EAGLEHAWK coach Derrick Filo launched a stinging attack on his side after the Hawks had gone down to South Bendigo by two points at the QEO.
It was mid-July 2008 and the normally composed and reserved Filo couldn’t hide his disgust at match-end.
Describing the Hawks as “soft and scared” the Hawks’ coach said he was left gutted and dismayed after South’s victory.
Following the Bloods’ 13.14 (92) to 13.12 (90) win Filo said Eaglehawk had some real concerns.
“We were just soft which is the first time I’ve said that about any of the teams I’ve coached.
“We just got beaten by a team that was harder at the ball. Our guys have got a lot of soul-searching to do because we were soft and scared,” the fuming coach added.
“There’s no need to beat around the bush about it. That’s how it was,” said a devastated Filo, whose coaching stints had involved Kyneton, Kangaroo Flat and the Two Blues by season 2008.
Despite the coach’s post-match statements, the big clash between two top three clubs lived up to its blockbuster status.
No more than 17 points separated the two sides in a match chock-full of momentum swings.
But it was the Bloods who had the momentum when the chips were down, slotting three of the concluding four goals in the match’s last nine minutes to with the thriller by two points.
THERE was a heap at stake for the two clubs – Eaglehawk was playing to keep a grip on top position while the Bloods’ spot in the top three was also at stake.
Following the loss Eaglehawk dropped to third, on percentage. The Hawks had dropped consecutive games after winning the opening 10 matches of the 2008 season.
Golden Square which had the bye at the weekend moved to the top after 13 completed rounds.
And a week after losing to seventh-placed Kangaroo Flat South’s victory propelled it to second on the premiership table.
The top three teams all had 44 premiership points: Golden Square 221% in top place, South second on 188% and Eaglehawk third with 156%.
Incidentally Filo had coached three BFNL clubs before his current Castlemaine assignment: Kyneton (1995—1999), Kangaroo Flat (2000—2002) and Eaglehawk (2003—2010).
I WAS down at the Kyneton Showgrounds, a grandstand vantage point from which I’ve been watching footy quite a bit in recent seasons.
On this day, though, it was a no-contest. Kangaroo Flat key forwards Tyrone ‘Tigger’ Downie and Justin Maddern nailed six second-half goals each, which just happened to be all 12 of the Roos’ goals after the long break.
The Flat cruised to a 104-point belting of the Tigers who managed just 4.7 (31) for the afternoon, and no goals at all in the opening half.
For most of the match Andrew Gladman and Brendan Hehir controlled the Flat’s back half, while Shannon Geary, Nick Lang and Ryan Doherty were in charge of the midfield clearances.
Down by 55 points at the main break, Kyneton did manage to score three of the first four goals in the third term.
Coach Brett Cook, Leigh Erwin and Ben Edmonds booted the Tiger majors although Maddern and Downie replied with plenty as they landed three goals apiece.
Downie finished with nine goals and ‘Harry’ Maddern six as the Roos bounded home: 21.9 (135) to Kyneton’s 4.7 (31).
IF KYNETON’S goal tally was miserable spare a thought for Kieran Nihill’s re-building and re-forming Sandhurst.
On a boggy and waterlogged QEO and up against Castlemaine in a Sunday fixture the Dragons managed just 1.10 (16), the second time in three rounds they’d failed to reach a score of 20.
They’d kicked just 2.7 (19) against the Square in Round 11.
And the Hurst racked up their 12th goal-less quarter for the 2008 season, failing to register a major in the first stanza.
Castlemaine managed to boot 7.14 (56) on the soggy QEO mess, masquerading as a footy oval, to consolidate sixth spot on the BFNL senior ladder.
It was the first time during the 2008 season that the Camp Reserve Pies had strung together consecutive wins.
But in order to have replaced fifth-placed Maryborough the Magpies had needed to kick an extra seven goals.
The Princes Park had a percentage of 89 compared with the Maine’s 85% after 13 completed rounds.
The third quarter rated as one of the dreariest in BFNL footy for the 2008 season. Castlemaine scored one behind and the Dragons two.
Present-day Richmond star Dusty Martin kicked the goal-of-the-day, on the run and in the wet, 24 minutes into the last term.
GISBORNE won a crucial clash at Maryborough’s Princes Park arena, in the process shoring up fourth spot on the senior ladder.
Just five points separated the clubs at half-time: Gisborne 8.9 to the Magpies 8.4.
Then the Bulldogs went on a scoring spree. They added 9.5 in a devastating third stanza while Gissy defenders Cameron Medica, playing coach Marcus Barham and Rodney Sharp held Maryborough to just 2.2.
In a shade over 30 minutes Gisborne had turned a five-point lead into a 50-point margin.
Barham had switched Anthony Belcher into the ruck and his brother Jordan to centre half-forward.
“We’d won most of the first half centre breaks but we’d fallen down across half-forward a lot,” coach Barham said.
“Our play in the third quarter, especially at half-forward was a lot better.”
Medica turned in an outstanding performance. Lining up against Maryborough forward Matthew Brown who’d booted 10 goals in Rd. 12 Medica held him to two goals in the first term – and zero for the rest of play.
Jordan Barham booted five goals for the Bulldogs and Levi Moss three. Final scores: Gisborne 20.18 (138) def. Maryborough 12.9 (81).
SO WITH five rounds to go nine seasons back, the battle for the BFNL’s fifth spot had gone up a notch.
Maryborough, Castlemaine and Kangaroo Flat were all on 24 premiership points and separated by percentage only.
The Princes Park Pies were clinging onto fifth, despite their 57-point thumping from Gisborne.
The Gardiner Reserve Dogs couldn’t climb into the coveted Top Three, though.
They remained one, clear game behind Square, South and Eaglehawk.
Five victories was Kangaroo Flat’s best for some years. They’d not won five games in a season between 2003 and 2007.
In a nine-club completion back in 2008 each club collected four premiership points for the bye.
Square had their second bye for the year in Rd. 13.
THE BFNL’s bottom two clubs had collected just one win between them. Sandhurst’s record was 1 win, 10 losses, 2 byes while the Kyneton Tigers had 0 wins, 12 losses and one bye.
Leading goalkicker was Jordan Barham on 68, with South’s Dayne Frew next on 45 while Eaglehawk’s Brady Herdman filled third spot with 43 majors.
Square’s Matt O’Toole had booted 41 goals with his teammate Nick Carter and Flat’s Downie equal fifth on 40.
Leading the Advertiser’s Player of the Year voting was Eaglehawk’s Shannon Milward on 28 votes from Jordan Barham (26) with Square’s Mark Lloyd and Gisborne’s Gareth Bowe next, both on 22.
Milward went on to win the 2008 Michelsen Medal. His Eaglehawk teammate Dwayne Smith took out the Reserves McDonald Medal while Lauren Cowling (K. Flat) and Krystal Doherty (Maryborough) tied in the Betty Thompson A grade netball medal count.
Tips for Round 14: Strath Storm, Kang. Flat (at C’maine), Kyneton, Eaglehawk (v Hurst at C’bury Park) and G. Square (at Gisborne).
By Richard Jones