REIGNING premier Eaglehawk has fired its first major salvo of the BFNL season, ending the unbeaten run of Strathfieldsaye at Canterbury Park on Saturday.
The Hawks overcame a slow start and spent the majority of the day trailing - by as many as 28 points in the second quarter - but kicked the last four goals of the game to win 14.14 (98) to 11.14 (80).
It was a massive injection of belief for the Hawks to go along with a major shot in the arm for the BFNL premiership race given the dominance of the Storm in the first half of the season.
"It's obviously good to get to this point of the year and see how far we've come over the past 10 weeks," Eaglehawk coach Travis Matheson said.
"We knew we had to take a scalp... we've started to get some consistency in the group over the past few weeks and that showed today."
The Hawks didn't help their cause early in the game when they failed to capitalise on their chances inside 50, at one stage having 1.8 on the board during the second quarter.
Eaglehawk's Oscar Madden kept red-hot Storm spearhead Lachlan Sharp to his season's lowest return of just two goals - one in the first term and one in the last - in a brilliant defensive effort.
"You don't see a lot of blokes putting their hands up to play on Sharpy, but he does and he did a great job today," Matheson said.
Eaglehawk's gritty victory and Maryborough's 14-point win over South Bendigo were the only competitive games of Saturday's round 10.
The other three games highlighted the gulf between the league's top five and the rest when Gisborne thrashed Castlemaine by 193 points as the Magpies could muster a score of just 0.1 (1) at Gardiner Reserve; Sandhurst hammered Kangaroo Flat by 124 and Golden Square belted Kyneton by 102.
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