Avoca still undefeated •

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Avoca holds out Maldon to win by two goals

• Carisbrook suffers third straight loss at the hands of Harcourt

Avoca remains undefeated after accounting for Maldon in a hard fought clash at Maldon on Saturday in the Bendigo Bank

Maryborough Castlemaine District Football Netball League.

The game was scrappy with many stoppages as the Bulldogs came from behind in the last term to get over a spirited Maldon side which was getting numbers to the ball at every contest.

Maldon was first to score a major when Mitchell Kelly pounced on the ball in a pack and snapped truly from the goal square in the opening minute of the term.

It was tough in the clinches and no place for the faint hearted as both teams attacked the ball at will and it was not until midway through the term that Adrian Pilgrim stood up for the Bulldogs and posted two quick goals in succession to put Avoca in front.

Ash Grant and Ben Howell were playing well in defence and restricting Christian Kelly from having any effect on the scoreboard.

Kelly had a shot late in the term from the boundary, but hit the goal post and Maldon trailed at the first break 1.3 (9) to 2.0 (12).

Mitchell Kelly once again opened the goal scoring for Maldon as he snapped a goal from a pack one minute into the second quarter to put the Bombers in front, but Pilgrim was quick to answer from a free kick and then Tony Bellenger also goaled from a free after being pushed in the back.

Julian Field was the playmaker and created many forward moves with his run around the ground.

Field also created some light heartedness for the crowd when he had a shot for goal which missed everything, but he did manage to

put the ball through the open window of the scoreboard.

Dane Winstanley had the ball on a string for Maldon and sent the footy forward to allow Wes Bell to kick a goal from the boundary line which was quickly followed by Christian Kelly’s first major of the game to put the home team back in front on the scoreboard.

The Bombers did not hold the lead for long though as Will Johanson centred a ball and Mick Wardlaw took a pressure mark and goaled from a set shot. Then Bellenger laid a strong tackle which allowed Nathan Coghlan to kick long and Johanson marked in the goal square and kicked truly.

Christian Kelly kicked his second major for the term just before the siren as a small scuffle developed on the member’s wing between the biggest and smallest men on the ground, Pat Cummins and Josh Grant were yellow carded just as the siren rang. Avoca led at half time 6.2 (38) to 5.3 (33).

Jason Fletcher ran on to a ball and goaled for the Bulldogs from the opening bounce of the third term, but Davey Carroll answered the challenge for the Bombers when he kicked two goals in succession to level the score.

Avoca was trying to penetrate its forward zone but Joel Cross was playing outstanding football across half back for Maldon and

continually sent the ball forward.

Marc Carroll provided a crowd pleasing goal from the member’s boundary to put the Bombers in front, but Bellenger received a

handpass from Cameron Grant and snapped a goal over his shoulder to take back the lead for the Bulldogs.

Marc Carroll was not to be denied and kicked another for the Bombers after side stepping an opponent and goaling on the run as Maldon led 9.5 (59) to 8.4 (52) at the final change.

Field was inspirational for the Bulldogs and he kicked a running goal to open the last term and then followed up a minute later with a specky and then slotted his second in succession and Avoca led by five points at the three minute mark.

Maldon regained the lead when Shaun Burchell goaled from a snap shot and then Christian Kelly pushed the lead out to seven points when he booted his third for the game.

Avoca responded to the challenge when Sammy Kaye was able to get the ball out to Bellenger who kicked long to Pilgrim who outmarked his opponent and ran into an open goal.

Then Cameron Grant sidestepped his adversary and kicked a great left foot goal to take back the lead for the Bulldogs at the 16 minute mark.

The game was in the balance, but the Bulldogs seemed to have the ascendancy in the final stages.

Karl Morley ran off the half back flank to receive a handpass from Brad Wardlaw and he was able to kick a long pressure goal on the run to seal the game for Avoca.

This allowed the team to remain undefeated at the halfway mark of the season — 13.4 (82) to 11.5 (71).

Carisbrook has plummeted down the ladder to be outside the top five after its third successive loss when Harcourt broke the game open with a seven goal second term.

If not for the defensive work of Kade Rowe and Ben Kick, the losing margin would have been much greater than 37 points.

Ricky Beard, Dallas Ferguson and Alan Mack were instrumental for Harcourt in its outstanding win which has allowed the Lions to

remain in touch with the top five.

Although in seventh place, the Apple Eaters are only four points behind the fifth placed Talbot and will be playing Campbells Creek

next Sunday, so should be able to obtain the four points in that match.

Harcourt accounted for Carisbrook 15.10 (100) to 9.9 (63).

Seven goals to Jeremy Sanders and a dominant display by James McNamee and Lachlan Liddicoat helped set up Dunolly’s 130 point win over Trentham at Deledio Park.

Trentham worked hard all day, especially through Shane Engellener, Brian Cole and Jamie Cutler, but couldn’t match the mix of youth and experience that the Eagles had on offer for the day.

Trentham had a great second quarter where it denied Dunolly the ball on most occasions but the Eagles re-grouped after half time to

kick 17 goals to two, to run out very comfortable winners 25.19 (169) to 5.9 (39).

Talbot moved into the top five after doing a demolition job on Royal Park at Talbot.

The Tigers tried hard in the first half with Justin Perry winning the ruck contest and Brendon Birch and Jason Brown playing well, but Jay Anderson received an injury and this allowed Matthew Bond to stamp his authority on the game as he booted five goals for the Hawks.

The classy Matthew Smith was once again a key figure in the win and he continues to firm in the Berry Powell Medal.

Talbot was also well served by Trevor Ralston and Matthew Birthisel in the 102 point win — 20.19 (139) to 5.7 (37).

Newstead travelled to Campbells Creek and treated the Magpies with contempt as the Kangaroos completely outclassed their opponents.

The ’Roos were simply too good all over the ground as they set up a big win with a seven goal to nil first term.

This is the second week in a row that they have held their opponents scoreless in the opening quarter.

Creek was only able to score one goal for the game through young Rhys Ford.

Sammy Kerr has been having a stellar season for the Steaders and Chris Starritt also continues to impress.

Matt Culvenor and Tom Reece have stepped up to senior grade this season and both kicked five goals in a top performance.

At final siren time it was Newstead winning 21.26 (152) to 1.3 (9).

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