CHFL round 4: Gordon keeps hot run going | game-by-game reviews, details | The Courier

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Gordon fended off another resolute challenge to remain unbeaten in the Central Highlands Football League at Gordon on Saturday. The Eagles set up the 23-point win over Waubra with a five-goal third term. That was enough to take away any chance the Roos had of an upset and a first win. While there was a big home crowd focus on the debut of former Geelong player Mathew Stokes for Gordon, it was Mick Nolan who stole the show for the Eagles. The role of swing man usually goes to a key position player, on this occasion it was Nolan who made a huge impact right across the ground as an attacking half back. The diminutive Nolan was a ball magnet. He was in everything and instrumental in ensuring each time Waubra did surge Gordon had the answers. Gordon led by 20 points midway through the first quarter. From there to half-time each side took turns of kicking back-to-back goals, largely thanks to accurate set shots despite slippery conditions. Waubra looked like being right with the Eagles at half-time, but a 50m penalty right on the siren led to a Gordon goal and 14-point break. The Eagles kicked the next five goals and there was no coming back for Waubra despite the tireless efforts of James Lukich (4 goals). Injured Gordon forward and player leadership group member Connor Ascough, who spent the day working with the coaching panel, said the message leading into the game-shaping third term had been all about getting the basics right. “If you get them right, the win will come.” He said the back line structure stood firm and this in turn allowed an “off-line” approach with switches and pin-point disposals by hand and foot, which then allowed the Eagles to open up the middle of the ground. Ascough said Gordon’s pace had also been important. On Stokes, Ascough said he had fitted in perfectly. “It was great to have that experience come into the side, especially with so many out (injured).” While disappointed to be without a win after three games, Waubra coach Matt James is far from disheartened. “We weren’t far away. There were moments when we had a chance to set up a win. “We didn’t take our opportunities. We weren’t clean enough. We need more composure. “There’s a lot of positives to take out of the game. “We’re getting better each week.” In contrast, Gordon did take its chances. The Eagles are not winning by a lot. They held on by three points against Dunnstown and had just 11 points spare against Learmonth. However, they know how to win and that is the difference right now. Waubra now has another tough ask against Hepburn. GOALS – Gordon: B.Frazer 3, Z.Ryan 2, A.Toohey 2, B.Griffiths 2, M.Griffiths 2, M.Nolan 1, L.Reynolds 1, J.Gorman 1, B.Horsham 1; Waubra: J.Lukich 4, H.Hughes 2, B.Green 2, A.Murphy 2, T.Ford 1 BEST – Gordon: B.Frazer, B.Horsham, M.Nolan, M.Griffiths, S.Griffiths, Z.Ryan; Waubra: J.Lukich, M.Miller, D.Jenkins, G.Lukich, L.McLeod, B.Green SKIPTON continued on its winning way, keeping Daylesford at bay by 43 points at Skipton. The Emus sit second behind Springbank as one of three unbeaten sides after four rounds. Gordon makes up the trio. Skipton did not race away with the game, but disciplined defence featuring Ed Boyer, Ben Krol and Sam Romeril stifled Daylesford’s hopes of making any inroads. The Bulldogs were unable to break down the Emus and this meant no goals for them in the second half. DAYLESFORD coach Hamish Jarrad said although they always felt as if they were in striking distance, they could not impact offensively. “They suffocated us and then spread hard. We couldn’t match it. That was the big difference.” Jarrad said it largely went down to work rate. “Matching a side for 100 minutes isn’t enough.” GOALS – Skipton: J.Kirby 3, R.Monument 3, S.Willian 1, J.Peters 1; Daylesford: T.Sullivan 1, S.Hughes 1 BEST – Skipton: S.Romeril, E.Boyer, J.Draffin, B.Krol, L.Stranks, J.Peters; Daylesford: T.Maher, T.Nesbitt, M.Cummings, S.Clarke, S.O’Brien, T.Sullivan BEAUFORT was keen to follow up its win over Bungaree with any victory and it achieved this comfortably by 47 points at Beaufort. Joint coach Brendan Howard said the Crows secured the result they needed to keep the momentum going. He said everyone played their role – important given they had up to eight first choice players out at the moment. While the margin was clear cut, Howard said it took quite a while to shake off the Saints. Beaufort jumped away with a five-goal opening term, but did not add to this in the second term. Carngham-Linton did not close the gap by too much before half-time, but it was enough to suggest Beaufort still had much to do. Ultimately the Crows did enough to go to two wins from three games. CARNGHAM-LINTON coach Clayton Scoble said he was pleased with the way the Saints held on in the second and third quarters after giving up a handy lead early. He said statistically they had matched Beaufort, but they were not as efficient with their ball use. Scoble said in the end Beaufort adapted to the conditions much better and were cleaner with their ball low to the ground. “We just have to keep working on it. “I can’t fault our effort.” HEPBURN bounced back from the disappointment of losing to Dunnstown to instill another defeat on Learmonth. Learmonth won its first two games, but has since hit a roadblock against the top two outfits from last year – Gordon and Hepburn. Burras coach Mitch Banner said it had been a strong response after missing out against Dunnstown. He said getting back the likes of key forward Jackson Hogan had been significant, adding