BENDIGO Pioneers coach Brett Henderson says his side played some of its best footy of the TAC Cup season, despite going down to the Calder Cannons by 27 points on Saturday.
The Pioneers – chasing back-to-back wins for the first time this year – were beaten 14.11 (95) to 10.6 (68) at Epsom-Huntly Reserve in a game where the Cannons broke away just before half-time to assume control.
“We lapsed just before half-time when they kicked three goals in three minutes and that really hurt us,” Henderson said.
“To be honest, I thought we played some of our best football of the year today with the way we moved the ball and took the game on, but some lapses really hurt us in our defensive transition and the guys just getting a bit too forward of the footy, which is something we’ll continue to work on.
“Overall, I was quite pleased with the performance, but disappointed with the loss.”
Souring the loss for the Pioneers - who again played with four 16-year-olds in Kane Farrell, Coby McCarthy, Brent Daniels and Darby Henderson - was a season-ending broken ankle early in the game to Matthew Chisari.
The best for the Pioneers was defender Jake Healy.
“He was outstanding down back and really gave us a lot of run and carry,” Henderson said.
Marty Hore off half-back, Jayden Burke (two goals), who played forward and back, and Jesse Muscatello, were also among the standouts for the Pioneers.
Xavia Elford kicked three goals for the Pioneers, who are now 2-12.