READ MORE - SATURDAY SCOREBOARD - July 13, 2019
AT quarter-time of Saturday's match at Kyneton, Castlemaine players and supporters had every right to be optimistic it could finally be the day the club breaks its BFNL losing streak.
But by half-time the Tigers had put a massive dent in that optimism, and at the final siren it was the home side that was back on the winner's list and the Magpies on the end of their 29th-consecutive defeat.
Following a spirited start from Castlemaine that was highlighted by earning plenty of early holding the ball free kicks and 14 first-term inside 50s, the Tigers held the Magpies goal-less for a period of 80 minutes during their 14.11 (95) to 3.10 (28) win.
After Castlemaine kicked its second goal at the eight-minute mark of the second term, its next - and only other - goal of the game came 28 minutes into the last quarter. In between the Tigers kicked nine unanswered goals.
Although they only kicked three goals, it wasn't through a lack of forward 50 entries for the Magpies.
The Magpies went inside their 50 44 times - Kyneton generated 51 entries - but the Tigers' defence, led by general Harrison Huntley, was superb in repelling.
As well as the defence on top, the Tigers also had the edge through the midfield, with four of their guns in Max O'Sullivan, Rhys Magin, Hamish Govan and captain Josh Govan all prominent.
The class of the silky O'Sullivan, who kicked three first-half goals, stood out like a beacon.
After being held to just one behind for the entire match against Gisborne in their previous game, the Tigers wasted no time kicking their first goal this time, with O'Sullivan having it on the board after just 1:25.
As well as O'Sullivan's three goals, the Tigers also got three each out of two of their other midfield dynamos in Magin and Hamish Govan.
One of the glaring differences between the two sides was the capacity to apply early scoreboard pressure.
The Magpies had the aid of the breeze in the first quarter and for the best part of 20 minutes of the opening term had the ball locked in their front half.
Castlemaine was able to generate repeat inside 50s, but couldn't make it count on the scoreboard, kicking 1.5 for the term, which included three set-shot misses to Angus Monfries.
Monfries ended the match with 0.5, also spending time playing loose behind the ball in the second term and starting the last quarter in the middle.
While the Magpies were unable to capitalise on their early chances, the Tigers were far more efficient, nailing their first six shots at goal, although their accuracy did wane as they went from 6.0 in the second term to 8.7 at half-time, at which stage they were 37 points up and well in control.
All three of the Magpies' goals were kicked by Jordan Matera - the last of which was a long torpedo.
Meanwhile, Luke Beattie, who kicked two goals - one after plucking a clever one-handed mark - has officially announced he's stepping down as Tigers' coach at the end of the season.
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