Bendigo FNLThe Archive | The highly awaited final round of the 2011 BFNL season became an anti-climax after Maryborough upset Strathfieldsaye in one of the Saturday fixtures.

That meant the Sunday clash between Sandhurst and South Bendigo had absolutely nothing riding on it.

Nonetheless the fourth-placed Dragons landed a huge psychological blow in the lead-up to the Saturday night elimination final between the two clubs by dishing out a nine-goal hiding to the Bloods (fifth).

Admittedly South went into the game without a number of injured key players but only wayward kicking in the first half from the Hurst kept the Bloods in touch.
Bloods’ coach Rick Coburn kept his players behind closed doors for more than 20 minute after the final siren.
He blamed a lack of defensive intensity as a key factor for the loss.

“First quarter we were okay but in the second quarter Sandhurst blew us out of the park,” he said.
The Dragons at one stage sneaked out to a 73-point lead with only wayward kicking keeping the Bloods within reach.

At Tannery Lane Maryborough extinguished Strathfieldsaye’s finals aspirations with a hard-fought seven-point victory.
Big man Tyson MacIlwain was on top in the aerial battles while Matt Johnston, Cole Roscholler and Jayden Hooper were in charge around the stoppages.
Strathfieldsaye did lead by a point at half-time after landing the opening two goals of the day through Shannon Geary and Kris Lea.
But key forward Matt Bond (2) and Dylan Clarkson drove home two majors at the Tannery Lane end to hand the Magpies a four-point quarter-time lead.
The match ebbed and flowed for the rest of the day but Maryborough’s two-goal leads, twice in the final term, proved too much for the Storm to reel in.
The two clubs finished at a 9 win-9 loss record for the season and finished 2011 in sixth (Storm) and seventh places (Maryborough) respectively.

Let’s have a look around the BFNL’s final round results seven years ago.
Well, the Gisborne-Kangaroo Flat match wasn’t a match at all. The Graveyard Dogs restricted the Roos to a pathetic two goals for a full afternoon’s work at the Gardiner Reserve.
And booted 31 goals themselves --- from a massive 53 scoring shots --- to end the season with a 186-point mauling of the Flat.
Despite this huge loss Kangaroo Flat didn’t finish on the bottom of the ladder.
They’d actually scored 5 wins to finish ahead of ninth-placed Castlemaine (2 wins) and cellar dweller Kyneton.
The Tigers did not register a single win in the 18-round season and finished 2011 with a dismal percentage of just 28.3.
Gisborne’s victory ensured a double chance for the Dogs as they finished third ahead of a qualifying showdown against Eaglehawk in early September.
No fewer than 15 players snared majors against the hapless Roos led by Jarrad Lynch (5), Daniel Weaver (4) and second-gamer Ben Watt (4).
The midfield group with Tom May, Ollie Messaoudi, Casey Somerfield and Scott Walsh outstanding swarmed all over the Roos.
Outgoing Flat coach Murray Collins should have got the gong for the quote of the season stating “we tried hard but we weren’t good enough.”
Really, Muzza. You were down by 15 goals at half-time, didn’t score any goals at all in the second half and had just the 12 shots on goal.
Beautifully under-stated!

Final scores: Gisborne 31.22 (208) d Kangaroo Flat 2.10 (22), Eaglehawk 28.13 (181) d Kyneton 7.8 (50), Maryborough 11.10 (76) d Strathfieldsaye 10.9 (69), G. Square 25.15 (165) d Castlemaine 7.3 (45) and Sandhurst 21.16 (142) d South Bendigo 14.4 (88).
Top Five: Golden Square 18 wins, 0 losses, 259.4%, 72 points; Eaglehawk 13-5, 142.6%, 52; Gisborne 12-6, 142.8%, 48; Sandhurst 11-7, 130.6%, 44; South Bendigo 11-7, 117.5%, 44 premiership points.
Advertiser Player of the Year, final leader board: Grant Weeks (GS) 35, Simon Rosa (GS) 34, Wayne Schultz (Cm) 26, Jon Coghlan (Sh) 25, Josh Bowe (Eh) 24.
Final goalkicking table: Grant Weeks (GS) 9, 125; Matt Gretgrix (Eh) 8, 73; Michael Leech (SB) 3, 59; Sam Mildren (Storm) 2, 59 and Lachlan Sharp (Storm) 5, 57.
A grade netball round 18 scores: Golden Square 91 d C’maine 20, Sandhurst 56 d Sth. Bendigo 39, Strathfieldsaye 47 d Maryborough 41 and Gisborne 50 d K. Flat 29.
The Storm made the A grade finals for the first time in their short netty history, finishing in fifth spot with an elimination final against Eaglehawk looming.

In the week leading up to the first week of the 2011 finals series the big news around the local footy traps was the disqualification of Dunolly from the Maryborough Castlemaine league’s final series.
Even though Dunolly had downed Harcourt in the MCDFL elimination final the club was knocked out for fielding an unregistered player.
The actual result was overturned with Harcourt re-instated as the winner to take on Navarre in Week 2 of the finals.
Dunolly had won by 35 points but had Samson Mungatopi playing although he was ineligible.
Based in the Northern Territory Mungatopi played for the Eagles against Avoca on May 31.
He was then named on Dunolly’s team list for the final two home and away matches but didn’t take the field.
So the concluding two home and away games couldn’t be
counted for Mungatopi’s playing record.
Dejected Dunolly coach James McNamee said he thought naming Mungatopi would count for two games.
The MCDFL was alerted to the Mungatopi affair via an anonymous e-mail on the Monday morning.
“It was an honest mistake,” McNamee said.
“Unknowingly we broke the rules and we’ve now got to suffer the consequences. We weren’t trying to cheat the system.”

McNamee said the Eagles weren’t trying to undermine the system.
“We booked for Samson to make the flights down to Victoria but he didn’t get on those planes.
“We’d named him in the hope to qualify him for the finals.”
But McNamee pointed out that Mungatopi had come down from Darwin for the elimination final and as it turned out he was in Dunolly’s bottom four on the day.
McNamee noted that the Eagles wouldn’t have been able to play Mungatopi in the first semi-final because he had to attend a family funeral in the Northern Territory.
“It’s bitterly disappointing considering the whole season has gone out the window.”
“I’m the coach and the buck stops with me. I’ve got to live with the decision.”
MCDFL secretary Rod Ward (now the general manager of AFL Goldfields based in Ballarat) said the plight faced by Dunolly sounded a warning to all clubs, not just those in the MCDFL

By Richard Jones