Central Highlands Football League – 2017 Round 2 The 2016 grand final replay was one of the very good games to get the season underway on Saturday in the Central Highlands FL, but the Bombers even on their own ground were not able to reverse the result of last year.
In cool conditions with a slight wind favouring the mountain end of the Buninyong ground the Tigers were able to lead at every break and held on for a comfortable 25 point win even though Buninyong challenged them during the last quarter. The Bombers got within 19 points with plenty of time remaining and with the help of the wind but they could not overcome the better organised and desperate Springbank mid-field who set up the victory.
Coaches from each team, Buninyong’s Jarrod Morgan and Springbank co-coach Nic Couch were instrumental in many of both teams attacking drives and scoring opportunities. Both clubs should be able to now head into round two with plenty of confidence that they are well set for a strong season. Buninyong will travel to Ballan this coming Saturday and the Blues will be aiming to turn their fortunes after a heavy round 1 defeat at the hands of neighbouring Gordon. Despite their heavy defeat they were well served by Darren Tanti who also started strongly last season but struggled to maintain this same influence as the season progressed. Ballan will be hoping that he can maintain the strong start throughout this season. Jacob Wilkinson and Sam Hitchings have been strong contributors for Ballan in recent years and also started well again last week. However based on round one results it is difficult to see Ballan having enough winners to worry Buninyong who is a team that is just as well set up to play the small Ballan oval as any of the larger grounds in the league. Springbank meanwhile will be unfurling both their senior and reserve premiership flags before their matches against Carngham Linton.
The Saints were overall competitive against Creswick out at Linton and were within 20 points at three quarter time but were overrun by a six goal final quarter by Creswick for a final margin of 47 points. Jake Pring returned to the combine after a year in the Maryborough Castlemaine DFNL and quickly showed that he is still able to have an influence on a match as did new coach Beau Ketchen.
Dylan Achison was another player returning to play senior football with Carngham Linton and showed that he will be able to have an influence at this level.
Carngham Linton’s list looks far more even this year and they are unlikely to complete another winless season but they will not get their initial win against Springbank. Probably the match of the round is the clash at Beaufort who will host Bungaree.
The Crows gave Daylesford a rude awakening to start the season defeating them by 83 points and in the process backed up a belief by many that they might be the big improver for 2017. They have played finals in the past two years but were eliminated immediately so need to show quite a bit of improvement to be a real threat at the end of the home and away matches. Against Daylesford they got good contributions up forward from Lachlan Murray and Tim Haase who both finished with five goals.
Both are averaging slightly more than two goals a games since they joined Beaufort giving the club a reasonable start on the scoreboard.
Alex Petrie was again a strong ball winner for Beaufort along with Jayden Orr and Tom Stapleton in his first game for the Crows. Bungaree were the other big winner in round 1 despite having many new faces in the team. Joel and Luke Mirtschin each contributed six goals to the Demons tally doubling Dunnstown’s goals between them.
More in the paper.