Eagles rue missed chance

TENACIOUS: Pyramid Hill onballer Bryden Morison against YCW on Saturday. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

TENACIOUS: Pyramid Hill onballer Bryden Morison against YCW on Saturday. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

YCW missed a chance to become the first bottom four side to beat a top five team in the Loddon Valley Football League this year after blowing a three quarter-time lead against Pyramid Hill on Saturday.

An upset loomed at Backhaus Oval when the Eagles led the Bulldogs by seven points at three quarter-time.

But just like round six against Bridgewater when they were also in front at three quarter-time, the Eagles were over-run in the final term.

The Bulldogs kicked 4.2 to 1.4 in the final quarter to win 10.9 (69) to 8.12 (60) and maintain their one-game buffer in the top three.

“It was a really tight contest, but we kept persisting and were finally able to get over the line in that last quarter,” Pyramid Hill coach Paul Grayling said.

“We were a bit sloppy today and turned the ball over a lot, which left the door ajar and they played really well.

“We had to really fight it out, so it was a good character-building win by the boys.”

In what was a tight, defensive struggle, Pyramid Hill's 10.9 (69) was the equal-lowest winning score kicked in the LVFL so far this year.

Key defenders Dylan Morison and Leigh Davies were the best for the Bulldogs, along with ruckman Balraj Singh and the classy Gavin James in his return to the side.

Grayling and Troy Parker both kicked three goals.

As well as leading the game at three quarter-time, YCW also had one more scoring shot than the Bulldogs.

"We implemented our gameplan well and attacked the ball, but we missed too many opportunities," YCW coach Pat Jess said.

"We had more scoring shots and more inside 50s, so our midfielders were working really well and our backline stood up, but we just couldn't capitalise going forward.

"In that last quarter we were in a winning position and were still in front with 10 minutes to go, but we saw the difference between a good side and an average side... Pyramid Hill found a way to get over the line and we've got to get to the point where we create a winning culture.

"We've got a young list and hopefully, we learn from games like today."

Onballer Levi Moss, ruckman Adrian Cronin and David Millard through the midfield played well for the Eagles, who have now lost nine in a row against the Bulldogs.

• Bridgewater belted its grand final opponent of last year, Bears Lagoon-Serpentine, for the second time this season.

The Mean Machine prevailed by 59 points, 22.12 (144) to 13.7 (85), at Serpentine in another performance that shows just why they are short-price $1.33 flag favourites with Sportsbet.

Bridgewater led by 30 points at half-time, before killing off any chance of the Bears getting back into the game when they kicked eight goals to four during the third term.

"The boys were really good today. Serp was very hard and physical at the ball, particularly early in the game, but we absorbed it well and were able to win our fair share of the ball," injured Bridgewater coach Andrew Collins said.

With Alex Collins (knee) out for the season and Brad Rohde (hamstring) missing on Saturday, Darren Clutton was swung forward again for the Mean Machine and bagged five goals.

Nick Harris and Zac East were also handfuls inside 50 for Bridgewater, kicking four goals each.

Zeb Broadbent and Adam Parry continued their dominant midfield seasons for the Mean Machine, while Bendigo Gold-listed Alex Pollock was again in the best for Bridgewater on his comeback from injury.

The Bears' score of 13.7 was the first time an opponent has kicked more than nine goals against Bridgewater this season.

Brodie Leonard-Shannon, James Rippingale and Nathan McNally (two goals) played well for the Bears, who are the last team to beat Bridgewater when they defeated the Mean Machine by 12 points in round 14, last year.

The Bears are now 5-4 and two games outside the top three.

• Calivil United copped another hiding, this time off Newbridge by 106 points.

The Maroons won 19.18 (132) to 3.8 (26) at Calivil, inflicting the third loss by more than 100 points in the past five games for the Demons.

Having led by 54 points at three quarter-time, the Maroons slammed on 9.4 to 1.0 in the final term to blow the margin out to triple-figures.

"Calivil is a young side and played some good pressure football and made it tough for us, but the boys stuck at it and we finished well in the last quarter," Maroons coach Matt Dillon said.

"It was a good response to last week (loss to Marong) and we got back to the way we want to play our footy. We were a lot more cleaner and better in our decision-making."

Newbridge full-forward Rhys Ford has reached the 50-goal mark for the season, with his six taking him to 52, while David Carroll was also a strong target, adding five.

In what was Newbridge's first win over Calivil United by more than 100 points for at least 20 years, Billy Price (two goals), Brad Comer, the consistent Jordan Gilboy and ruckman Angus Fortune were the Maroons' standouts.

Saturday was the first time Calivil United has been held to a score under 30 since it kicked 4.5 (29) in its 2002 grand final loss to YCW.

Jay McDonald kicked two of the three goals for the Demons, who were also best served by Jordan Lea, Alex Davis and Walter Miller.

• Inglewood was unable to replicate its competitive performance against Marong from earlier in the season.

Having pushed the Panthers to 18 points in round one, the Blues were belted by 98 points in their return battle, going down 20.15 (135) to 5.7 (37) at the LVFL's grand final venue for the next three years - Marong Links Oval.

The Panthers - featuring under-17 trio Jack Costello, Jake Thomas and Daryl Marshall - kicked 10 goals in the first half and 10 in the second.

"Inglewood has been a bit of a bogey side for us over the years, so we treated them as we would one of the top sides today," Marong coach Corey Gregg said.

"We spoke about playing the style of footy we did last week (win over Newbridge) in terms of the work-rate of our midfielders and we were able to continue that on."

Craig Morris was again dominant through the midfield for the Panthers with another polished game, which included three goals.

Gregg played well in a different role across half-back, while Zac Boyer and Callum Williamson were others to feature strongly for the Panthers, who had Daniel Turcarelli (four), Brett Rogers (four) and Luke Bennett (three) combine for 11 goals.

The Blues were held to one goal in the first half, before adding four in the second.

Coach Isaac Douthie kicked three of the Blues' five goals. Jayden Sheean, who has battled manfully all season, Darcy Crapper and David Rose led Inglewood's better players.

"We made a bad start and played some terrible footy where the basics let us down, but we were better in the second half," Douthie said.


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