The Bendigo Football Netball League season has been given an early shot in the arm after an enthralling opening round.
Strathfieldsaye’s stunning 13-point upset win over reigning premier Sandhurst was the highlight of the weekend, while three of the other four games in round one were decided by 13 points or less.
On Good Friday, Golden Square edged out Kangaroo Flat by six points, Kyneton held off a rejuvenated Gisborne by eight points and Eaglehawk defeated the fast-finishing South Bendigo by 13 points.
Castlemaine defeated Maryborough by 39 points in the most one-sided game of the round, but Maryborough’s improved performance was encouraging.
The Storm’s gutsy win over the Dragons snapped Sandhurst’s 14-game winning streak.
The Storm jumped to a six-goal lead early in the second term, but a hamstring injury to star midfielder Sam Heavyside and a lift in intensity by the Dragons changed the momentum of the game.
By the last change the scores were level and when the Dragons kicked the first two goals of the final quarter, it looked as though the Storm were cooked. Despite Heavyside’s absence, the Storm ran the game out stronger than the Dragons and late goals to Lachlan Sharp and Shannon Geary sealed the deal.
While both teams were missing key personnel, the victory will give the Storm plenty of confidence. The Storm face Golden Square next weekend, while Sandhurst will unfurl its premiership flag ahead of its night game against Castlemaine.
In other round two matches, Eaglehawk hosts Kangaroo Flat at Canterbury Park, Gisborne is at home to South Bendigo and Maryborough has a home night match with Kyneton.