BENDIGO Gold’s winning run stretched to six yesterday as it beat long-time VFL nemesis North Ballarat by 26 points at Eureka Stadium.
The winning ratio in Bendigo and Ballarat clashes stood at 19-2 in the Roosters favour heading into the round 15 contest.
“Our record at Ballarat over the years (as Diggers and Bombers) was not great, so to win today was a fantastic performance,” said Bendigo Gold coach Hayden Skipworth.
“Not many VFL clubs have had a great run at Ballarat, so any win here is always memorable.”
Gold’s victory was achieved by significant contributions from the likes of No.1 ruckman Tom Bellchambers, midfielder Brendan Lee, a six-goal haul by full-forward Matt Little, the skilful Alex Browne, and defensive work and rebound from Rick Ladson and Trent Shinners.
Gold had first use of the breeze and led 32-8 at quarter-time.
The Roosters fought back to be within a goal at the long break.
“Our second quarter was not great. North Ballarat had a lot of scoring opportunities,” Skipworth said.
Bendigo capitalised on Bellchambers’ dominance in the third term and continually pumped the ball forward.
Gold slammed on 7.3 and worked hard in defence to concede just two goals.
“Tom Bellchambers was outstanding in the first three quarters,” Skipworth said.
“His tapwork was outstanding all match.”
After missing several weeks because of a sore achilles, Lee again showed how important he is to Gold’s midfield division.
“Brendan had more than 30 possessions and set up a lot of attacks,” the coach said.
Leading by 39 points as the final quarter began, Bendigo had plenty of numbers at the contest and did well to deny the Roosters possession.
Although North Ballarat scored 5.3, Gold did well to add 3.2 and celebrated a hard-fought victory.
Little and Corey Dell’Olio were the winner’s leading goalkickers on six and three respectively.
“Matt (Little) took a few contested marks and was always dangerous on the lead. He also worked hard to keep the pressure on in our forward half.”
Bendigo has won the past two duels on the Roosters’ turf.
The focus quickly switched to next Saturday’s match against Casey Scorpions at Essendon’s Windy Hill.
“Casey beat Port Melbourne this round and is one of the form teams in the competition.
“It’s going to be another great test for us,” he said of Gold’s bid for a seventh consecutive victory.