THE next installment of our series looking back on the 50 most dominant premiership seasons across the Bendigo, Heathcote District and Loddon Valley leagues since 1990.
34 - CASTLEMAINE 1992
Coach - Matt Scully
Record - 18-2
Percentage - 208.3%
Average for - 171
Average against - 82
Points differential - +89
def South Bendigo 145-112
def Northern United 288-48
def Kennington 178-120
def North Bendigo 184-94
def Sandhurst 118-97
def Eaglehawk 134-118
def Kangaroo Flat 166-97
def Maryborough 211-57
def Kyneton 145-50
def Golden Square 163-44
def Kennington 186-42
def South Bendigo 156-100
def Northern United 273-75
lt Eaglehawk 121-129
def North Bendigo 253-78
def Sandhurst 177-93
def Kangaroo Flat 197-68
lt Maryborough 52-54
def Eaglehawk 172-72
def Golden Square 97-92
SUMMARY - In all likelihood the Castlemaine team of 1992 produced the most potent season in the history of the Bendigo Football League.
The Magpies averaged a mammoth 171 points per game in 1992, which easily ranks No.1 in the Bendigo Advertiser season records that stretch back to 1950.
And it would be highly unlikely to think that any team prior to 1950 could have averaged in the vicinity of 171 points for a season, giving the Magpies their likely place in history as the competition's highest scoring team.
Coached by Matt Scully, the Magpies' premiership team of 1992 was almost entirely homegrown, with Dean Costello the only player who hadn't played juniors at the club.
The Magpies played 20 games in 1992 and kicked 25-plus goals 12 times, including four scores above 200 - 44.24 (288) against Northern United in round two; 33.13 (211) against Maryborough in round nine; 42.21 (273) against Northern United in round 14; and 40.13 (253) against North Bendigo in round 17.
Steven Oliver was a dominant force in the goalsquare for the Magpies that season. After just 14 rounds he had already kicked 134 goals before being sidelined by a broken hand.
At one stage during rounds eight to 11 Oliver kicked hauls of 10, 10, 11 and 14 in games where the Magpies booted scores of 166, 211, 145 and 163.
Down the other end, Scully rated the half-back line of Paul Starbuck, Don Moran and Tom Kavanagh as good as any he has seen.
The side was captained by Derrick Filo, the best and fairest was Simon Jorgensen, while the Magpies were pushed to the limit by Golden Square in one of the BFL's great grand finals, which they won by five points.
The Magpies - who had lost the grand final to South Bendigo in 1991 - were only 10 points off completing a perfect season given their only two losses were by eight points to Eaglehawk in round 16 and two points to Maryborough in round 20.
THE TEAM - David Rath, Dean Costello, John Jefferies, Paul Starbuck, Don Moran, Tom Kavanagh, Frank Byrne, Derrick Filo, Lachie Butler, Jamie Culpitt, Dean Henderson, Shaun Filo, Sean Smith, Steven Oliver, Michael Pedretti, Michael Blake, Simon Jorgensen, Andy Kinross, Brett Fitzpatrick, Jamie Allan
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33 - SOUTH BENDIGO 1990
Coach - Peter Bradbury
Record - 18-2
Percentage - 214.6%
Average for - 134
Average against - 62
Points differential - +72
lt Golden Square 89-93
def Kyneton 147-57
def North Bendigo 106-63
def Northern United 85-59
def Sandhurst 125-73
def Kangaroo Flat 131-43
def Kennington 322-21
def Eaglehawk 88-40
def Castlemaine 155-66
def Golden Square 89-65
def Kyneton 129-50
def North Bendigo 121-93
def Northern United 123-31
def Sandhurst 105-95
lt Kangaroo Flat 83-107
def Kennington 239-4
def Eaglehawk 110-55
def Castlemaine 150-62
def Sandhurst 159-75
def Golden Square 114-92
SUMMARY - South Bendigo's 1990 premiership season was the launchpad for a Bloods dynasty that netted the club four BFL flags in five years.
Coming off a grand final loss to Golden Square in 1989, it was a hungry and determined South Bendigo under coach Peter Bradbury that sought redemption in 1990.
The season didn't get off to a rosy start though - the Bloods lost in round one to Square by four points in the grand final re-match.
But that defeat - as well as a 24-point loss to Kangaroo Flat in round 15 - would prove to be just minor hurdles for the Bloods as they steamrolled their way to their first flag since 1974.
Along the way the Bloods kicked what is still the BFL's record score in round seven when they demolished Kennington by 301 points - 49.28 (322) to 3.3 (21).
The Bloods' goal-fest at Harry Trott Oval was led by David McMurray's 13, while Stephen Allender kicked nine and Marty Harrington slotted eight.
Those Kennington players of 1990 must still have nightmares about the Bloods 30 years later.
In their return match in round 16 the ruthless Bloods showed no mercy, holding Kennington goal-less in a 35.29 (239) to 0.4 (4) romp.
The Bloods were later lauded in the Bendigo Advertiser as "the shortest priced BFL premiership favourites for many seasons'' heading into the grand final against Golden Square and they duly delivered, beating the Bulldogs by 22 points on a memorable day in which the club also won the reserves and under-18 flags.
The grand final win in which the Bloods took the upper hand in the third quarter and captain and star rover Peter Tyack was their best player came a fortnight after South Bendigo had demolished Sandhurst by 84 points in the second semi-final.
THE TEAM - Trevor Wright, Robert Bakes, Brian Kendal, Mal Balnaves, Stephen Dean, Shaun Leech, Mark Keck, David Griffin, Tony Gundry, Peter Bradbury, Stephen Allender, David McMurray, Sean Cahoon, David Ivey, Peter Hinck, Peter Hall, Matthew Higgins, Peter Tyack, Stephen Hoiles, Stephen Symons.
THE LIST SO FAR
No.36 & 35 - Mitiamo 1999; Sandhurst 2016
No. 38 & 37 - North Bendigo 2019; Leitchville-Gunbower 2018
No. 40 & 39 - Bridgewater 1991; Calivil United 2017
No. 42 & 41 - Heathcote 1992, Sandhurst 2004
No. 44 & 43 - Eaglehawk 2008, Elmore 2007
No. 46 & 45 - Mount Pleasant 1990, Newbridge 2018
No. 48 & 47 - Gisborne 2006, Calivil United 1990
No. 50 & 49 - Calivil United 2003, Eaglehawk 2018
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