Springbank Silence the Critics
Springbank far too strong for Gordon
The Jimmy Toohey Cup sits comfortably in the trophy case at Wallace after Springbank demolished Gordon in the annual derby between the neighbouring teams.
Paul McMahon was a key contributor in setting up the win with no defender able to limit his impact and he finished with nine goals. The key Gordon defenders of Mark Gunnell and Brad Hallam were unable to have any impact on one of the best forwards in the district. McMahon appears to be improving each week and if he remains fit he is probably going to be the key player come the finals series. Other Tigers who had a good match and contributed to this extensive win was Nic Couch with three goals and Matt Tyler across half back. Couch’s form will be of interest to the North Ballarat Roosters and he may not be available for Springbank for many more of the home and away matches. Gordon’s stay at the top of the ladder was just the one week and Saturday’s loss dropped them back to fourth but interestingly they remain ahead of Springbank on percentage. They face a very important clash this week when they travel to Buninyong and they need to bounce back from the 91 point drubbing they endured this week or they could drop to seventh. The Buninyong v Gordon clash has been a very tight affair in recent years with each team quite evenly matched.
Buninyong overcome a determined Beaufort by just five points last week, handing the Crows their successive defeats after starting the year in excellent form. It is the experienced leaders of the Bombers who are continuing to provide the leadership in the key matches against the other leading contenders.
Mark Phelps had to take on the role of key target up forward with brother Glen out of the side and he stood up to the task, kicking a vital five goals.
He was supported by Anthony Ebery who proved to be the best big man on the ground outpointing Beaufort’s Scott Howard. Ned Gilbert also continued his strong vein of form providing plenty of run through the middle of the ground. With four teams on eight wins each this match at Buninyong between the Eagles and Bombers is vital to keep in the race for a top four position. Beaufort meanwhile has to face another very tough task when they welcome to third placed Hepburn for another big match.
Hepburn saw the return of some of their mid-field power last week with Jason Ferraro returning from suspension and along with the McKay twins, Brad and Mitch and Brad Stringer were able to set Lee Cox up for a handy haul of 10 majors.
Added to Cox’s excellent performance a further nine goal kickers meant that they were far too strong for Dunnstown who finally wilted against one of the top teams after three previous strong efforts. The preparation of Hepburn ensured that the Towner’s recent leaders Sam Jenkins, Mark Stewart and Sam Cameron were not able to have any major impact on the game and with Aaron Sawers also out it was too much for Dunnstown to keep up their momentum. Importantly though they have a good chance to this week bounce back when they take on Creswick who are coming off a strong win over Smythesdale. Creswick would appear to be the only team currently outside the top eight who is in with some small chance of getting a spot in the finals and even then this will rely on Ballan stumbling.