Round five of the 2012 Bendigo Football Netball League season was highlighted by a cameo appearance from AFL star Jason Akermanis for Castlemaine.
However, the inclusion of the three-time Brisbane Lions' premiership player and Brownlow medallist was unable to lift the Magpies to a win as Kangaroo Flat prevailed by 29 points, 14.12 (96) to 9.13 (67).
Akermanis started in the centre square and rotated through the midfield and up forward, with his only rest during the game a brief break on the interchange midway through the third quarter.
The 35-year-old ended the game with 19 possessions - 14 kicks and five handballs - four marks and a goal, kicked from a set-shot in the first quarter.
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"It was a good standard of footy, with a lot of big bodies,"Akermanis told the Bendigo Advertiser.
"I really enjoyed it, and I think Castlemaine, as they play more footy together, will only get better. The standard they set in the first half was really good, but as the game went on we dropped off."
The Roos were caught on the hop early by the Magpies, but fought back to register their third victory.
"They were always going to come out and have a crack early with the Aker hype, so it was good we were able to come away with the four points," Flat coach Tyrone Downie said.
"We didn't play as well as we would have liked, especially early, but four points are still four points."
Kangaroo Flat ..................4.1 7.5 11.7 14.12 (96)
Castlemaine ....................5.5 7.10 8.10 9.13 (67)
GOALS - Kangaroo Flat: N. Lang, T. Mihocek, A. Devereaux 3, T. Downie, J. Wiegard 2, B. Walklate. Castlemaine: J. Cordy 4, S. Gale 2, J. O'Brien, L. Ford, J. Akermanis.
BEST - Kangaroo Flat: A. Devereaux, M. Kelly, N. Lang, T. Downie, H. Dahl, J. Bowyer, B. Walklate. Castlemaine: L. Ford, J. Graham, R. Ford, Z. Plant, J. Cordy, Z. Hansford, J. O'Brien.
STRATHFIELDSAYE v EAGLEHAWK
Strathfieldsaye consolidated top spot on the BFNL ladder with a 51-point victory over a struggling Eaglehawk.
After a tight opening three terms, the in-form Storm kicked nine goals to four in the final term.
Sam Mildren led the way with five goals, while Jake Hall, Kell Smith, Jacob Heavyside and Shannon Geary were superb for the Storm.
Matt Gretgrix bagged four of the Borough's 11 goals, while Josh Bowe, Brad Stringer and Tim Hill were their best players.
Strathfieldsaye .................5.3 6.7 10.8 19.9 (123)
Eaglehawk ........................2.1 6.3 7.6 11.6 (72)
GOALS - Strathfieldsaye: S. Mildren 5, T. Bartholomew, L. Sharp 4, J. Hall 3, K. Lea 2, S. Geary. Eaglehawk: M. Gretgrix 4, E. Costello 2, J. Findlay, T. Nicolson, J. Bowe, T. Findlay, R. McIvor.
BEST - Strathfieldsaye: J. Hall, K. Smith, J. Heavyside, S. Geary, L. Bonney, C. Brady. Eaglehawk: J. Bowe, B. Stringer, T. Hill, J. Findlay, T. Nicolson, C. Harrington.
GISBORNE v MARYBOROUGH
Gisborne scored its third 80-point plus win at home this season when it overran a disappointing Maryborough.
Gardiner Reserve lived up to its graveyard reputation as the Bulldogs piled on 12 goals to two after half-time to win 22.15 (147) to 9.10 (64).
Saturday's big win followed a 123-point win over Kyneton and a 90-point victory over Sandhurst in previous home games.
Gisborne's midfield depth proved to be the difference. Scott Walsh, Casey Summerfield, James McFarlane and Shaun Comerford all won plenty of the ball for the Bulldogs.
Maryborough's Tyson MacIlwain was the best big man on the ground, kicking two goals from centre half-forward. Skipper Luke Bucknall continued his great form for the Magpies, while Matt Johnston and Michael Noonan were solid contributors.
