Bendigo Gold thrashes Frankston in superb start to VFL season

THE Bendigo Gold’s VFL season began in dominant style yesterday with an 84-point flogging of Frankston.

The newly-named Gold booted seven goals to nil in the first quarter and never looked back as they cruised to a 20.17 (137) to 7.11 (53) victory over the Dolphins at Frankston.

“It was a great start, and exactly what I needed, just to calm my nerves,” new Bendigo coach Hayden Skipworth said last night.

“The first quarter really set the game up.

“Frankston was barely able to get it forward and we defended the ground well and attacked really well.”

The fast-starting Gold led by 45 points at quarter-time, 7.5 to 0.2.

The Dolphins lifted in the second and third quarters and competed well with the Gold, with both teams kicking six goals apiece during the middle terms.

However, the Gold finished the game just as it had started with a blistering last quarter.

After leading by 46 points at three quarter-time, 13.13 to 6.9, Bendigo piled on 7.4 to 1.2 in the last term to push the final margin out to 84 points.

It was the fourth-biggest win in Bendigo’s VFL history.

“To Frankston’s credit they were level-pegging with us during the second and third quarters, but in the last quarter we kicked the first few goals and it opened up for us,” Skipworth said.

Key forward Matt Little was held to just one goal, but the Gold wasn’t short of options inside 50, with Ariel Steinberg, Sam Lonergan and co-captain Ben Duscher all kicking three each.

“That sort of spread is exactly what we’re after,” Skipworth said.

“Our best forward Matty Little had a quiet day, so it was good to see that the goals were shared around, rather than just relying on Matty to kick a bag for us to win.”

The best player for the Gold was Jake Carlisle, who dominated at centre half-back before being rested in the final term.

“He marked everything across half-back. He read the ball really well, and once he got it he used it well.”

After winning last year’s best and fairest, Duscher made a brilliant start to the new season with a typical hard-working game in the midfield.

“He was fantastic, particularly early in the game, and he kicked three goals himself. There’s no question in my mind he has what it takes to be on an AFL list,” Skipworth said.

Lonergan, Ricky Dyson, Josh Freezer and Henry Slattery were others to play well for Bendigo.

The Gold faces a testing assignment this Saturday when they host reigning premiers Port Melbourne at the Queen Elizabeth Oval.

The Borough will travel to Bendigo on a 23-game winning streak, which included a 59-point victory against Werribee Tigers on Saturday.