BEST PERFORMED TEAM: Strathfieldsaye flexed its muscle during July and produced a brand of footy that showed why it was so heavily talked up pre-season as the flag favourites.
The Storm’s month started when they downed Sandhurst by 22 points in the much-hyped top-of-the-ladder showdown at the QEO on July 5.
So impressive were the Storm that day against the previously undefeated Dragons, they could have won by seven or eight goals had they not kicked 1.9 in the third quarter.
The victory over Sandhurst was followed by comfortable wins over Castlemaine (92 points) and Maryborough (141), which now has the Storm sitting on top of the ladder.
The Storm conceded just 12 goals in their three July matches, while kicking 51 themselves.
July was also an impressive month for Gisborne, with the Bulldogs three-from-three, including a gutsy come-from-behind eight-point win over Golden Square on July 19.
Plenty has been said about the Bulldogs’ dominant second halves of late, and for the record, their July numbers after half-time were 239 points for and just 55 against.
MONTH TO FORGET: a second winless month in a row for both Kyneton and Castlemaine, with neither side getting within five goals of their opposition during July.
The Tigers and Magpies have both dropped six games in a row, having not won since round eight.
Meanwhile, after being ranked No.1 through April, May and June, Sandhurst slipped to No.5 for July.
The Dragons lost their first - and only - game of the season so far against Strathfieldsaye in round 12, while the side’s percentage that started the month at 250 dipped to 205 by the end of it.
That’s not to say the Dragons are struggling considering they are only percentage off top spot, but they did set such a lofty benchmark through the first three months that it was going to be tough to maintain those numbers all season.
That was evident on Saturday when a defence that had only been conceding an average of 51.7 points per game gave up 128 against Kangaroo Flat.
The Dragons joined Eaglehawk and Golden Square in winning two of their three games during July.
GAME OF THE MONTH: When you get Golden Square and Gisborne facing off, more often than not you’re going to get a belter of a contest.
We saw that again on July 19 when Gisborne came from 25 points down at three quarter-time to beat Golden Square, playing to keep its top three chances alive, by eight points in a contest Addy footy writer Richard Jones rated the best game he’s seen all year.
Across town the same day, Kangaroo Flat defeated Eaglehawk by two points in what was a pivotal clash with there seemingly only room for one of those two sides in the finals.
But if it’s free-flowing, high-scoring footy you love to watch, it’s hard to go past last Saturday when there were 44 goals kicked in the Sandhurst v Kangaroo Flat game.
The Dragons won 24.7 (151) to 20.8 (128), with the Roos’ losing score higher than 48 of the BFL’s winning totals this year.
The BFL’s average winning margin throughout July was 63 points, compared to 51 points in June, 58 in May and 39 in April.
PLAYERS OF THE MONTH:
Castlemaine: David Stephens.
Eaglehawk: Josh Ketterer.
Gisborne: Tom May.
Golden Square: Corey Jones.
Kangaroo Flat: James Saville.
Kyneton: Ryan Carafa.
Maryborough: Billy Mahony.
Sandhurst: Tim Martin.
South Bendigo: Aaron Connaughton.
Strathfieldsaye: Stephen Milne.
CASTLEMAINE (0-3): lt Maryborough by 45, lt Strathfieldsaye by 92, lt Eaglehawk by 77.
EAGLEHAWK (2-1): d South Bendigo by 59, lt Kangaroo Flat by 2, d Castlemaine by 77.
GISBORNE (3-0): d Kyneton by 138, d Golden Square by 8, d South Bendigo by 95.
GOLDEN SQUARE (2-1): d Kangaroo Flat by 67, lt Gisborne by 8, d Kyneton by 93.
KANGAROO FLAT (1-2): lt Golden Square by 67, d Eaglehawk by 2, lt Sandhurst by 23.
KYNETON (0-3): lt Gisborne by 138, lt South Bendigo by 31, lt Golden Square by 93.
MARYBOROUGH (1-2): d Castlemaine by 45, lt Sandhurst by 55, lt Strathfieldsaye by 141.
SANDHURST (2-1): lt Strathfieldsaye by 22, d Maryborough by 55, d Kangaroo Flat by 23.
SOUTH BENDIGO (1-2): lt Eaglehawk by 59, d Kyneton by 31, lt Gisborne by 95.
STRATHFIELDSAYE (3-0): d Sandhurst by 22, d Castlemaine by 92, d Maryborough by 141.
1. Strathfieldsaye - 12 pts, 371.3%
2. Gisborne - 12 pts, 278.5%
3. Eaglehawk - 8 pts, 172.0%
4. Golden Square - 8 pts, 166.1%
5. Sandhurst - 8 pts, 120.3%
6. Kangaroo Flat - 4 pts, 76.0%
7. South Bendigo - 4 pts, 57.6%
8. Maryborough - 4 pts, 55.3%
9. Kyneton - 0 pts, 39.9%
10. Castlemaine - 0 pts, 37.1%
JULY LEADING GOALKICKERS:
Corey Jones (Golden Square) 15
Stephen Milne (Strathfieldsaye) 15
Sam Mildren (Strathfieldsaye) 11
Clayton Anderson (Golden Square) 12
Ben Weightman (Kyneton) 9
Ryan Haythorpe (Sandhurst) 9
Sean Williams (Eaglehawk) 8
Shaun Comerford (Gisborne) 8
Matt Giri (Kangaroo Flat) 8