The Archive | Eleven years back Eaglehawk produced one of the most commanding performances in any mid or late-Noughties final as they thrashed Sandhurst by 114 points.
It was 2007’s Saturday night qualifying final as the Hawks thumped the Dragons by almost 20 goals with Matt Gretgrix and Brady Herdman contributing 13 of the side’s massive total of 23 majors.
They restricted the shell-shocked Hurst to just five goals for the night’s work.
Coach Nathan Gilliland said crucial injuries to Matt Keown (hamstring) and Marc Millard (concussion) had really hurt his under-siege defence.
“We can’t dwell too much on what happened though,” the coach said.
“The important thing is we stay together as a team and work towards turning it around for next Sunday’s first semi-final.”
And on the first Sunday of the 2007 finals South Bendigo kept its premiership dream alive with a hard-fought three-goal win over Golden Square.
The Bloods set up eventual victory with a blistering first half booting 10 majors and restricting the Dogs to just three: 17 scoring shots to six.
Unfortunately for the Dragons they went out in straight sets as the Bloods won the ’07 first semi-final by 50 points.
Dayne Frew nailed six goals and virtually outscored the Dragons on his own.
Sandhurst managed just 6.4 for the day while South compiled a handy 13.12 (90).
The Hawks had accounted for Gisborne in the second semi-final with Gretgrix (6) and Brodie Filo (5) contributing 11 of their 20 goals.
In a high-scoring and gripping final Gisborne had Anthony Belcher (still playing) and Darren Farrugia nailing four goals each with the straight-shooting Hawks just getting home: 20.8 (128) to the Gardiner Reserve Dogs 18.13 (121).
Scoreboard for first weekend of finals, 2007
Eaglehawk 6.3 13.8 19.11 23.14 (152)
Sandhurst 1.2 2.4 4.5 5.8 (38)
Goals – Eaglehawk: M. Gretgrix 7, B. Herdman 6, M. O’Rielly 2, R. Healey 2, B. Rogerson, D. Brown, D. Filo, A. Metcalf, S. Milward, L. Milroy. Sandhurst: T. Fitzpatrick, M. Vigus, S. Young, T. Martin, W. Mitrovic.
Best – Eaglehawk: J. Ketterer, K. Robins, M. Gretgrix, B. Herdman, D. Filo, L. Milroy. Sandhurst: K. Nihill, T. Findlay, R. Thornton, M. Vigus, W. Mitrovic.
South Bendigo 5.1 10.7 10.10 13.13 (91)
Golden Square 2.1 3.3 4.11 10.13 (73)
Goals – South Bendigo: Dayne Frew 3, J. Dawson 3, J. Keely 2, D. Bevan 2, J. Burke 2, E. Dickins. G. Square: C. Carter 2, L. Davies 2, S. Fiske, A. Hawkins, M. Klein-Breteler, A. McErvale, J. Walsh, M. Adamson.
Best – South Bendigo: G. Tasca, C. Hall, D. Bevan, J. Burke, B. Childs, R. Connaughton, L. Rees. G. Square: D. Walsh, H. Dahl, L. O’Toole, C. Kent.
As noted above Gisborne was drawn to play South Bendigo in the preliminary final of 2007.
And the Bulldogs qualified for their sixth consecutive grand final by downing the Bloods by 59 points.
They became just the fourth BFL club since 1924 to make it six grannies in a row.
Gisborne was never headed in the contest after landing the first three goals of the game going on to win 14.16 (100) to South’s 5.11 (41).
Playing coach Marcus Barham said the Gisborne side was a well-seasoned one.
“If you have a look at the side that ran out tonight there’s not many recruits. It has all come from within,” he said.
“Everyone at this footy club knows what it’s all about. Six grand finals in a row is a tremendous effort.
“The amount of work these boys have done to get themselves this far in the 2007 season has taken a huge effort,” Barham said.
Gisborne 5.3 6.6 10.14 14.16 (100)
South Bendigo 2.1 3.3 4.3 5.11 (41)
Goals – Gisborne: S. Davis, D. Saunders, A. Belcher 2, S. Comerford, L. Saunders, R. Sharp, R. White, B. Wilkinson, J. Duff-Tyler, D. Farrugia, L. Moss. South Bendigo: J. Burke, N. Clarke, J. Dawson, Dayne Frew, J. Hardinge.
Best – Gisborne: S. Davis, M. McKenzie, S. Hamilton, L. Moss, C. Medica, T. Elliott, M. Barham. South Bendigo: R. Connaughton, J. Hardinge. G. Tasca.
The Bloods won the reserve grade prelim. final against Gisborne: 13.9 (87) to 7.9 (51).
And in the under-18s Gisborne downed Sandhurst 13.10 (88) to 5.12 (42).
Current Hurst senior player Matt Thornton kicked a goal and was named the Dragons’ best in the curtain-raiser.
In the BFNL A grade netball finals Golden Square started its 2007 finals campaign in red-hot form leading 20-8 at the first break of their final and finishing with a crushing 74-36 victory over Eaglehawk.
Roz McEniry and Erica Schippers were Square’s best.
Maryborough stayed in the race with a 64-36 victory over Gisborne with Cindy Cossar and Alicia Chadwick in sparkling form.
A week later in the A grade second semi-final Golden Square hung on in a nail-biter over Sandhurst 41-38.
Erica Schippers (GS) and Briona Giddings (Hurst) were named best for their clubs.
Eaglehawk downed Maryborough in the first semi-final.
During that same September Geelong teenager Joel Selwood marked his outstanding debut AFL season with 22 disposals in the Cats’ qualifying victory over the Kangaroos.
The 19-year-old, recruited from the Bendigo Pioneers, had been crowned the 2007 AFL Rising Star just four days before the big match.
Selwood had played 19 games in his debut season and ended the win over the Roos with 22 disposals, many of them dished out from underneath packs as he complemented the dominant Cats’ midfield.
As he’s shown in all the seasons since 2007, Selwood’s calmness under pressure and his relentless physicality make him such a daunting opponent.
Geelong coach Mark Thompson said he’d walked out on the ground before the first bounce and had a chat with Selwood.
“I know that I wouldn’t have been able to have a chat with the senior coach (Kevin Sheedy) in my first senior game, or my first final with Essendon for that matter.
“But Joel was completely calm. He’s such a quality bloke, as well as being a quality player,” Thompson said.
For his part Selwood said he’d “just been in the moment. Most of our boys had been involved in finals before so I was just soaking up the experience.”
As it turned out Geelong, Selwood and Thompson tasted premiership success later that month as the Cats trounced Port Adelaide in the 2007 grand final.
By Richard Jones