KYNETON has recorded its best win under second-year coach Paul Chapman after claiming the scalp of Golden Square in round six of the BFNL season on Saturday.
In a cracking contest at the Kyneton Showgrounds that was nip-and-tuck all game, the Tigers emerged 15.5 (95) to 12.16 (88) victors to square their ledger at 3-3, while the Bulldogs slipped to 4-2.
It was the win of substance the Tigers had been craving given all five of their previous victories since Chapman took over as coach last year had been against either Kangaroo Flat, Castlemaine or Maryborough.
"It's certainly the best win I've been involved in during my time coaching Kyneton and I'm proud of the boys and their performance," Chapman said.
"It's the most complete game we've played all year... we put four quarters together and I've said to the boys that if we can play four quarters and be consistent then I think we can match it with anyone.
"It was definitely a challenge today and the players delivered.
"Our focus through all pre-season was working hard to close the gap to the top teams and I feel that we're on the way to doing it.
"To be fair, Golden Square had 28 scoring shots to our 20, so maybe you could say we had a bit of luck, but then again, you make your own luck when you come out with the right attitude and play the way we wanted to.
"I just thought the buy-in from the players and their commitment to playing the way we wanted to over four quarters to get the result showed a lot of resilience."
The Tigers' win featured a four-goal haul from Bendigo Pioneer-listed Ben Cameron, while star recruit Cameron Manuel, who spent the bulk of the day deep forward, bagged five goals.
"Ben is a really good kid who is on the right path and he's made of the right stuff," Chapman said.
"He's really strong around the hips, strong at the footy, has clean hands and a great burst when he gets the footy. He's an exceptional young player and he's doing everything possible to get out of footy what he wants to."
Other round six winners on Saturday were Strathfieldsaye, Gisborne and Kangaroo Flat.
By Richard Jones
KYNETON held on to record one of the great wins of the BFNL season so far with a seven-point victory over Golden Square on Saturday.
The Tigers booted four goals to two in the pulsating last quarter to send the huge Kyneton Showgrounds crowd into raptures as the final siren sounded.
Key to the Kyneton win was the backline's ability to restrict key Square forwards Jayden Burke and Joel Brett to just two goals between them, although busy Braydon Vaz bobbed up with four.
At the other end the Tigers had great contributors in Cameron Manuel (five goals) and Ben Cameron (four).
Defenders Fraser Driscoll and Jake Safstrom, marshalled by vice-captain Harrison Huntley, starved the Bulldogs' key forwards of scoring opportunities as the Tigers stormed home to a 15.5 (95) to 12.16 (88) win.
Skipper James Orr dominated the centre square clearances and around-the-ground ball-ups and clearly took advantage of the absence of Square ruckman Matt Compston, out with injury.
There was nothing between the teams in a tight and hard-fought first half.
The Dogs led by three points - 6.6 to 6.3 - at the main break thanks to two early majors from Braydon Vaz, who had a pair to his name by the 26-minute mark of the opening quarter.
Kyneton's Manuel was a constant threat to the Square backline, led by Jon Coe, and he also had two majors by quarter-time.
As the second term opened, again it was the enterprising Manuel who steered home a 40m set shot at the scoreboard end.
Tigers on-baller Dean Bartrop took full advantage of a 50m penalty to nail the home side's sixth major and edge Kyneton out to an 11-point lead.
The Dogs responded in red time with a Jack Stewart 'floater', which bobbled through the big sticks and then at the 31-minute mark a 50m set shot from Liam Jacques handed Square their three-point break.
But then the deadly accurate Tigers outscored the Square in the all-important third quarter: five goals to four.
Even though Dogs' skipper Jack Geary was everywhere trying to inspire his teammates Kyneton skipped out to a nine-point advantage with majors to Bartrop and Angus Nolte, who marked an across-the-half-forward line pass from Bartrop.
The Showgrounds lights were on as Tiger on-baller Manuel landed the goal-of-the-day: a town end snap from an acute angle while hemmed in on the boundary near the home coaches' box.
Finally Joel Brett broke the Kyneton defence shackles. The Square key forward ran onto a long kick which had landed in the scoreboard end goalmouth and soccered through a Dogs' major.
A Hamish Morcom snap followed soon after to hand Golden Square a two-point lead at the last change: 10.12 to 11.4.
But the last quarter belonged to the Tigers. Rhys Magin finally hit the scoreboard after he was freed in a marking contest and the busy Cameron ensured a Tiger win with two crucial majors.
Kyneton 3.2 6.3 11.4 15.5 (95)
Golden Square 2.1 6.6 10.12 12.16 (88)
GOALS: Kyneton: C.Manuel 5, B.Cameron 4, D.Bartrop 2, R.Magin 1, M.Crozier 1, A.Nolte 1, E.Turner 1; Golden Square: B.Vaz 4, J.Brett 2, J.Stewart 1, L.Jacques 1, Z.Murley 1, H.Morcom 1, D.Barrett 1, H.Burke 1
BEST: Kyneton: J.Orr, D.Bartrop, B.Cameron, F.Driscoll, J.Safstrom, A.Nolte; Golden Square: J.Coe, J.Merrin, J.Geary, B.Vaz, J.Hickman, L.Barrett
Gisborne 3.3 10.7 15.13 23.14 (152)
South Bendigo 2.3 3.3 5.4 7.4 (46)
GOALS: Gisborne: not supplied South Bendigo: not supplied
BEST: Gisborne: B.Blake, J.Kemp, S.Walsh, L.Spear, L.Ellings, J.Reaper; South Bendigo: M.Herlihy, C.Leon, N.Horbury, L.Byrne, S.Langley, I.Miller
Kangaroo Flat 3.3 5.4 9.11 11.14 (81)
Castlemaine 2.1 4.4 5.5 6.7 (43)
GOALS: Kangaroo Flat: M.Rovers 4, L.Wilson 3, E.Roberts 1, H.Lockhart 1, P.Murphy 1, L.Collins 1; Castlemaine: T.Cain 2, J.Chester 1, B.Keogh 1, C.McConachy 1, L.Wilkinson 1
BEST: Kangaroo Flat: M.Rovers, L.Collins, P.Murphy, C.Smith, M.Johnson, L.Wilson; Castlemaine: T.Cain, T.Horne, R.Pedretti, W.Moran, C.McConachy, J.Chester
Strathfieldsaye 5.5 12.12 24.17 33.21 (219)
Maryborough 0.2 0.2 1.4 1.5 (11)
GOALS: Strathfieldsaye: K.Geary 7, M.Gordon 4, T.Bennett 3, L.Gill 3, J.Mayes 2, B.Slater 2, L.Ratcliffe 2, B.Lester 1, D.Clohesy 1, F.Payne 1, T.Hosking 1, C.Ernst 1, B.Hore 1, J.Hall 1, S.Geary 1, P.Blandford 1, J.Schischka 1; Maryborough: D.Lewis 1
BEST: Strathfieldsaye: B.Slater, K.Geary, J.Moorhead, M.Gordon, B.Hore, T.Bennett; Maryborough: A.Hare, K.Lanfranchi, P.Chard, L.Hull, T.Gardam, L.Latch
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.