BRIDGEWATER has inflicted Calivil United’s first loss of the Loddon Valley league season after launching a stunning second half revival on Saturday.
The 1 v 2 clash at Bridgewater was shaping as a fizzer at half-time when the Demons had broken away to a 39-point lead, 8.3 to 1.6.
But while they may not be the dominant force they have been over the past seven years, the Mean Machine showed they still possess the fighting spirit of a champion team in the second half, kicking nine goals to two to win 10.15 (75) to 10.7 (67).
“We were much better around the ball in the second half,” Bridgewater coach Marc Lindsay said.
“At half-time it was 11 scoring shots to seven, so it was a lack of polish that was letting us down in the first two quarters, but we improved that and it was a good win for us.”
Instrumental in the second-half turnaround for the Mean Machine was Kyle Chant through the midfield.
“He is as hard as they come and gets in and does a lot of grunt work for us. He held things together for us in the first half and was really good in the second half,” Lindsay said.
Alex Collins continued his consistent season with five goals to return to the top of the league goalkicking with 65, while down the other end, Daniel Nalder held Calivil United spearhead Bryce Curnow to one goal.
Saturday’s victory was the seventh in a row for the Mean Machine, who are now on the league’s best winning streak given the Demons had their run of 12 on the trot ended.
“We went from one extreme to the other today… we played a good brand of footy in the first half and then didn’t fire a shot after half-time,” Demons coach Anthony Dennis said.
“Full credit to Bridgewater… they lifted their pressure in the second half and we just couldn’t get our hands on the ball.”
Matt Magee was named the best for the Demons across half-back, while gun ruckman Chris Down continued his strong season.
• Mitiamo continues to prove the Jekkyl and Hyde side of the competition as it returned to the top five at the expense of the team it beat, Pyramid Hill.
The Superoos had lost their previous three games, but produced their best performance of the season when they needed it most in disposing of the Bulldogs by 67 points at Pyramid Hill, 19.10 (124) to 8.9 (57).
Mitiamo set the win up with a dominant first half in which it led by 48 points at the main break, 11.5 to 3.5.
The result was a 92-point turnaround on their round six meeting, which the Bulldogs had won by 25 points.
“It clicked for us today and we played the brand of footy I know this team is capable of,” Mitiamo coach Justin Maddern said.
“It was a pure team brand of footy and we executed the gamestyle we wanted, which instills a lot of confidence in the group. We’ve shown glimpses in games that we can play this way, but it hasn’t been for long enough. Today it was for four quarters.”
Nathan Twigg in the ruck was named best for the Superoos, while Kyle Patten across half-back and Brayden Baines (two goals) also led the way.
Maddern kicked six goals to take his season tally to 55, while Luke Scott added four.
Pyramid Hill, which kicked five of its eight goals in the final term, was best served by Adrian McErvale and Matt Klein-Breteler.
• Maiden Gully YCW Eagles snapped their seven-game losing streak against the team they had also won their previous match against – Marong.
A strong third quarter proved the catalyst for the Eagles’ 12.9 (81) to 10.9 (69) win at Marong.
The Eagles booted 6.2 to 3.1 in the third term to turn an 11-point deficit at half-time into an eight-point lead at the last change.
“It was good reward for the boys today to get back on the winner’s list,” Eagles coach Daniel Francis said.
“We kicked the last three goals of the second quarter, which gave us a bit of momentum and we were able to carry that into the third when we made our move.”
In his return from a wrist injury Patrick Cummins in the ruck and up forward was best for the Eagles, who were also well served in the midfield by Brayden Aitken.
Matthew Roberts and Natnael McLaren kicked three goals each.
Ricky Dudley and Aaron Bateson battled hard for the Panthers, who had Jarrod Fitzpatrick (three) and Ryan Wellington (three) combine to kick six of their 10 goals.
Meanwhile, in the under-18 game earlier in the day, Eagles’ spearhead Tyler James brought up his 100th goal for the season.
James reached his century in his 12th game of the season. His tally of 100 features returns of 12, 11, 10, 8, 4, 7, 4, 7, 8, 14, 6 and 9.
• Bears Lagoon-Serpentine kicked the equal highest score of the season in dishing out a 118-point hiding to Inglewood, 26.12 (168) to 7.8 (50), at home.
The Bears kept the Blues to just one goal in the first half, at which stage they were already 71 points up on the way to a win that now gives them a two-game buffer inside the top five.
The Bears had a spread of 12 goalkickers led by James Rippingale (seven), who was one of their standouts, along with Jasper Walker-Corbet and Nick Arthur.
The result was the third time in their five matches since winning their first game that the Blues have lost by more than 100 points.
Bailey Evans again impressed for the Blues to be their best player, while Nathan Philpotts worked hard in defence.
“Serp is a quality side and played really good team footy today,” Blues’ assistant coach Patrick Hartney said.
“We’ll take some positives though out of the performances of some of our younger players like Bailey Evans, Kyle Hawken and Tim Kennedy, who kicked a couple of goals.”