MCDFNL round 1 2017 review

mcdflAn injection of star power has helped Maryborough Rovers record an impressive 63-point victory over Lexton in the opening round of the 2017 Bendigo Bank MCDFNL season.

Taking on the Tigers under lights, the inclusion of ex-Richmond and Port Adelaide defender Troy Chaplin, along with younger brother Jarred, gave the Magpies a much needed boost in the season opener, running out victors 14.13 (97) to 5.4 (34).

While Chaplin may have been the headline act in the first game of 2017, it was a vastly different and clearly determined Rovers outfit which took to Princes Park, restricting Lexton to just one goal in the opening three quarters of football.Rovers suffered from slightly wayward kicking in the opening half, booting 7.7 under lights, it was their defensive pressure and clear intent which would have been most pleasing for first-year coach Brendan Tranter, with the Tigers under intense scrutiny whenever they took position, leading to multiple turnovers and some free-flowing attack from the defensive half.

Lexton managed to scrounge just a single behind up until half-time, the Magpies' all-out attack landed them 11.10 in the opening three quarters, with Troy Chaplin a clear class above, showing that he was more than capable in the forward half as well, finishing with three majors for the game.
Leading 11.10 (76) to 1.3 (9) at the final break, the P{ies took theirfoot ever so slightly off the pedal in the final term, allowing Lexton to boot four last-quarter goals, but the damage was already done in a highly impressive start to season 2017.

Along with Chaplin's three goals, Aaron Westbrook (2), Daniel Sipthorp (2) amd Jarred Chaplin (2) were all among the multiple goalkickers, with both Chaplins, Westbrook and recruits Sipthorp, Nathan Richardson and Tom Dargaville the standouts in black and white.

Steele Cox made an impressive start to his career with Lexton, booting two goals as the Tigers' clear standout, backed up by returning ruckman Nigel Reid, Jarod Crick and Jordan Egan.

Natte vs Maldon
With plenty of teams earmarking Natte Bealiba as a team to watch, the Swans justified that tag on Saturday with an impressive 135-point routing of Maldon.

Small forward Emmet Smith made a dream return from injury in the opening round clash on Natte's home turf, slotting six goals straight in the 26.17 (173) to 6.2 (38) win.
Boasting a raft of new recruits, the Swans burst out of the blocks in the opening term, and if it weren't for some wonky kicking from the home side, the game could've been all but over at quarter time, with Natte leading 5.6 (36) to 2.0 (12) at the first break.

The Swans quickly re-corrected their radars in the second term however, piling on nine goals to two in the lead-up to half-time to take a 68-point lead into the main break.
Goals continued to flow for Natte after the half-time break, drilling home another 5.6 for the penultimate quarter, while Maldon made do with just a single goal for the term as Smith, Trent Mortlock, Lachlan Woodward and lachlan Cameron ran riot up forward for the Swans.
The final term yielded another seven goals for Natte, as Maldon looked completely outclassed, but fought hard until the final siren, with some players forced to take the field in both the reserves and senior matches.

Smith was the major beneficiary of the Swans' dominance with six goals, joined in the goalkicking spree up forward by Mortlock (4), Cameron (3), Woodward (3), Simon Hanns (2) and Will Collicoat (2).

Despite the forwards' impressive stats, Natte's midfielders were the true standouts, led by coach Jarrod Bateson, debuting ruckman Taylor Strachan, Nathan Meade and hard-running wingman Reece Perry.

Nick Kelly was Maldon's sole multiple goalkciker, slotting two of the Dons' five majors, and featuring in the Bombers' best along with Lachie Josey, Damien Gatti and Nick McKnight.

Hard running and superior desire earned Talbot its first victory of season 2017, with the Hawks notching up a 38-point win over Newstead.

In what was a largely even match-up until half-time, the Hawks simply finished stronger than the Roos, scoring a 16.15 (111) to 11.7 (73) win to begin the season.

Some wayward kicking in the opening term, which saw the Hawks kick 2.5 to Newstead's 2.0, kept Newstead in the hunt, before the home side corrected its inaccuracy with a seven-goal to three second term earning the Hawks a 30-point lead at the main break.

It was in the third quarter where Talbot's dominance truly came to the fore however, piling on five goals to the Roos' single behind to stretch the lead to 65 points at the final break. A mini-comeback of sorts from the Roos trimmed the gap to just 38 points in the final term, but the lead was simply to large to make up in what would have been a pleasing start for co-coaches Matthew Smith and Dallas Byars.

Star midfielder Luke Kemp made a stellar start to season 2017 for Talbot, booting three goals and finishing among the home side's best players, while Tom Hardisty, Fred Regester and Brendon Hedger all registering two goals, while Ryan Aquilina, Jorde Bux and Brent Shaw were also solid performers for Talbot.

Dale Bott, Josh Tong and Tom Nankivell all slotted two goals apiece for the Roos, while Tong, Nankivell, Ruggles and Cody Mulcair were named Newstead's best.

By Sam Gowers

Royal Park v Avoca

Royal Park has opened the 2017 season with a 46 point
victory over Avoca at Hedges Oval on Saturday.