Gisborne ..........................7.3 10.8 14.10 22.15 (147) Maryborough....................4.3 7.5 9.8 9.10 (64)
GOALS - Gisborne: J. Campbell, C. Illman, D. Antonowicz, S. Comerford, D. Weaver 3, D. Farrugia, O. Messaoudi 2, M. Knox, R. Sharp, C. Summerfield. Maryborough: T. MacIlwain, M. Bond 2, D. Clark, M. Noonan, C. Skinner, M. Dell, D. Clarkson.
BEST - Gisborne: S. Walsh, C. Summerfield, J. McPharlane, S. Comerford, T. Stanton-Smith, J. Arnold. Maryborough: L. Bucknall, M. Johnston, T. MacIlwain, M. Noonan, W. Short, J. Malone.
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SOUTH BENDIGO v KYNETON
Despite a 142-point victory, South Bendigo coach Rick Coburn was not gloating about the win against Kyneton at the QEO.
The Bloods won 23.23 (161) to 2.7 (19), but Coburn stressed there were many areas to improve on.
"Our efficiency was disappointing, " said Coburn.
"We are making far too many skill errors, and missing a lot of shots at goal. "Our play at stoppages and winning contests was great, but too often we missed targets by foot or hand."
The Tigers were goalless in the first half, while Bloods' on-ballers Daniel Anderson and Tom Hams set up many attacks.
South Bendigo ..................4.5 8.10 13.16 23.23 (161)
Kyneton ............................0.4 0.6 1.7 2.7 (19)
GOALS - South Bendigo: A. Galea, G. Scholtes 4, J. Sandiford, M. Tonkin, T. Hams 3, B. Martyn 2, T. Dargaville, B. Allen, B. Childs, P. Craig. Kyneton: S. Page, H. Huntley.
BEST - South Bendigo: D. Anderson, T. Hams, M. Tonkin, J. Keely, J. Sandiford, M. Varley. Kyneton: T. Bourke, L. Beattie, P. Rowe, D. Chambers, K. Davis, T. Greetham.
GOLDEN SQUARE v SANDHURST
The Dragons defeated the Bulldogs for the first time in five years on the back of a thrilling five-point win at Wade Street.
Kicking with the wind in the final term, Sandhurst looked to have the game in its keeping when it raced out to a 19-point lead at the 10-minute mark.
But the reigning premier Bulldogs, who were without a number of stars, stormed home on the back of some Grant Weeks brilliance.
The Square star played a lone-hand in attack all day and his four last-quarter goals put his side within five points with one minute remaining.
The Dragons won the crucial centre-break and kept the ball inside their forward 50 until the final siren sounded.
Weeks did his best to get Golden Square over the line, taking 11 marks and kicking 9.3 out of Square's 12.11.
"Most clubs will come here and not get the four points, so we're one win ahead of most clubs," Sandhurst coach Tony Graham said after the win.
"Golden Square is still Golden Square. We love to beat them and for most of these guys it's the first time they've beaten Square in senior footy.
Golden Square coach Mark Lloyd was left to lament what could have been.
"No excuses for us. It doesn't matter who we had out... we missed opportunities that could have put more scoreboard pressure on Sandhurst," Lloyd said.
"It was a great contest and Sandhurst got over the line, so full credit to them.
"It's disappointing for us because we had the chance to put a gap between us and Sandhurst on the ladder."
Sandhurst ........................0.0 4.6 8.9 12.16 (88)
Golden Square .................2.4 5.7 8.10 12.11 (83)
GOALS - Sandhurst: T. McCarthy 4, L. McCarthy 2, M. Thornton, B. Holmes, L. Coghlan, M. Dole, R. Symes, J. Wharton. Golden Square: G. Weeks 9, A. Baird 2, M. Lloyd.
BEST - Sandhurst: S. McGee, T. McCarthy, B. Holmes, J. Wharton, M. Dole, M. Thornton. Golden Square: G. Weeks, H. Morcom, T. Baird, D. Lowry, A. Baird, J. McLean.