THE Rural Bank Bendigo Pioneers have performed strongly at the V/Line Cup in Gippsland, with their three teams combining to win five of six games.
The Pioneers’ under-16 girls and under-15 division two boys won both their games, while the under-16 boys division one side split its two matches 1-1.
The under-16 girls team winning both its games was a major improvement on its carnival last year when it managed just two goals in its two games.
“We were really thorough this year in trying to target the best girls we could across a range of regions,” under-16 girls coach Shawn McCormick said on Thursday.
“We also looked at girls from different pathways in relation to other sports who haven’t played a lot of football before.
“We trialed over 120 girls and the team we put together was fantastic.”
The girls team won its two matches by margins of 38 and 49 points, during which it kicked 16 goals to two.
“The girls were terrific in their intensity and they played the game the way we want to try to teach them to when they get stronger and more advanced,” McCormick said.
“They tried to be creative and run and handball as opposed to just smashing the ball forward.
“It was great to see them get the reward of a couple of wins for all the work they put in leading in.”
The under-15 boys division one side was co-coached by Troy Coates, Travis Mathieson and Brad Eaton.
The under-15 division two side was led by Danny O’Bree, Jarrod Skinner and Trevor Ryan.
The V/Line Cup is AFL Victoria Country’s premier junior regional championship.
• V/Line Cup results:
Bendigo 8.8 (56) d Goulburn Murray 2.6 (18);
Bendigo 8.4 (52) d North East Border 0.3 (3).
Bendigo 5.5 (35) lt Goulburn Murray 5.13 (43);
Bendigo 15.8 (98) d North East Border 4.6 (30).
Bendigo 9.9 (63) d Goulburn Murray 7.8 (50);
Bendigo 8.3 (51) d North East Border 3.6 (24).