It was an evenly contested first quarter, that saw Royal
Park gain the slightest of margins with a one point lead at quarter time and it looked like it was going to be a tight contest for the remainder of the game. The Bulldogs lost Coach Adam Pollock in the
first quarter with a hamstring injury, while Pat Jess also succumbed to injury, which played havoc with the Bulldogs structure.

Royal Park took advantage as Murray Bond inspired the
Tigers into action with two goals early in the second term, and it was one way traffic as the tigers piled on six more goals, while the Bulldogs did not trouble the scorer. Royal Park led by 49 points at half time and had the game well and truly in its keeping.

To the Bulldogs credit, they fought back in the third term to win the quarter and when Brayden Northern goaled on the siren, the margin had been reduced to 41 points.

Avoca continued to fight hard and when Karl Lewicki, kicked the first two goals of the final quarter, the margin was down to 29 points, and the Bulldogs faithful, fought that there may still be a slim chance of a dramatic comeback. But any hopes were quickly dismissed when Jay Anderson ran onto a loose ball and goaled on the run.

The Tigers then kicked two more goals through, Rhys Egan and Murray Bond who kicked his 3rd with a Joe the Goose goal to put the game well out of reach.

The final scores were Royal Park 14.12.(96) to Avoca 7.8.(50)

Royal Park's better players were Zack Tunbridge, Trent
Baird and Hamish Blake, with Murray Bond and Jay Anderson kicking three goals apiece.

Avoca's better players were Alistair Meldrum, Brad Martland and Toby Beavis, with Karl Lewicki and Matt Vietch being the only multiple goal scorers with two goals each.

Navarre v Trentham

The Navarre Grasshoppers have confirmed their premiership favouritism with a comfortable victory over the Trentham Saints at Navarre on Saturday.

The Grasshoppers welcomed back their former Brisbane Lion dual premiership player in Tim Notting, and he was immediately into the action when he kicked the second goal of the game at the eight minute mark of the opening term. Notting played a key role in the victory finishing the day with a five goal haul.

Navarre set up the victory with a dominant second quarter in which they scored six goals to lead by 30 points at half time.

The second half was a much more even contest with the Saints matching the Grasshoppers on the scoreboard, but the damage was done in the first half of the game.

Navarre played a lot of their young talented players and youngster Wil Clough was amongst the goalkickers in the third quarter. Clough is the grandson of club legend, the late Jack Bibby, and the youngster shows signs of plenty of attributes being handed down the bloodline.

But it was in the engine room where Navarre won the game, with Daniel Parkin, Louis Hannett and Josh Fowkes setting up many forward moves for the Grasshoppers. Tim Notting and Cody Driscoll took advantage with nine goals between them.

Trentham's Jake Keogh, James Drew and Chris Whelan offered plenty of resistance, but found the task of curtailing the four time premiers too much on the day.

Navarre won 16.8.104 to Trentham 10.7.67

Dunolly v Carisbrook

Carisbrook travelled to Deledio Reserve on Saturday and faced some tough opposition from the Eagles despite the scoreboard indicating otherwise.

Luke Treacy was unstoppable up forward for the Redbacks slotting nine goals in the 125 point victory, but it was the running play of Lachlan Edwards, Matt Bilton and Matthew Jukes that set up the opportunities for the forwards as they dominated possession out of the middle. Jake Bucknall was another to provide a forward presence kicking three goals for the Redbacks..

The Redbacks were consistent throughout the game averaging five goals a quarter, while Dunolly tried hard all day, and although they were competitive, they could not match there opponents on the scoreboard.

Corey Dickins, Andrew Le Marshall and Jordy Fraser were valiant in defeat for Dunolly, as were Jay Pitto and Toby Johnston, but they were no match for the rampaging Redbacks who will no doubt be one of the premiership contenders again in season 2017.

Carisbrook won 22.15.(147) to Dunolly 3.4.(22)

Harcourt v Campbells Creek

Harcourt hosted Campbells Creek on Sunday in the Blue Ribbon Game, and the Lions had to fight hard all of the way to keep the Creekers at bay, in what was a very tight and entertaining game.

Harcourt was on the board from the opening bounce when Jeff McMurtrie snapped truly and then new recruit Brayden Frost excited the crowd with a big specky mark in the goal square to give the Lions a twelve point lead just five minutes into the game.

The Lions slotted another through Chris Stone when Sam Gale hit him lace out and it looked as though it was going to be one way traffic, but Creek slotted the next two goals to stem the flow and it was virtually goal for goal for the remainder of the game.

Play was halted for 5 minutes early in the second quarter when Lewis Thomas had to be stretchered from the ground with a very bad concussion that happened from an
innocuous collision.

Creek managed to get within three points at the 12 minute mark of the second term, but this was the closest that they could get for the game as the Lions would always respond to the contest.

The game was still in the balance midway through the final quarter, but Harcourt managed to stave off the challenge and eventually ran out 27 point winners.

Harcourt's Sam Gale gathered numerous possessions out of the middle, while Brayden Frost impressed in his first game, as did Brady Davidson, Jackson McMahon and Ben Leech.

Creek's better players were Daniel Kllimeck, Nick Swan and Matt Hodgetts was also impressive for his new club.

Harcourt won 14.11.95 to 11.2.68