Creek ended its four-game losing streak and took another step towards its first finals berth since 1999 with a 23-point win over Trentham.

Striving to win its first game since round three, Trentham led by two points at three quarter-time.

But the Creekers added 4.3 while holding the Saints to 0.2 in the last term to win 14.12 (96) to 11.7 (73) and are now two games inside the top eight with three rounds left.

Joel Smith was a welcome return for the Creekers, kicking three goals in his first game for more than two months, while coach Sean Smith also added three, with the pair their side’s top players.

In what was Trentham’s 10th loss in a row, Callan Wellings, Mark Strickland and Jonathon Nadin were the Saints’ best. Luke Whitehouse kicked four goals.

• Royal Park beat Avoca for the first time since 2007.

Bushy slammed on seven goals to one in the second term to set up the 14.14 (98) to 7.16 (58) victory.

Brendan Birch (four goals), Jacob Cahill (three goals) and Jay Anderson led the way for Royal Park, which put the stamp on its first finals appearance since 2006.

Murray Bond kicked three goals to be the best for Avoca. Luke Bertram and coach Adrian Pilgrim also battled hard for the Bulldogs.

• Dunolly kicked its highest score of the season, but it wasn’t enough to beat Talbot.

The Hawks - chasing their first finals berth since 2008 - moved two games clear inside the top eight with the 16.8 (104) to 13.12 (90) win.

Ross Wise (three goals), the consistent Trent Barras and Jorde Bux (two goals) were the standouts for the Hawks as they won two in a row for the first time this season.

Better players for Dunolly - which before Saturday hadn’t kicked a score above 63 this season - were Matthew Halacas (four goals), Justin Penny (three goals) and Jesse Olsen (three goals).

• Newstead held Harcourt to just three goals in its 62-point belting of the Lions.

Harcourt had two goals on the board at quarter-time, but only kicked one more for the rest of the game as the Steaders won 12.13 (85) to 3.5 (23).

Matthew Manning (three goals), Ethan Ford (two goals) and Zac Tanner (two goals) led the way for the Steaders as they consolidated their top-four position.

Chris Stone kicked all three of the goals for the Lions, whose best were Kris Davis and Alex Birch.

• Rovers won their third game of the season, leading at every change in their 10.10 (70) to 8.9 (57) victory over Maldon.

Karson Guareschi (four goals), Kegan Ross and Graeme Kennedy were all influential for Rovers, while Kyle Winstanley (four goals) and Hayden Kelly (two goals) battled hard for bottom side Maldon.

• In Sunday’s match of the round between top-four teams Lexton and  Carisbrook, the Tigers won their 12th game in a row by 14 points, 9.8 (62) to 6.12 (48).

It was the first time Lexton had beaten Carisbrook since joining the MCDFL in 2011.

Lachlan Murray (Lexton) and Jackson Bowen (Carisbrook) were the best players for their sides.

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