experience and helping with structure. “We knew Learmonth would be ready and it took a while (to get going).” Hepburn did just that with seven goals in the second quarter to take the game away from Lakies. Banner, who kicked nine goals, said the improvement had come across the board after the disappointing manner in which they lost the previous week. LEARMONTH coach Nick Willox said the second quarter had told the story of the day. “Their midfield got going and we couldn’t stop the run.” Even with goals hard to come by, Damon Folkes kicked another four. Injuries continue to be an issue for Lakies as well. The inf-form Hamish Crawley (ribs) is the latest to be struck down. GOALS – Hepburn: M.Banner 9, B.Yanner 2, C.Bath 1, J.Hogan 1, N.Johns 1, S.Tighe 1; Learmonth: D.Folkes 4, J.Rich 1, N.Gittings 1, H.Crawley 1 BEST – Hepburn: J.Wallesz, J.Malone, N.Johns, Z.Kupsch, R.Jenkins, J.Grant; Learmonth: N.Martin, J.Findlay, M.Rowe, T.Martin, B.Powell, M.Harbour DUNNSTOWN ran away to a 96-point over Clunes at Clunes. However, it was until the third term that the Towners were able to assert their authority on the encounter. Dunnstown kicked five goals in the opening term while keeping the Magpies goalless. The game changed complexion in the second quarter though, with it being Dunnstown’s turn not to add a goal. Clunes did not make up a lot of ground, but felt a lot better to be within 20 points at the main break. However, Dunnstown then put the foot down again and 12 goals while keeping Clunes scoreless told the story of the second half. Dunnstown coach Glenn Wilkins said Clunes took plenty of heat into the game. He said this forced the Towners to add some spread around the football. “This enabled us to find space (after half-time) and freed up our ability to score.” CLUNES coach Luke Davidson: “To the boys’ credit they showed some real resilience and character (in the second quarter).” He said it was difficult to know what triggered the drop off after half-time. “They kicked away and we lost touch.” Davidson does not believe the 16-goal margin was a true indication of how Clunes had performed. The loss sees Clunes drop out of the top eight on percentage as one of four teams on two wins. GOALS – Dunnstown: T.Parsons 3, M.Bulluss 3, S.Howson 2, F.Stevenson 2, C.Ronan 2, J.Stefani 1, C.Tangey 1, J.Leonard 1, B.Cracknell 1; Clunes: J.Fazio 1, N.Wrigley 1 BEST – Dunnstown: R.Adams, W.Henderson, K.Forde, T.Parsons, F.Stevenson, M.Bulluss; Clunes: J.Thompson, C.Newton, J.Robertson, A.Riches, A.Bowd, N.Wrigley SPRINGBANK had another percentage boosting win to move to the top of the ladder ahead of Skipton and Gordon. The Tigers made a significant contribution in each quarter while restricting Creswick to one major at Wallace. Springbank coach Andrew Challis said he was pleased with the complete nature of the four quarters. “I asked for a four-quarter effort and we delivered.” He was also impressed with the defensive side of their game. Stephen Staunton marked his return with eight goals. MEANWHILE, it is not getting any easier for Creswick. Already struggling for depth, it lost Pat Taranto before the game and then had James Deighton go down with a strained hamstring. Coach Dean Romeril said the Wickers were simply outclassed. GOALS – Springbank: S.Staunton 8, T.Finco 3, C.Quinlan 2, J.Thompson 2, C.Parkin 2, A.Challis 1, A.Svaljek 1, J.Maher 1, B.Maher 1; Creswick: J.Thomas 1 BEST – Springbank: S.Staunton, H.Twaits, J.Simpson, C.Quinlan, P.Glanford, T.Finco; Creswick: J.Mason, E.Henderson, T.Haintz, N.Cochrane, T.Landwehr, M.Phillips THE Grasshoppers marched on with another emphatic win. They proved too good for Ballan at Rokewood, taking the premiership points by 88 points to hold down fourth position. There was not a lot in it early, with neither side able to get things going. Even at the last change and although with a handy lead, Rokewood-Corindhap had not been able to completely break shackles. That quickly changed though, with the Grasshoppers racing away with eight goals. Jake Carr kicked five majors on his return for the Hoppers. Jack Kelly (hamstring) was a late withdrawal from the selected side for Rokewood-Corindhap. GOALS – Rokewood-Corindhap: J.Carr 5, R.Aikman 4, M.Riding 2, L.Philp 2, M.McLaughlin 1, B.Harris 1, L.Withers 1, J.Dowell 1; Ballan: H.Bongart 3, D.Trickey 1 BEST – Rokewood-Corindhap: L.Philp, R.Aikman, Z.Jenkins, J.Dowell, B.Harris, L.Withers; Ballan: H.Bongart, D.Nielsen, M.Smith-Bye, L.Conlan, H.Lyle, T.Laurie BUNINYONG ensured its season was back on track with a 50-point win over Newlyn at Buninyong. The Bombers lost their opening two games, but wins over Waubra and now Newlyn have them back into the top eight. Buninyong had the better start and from there the further the game went the more control it had with an even four-quarter effort. NEWLYN coach Chris Banwell said the Cats had not been accountable enough. “They got us on the spread. They transition very well.” Marcus Darmody marked his return with four goals as the Cats eased him back into action after a year off the scene. Newlyn’s cause was not helped late in the day when Jed Labbett was shown a yellow card and sent off. This leaves the Cats 12th with one win and potentially being out key defender Josh Milne for up to 10 weeks after damaging a medial ligament. GOALS – Buninyong: L.Cullen 3, J.Atkinson 3, J.Morgan 2, B.Netherway 1, J.Rodgers 1, L.Atkinson 1; Newlyn: M.Darmody 4, F.Hay 1, L.Prendergast 1 BEST – Buninyong; N.Shell, T.Ross, J.Rodgers, G.Lovett, L.Cullen, J.Atkinson; Newlyn: J.Labbett, M.Tilley, M.Darmody, D.Wehrung, P.Labbett, L.Gill

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