By Sam Young
Gordon have proven why they should be considered premiership contenders in season 2017 after running out comprehensive victors at Learmonth this past weekend. The Eagles forward line continues to sparkle in season 2017 with 11 different players booting majors at the Learmonth Recreation Reserve on Saturday. Gordon would also be pleased with the return of utility, Adam Toohey, who suffered a broken collarbone in their loss against Beaufort back in round 3. Toohey snapped a nice goal early into the match to really kick-start the Eagles fast start. The Eagles booted six goals to two in the opening term, and held off a spirited fight back early in the second term to take a 44-point lead into the major break.
It took them a while to get going in the third, but the visitors were able to slam home six unanswered goals in the last 15 minutes of the third quarter to extended their lead, before running out 88 point victors by the games conclusion.
Coming off the two-week break, Gordon coach Gary Learmonth was happy with his sides performance, particularly their style of play in the first half.
“I thought we started really well in the first half and set the tone and we were able to use the football well going forward.”
The Lakies struggled to get anything going all day with coach Steve Biggins noting at his quarter time address that his side continued to blaze away and that they needed to lower their eyes. After 12 rounds of football, the Lakies are yet to register a victory against any side who played finals in season 2016 and their finals aspirations no doubt took a hit this weekend. Biggins said, “That if we want to play finals, we are going to have to beat the sides above us and we know that if we don’t beat any of those sides above us then we won’t make top eight.”
Not only did their finals ambitions take a hit but the Lakies were down to nobody on the bench by the end of the game. Big man Richard Zelencich injured his hamstring midway through the second quarter. Also, Cody Lowe was knocked out in the opening minutes of the second half when backing back in front of Brendan Sutcliffe as Dylan Page didn’t return in the final quarter and Nick Martin went off after clashing heads with Eagles captain Mick Nolan.
On the positive side of things, former Redan players Kyle McKay and Scott Whiting were amongst there better players for the Lakies with both men gathering 27 disposals, whilst Whiting also laid 12 tackles in their sides loss.
Matthew Bond also extended his lead at the top of the goal kicking tally with three goals on the weekend. However, he was convincing beaten by Mark Gunnell who was one of the Eagles best all afternoon.
Gary Learmonth confirmed that despite gaining a clearance Ballarat Football League legend, Jarrod Edwards, would be unlikely to play the Cats in Round 13. “He (Edwards) is unlikely to play at the moment. Whether he does or doesn’t we think we have got a side that go all the way with the guys who came in today. Mitch Gillespie played his first game today and kicked a couple of goals and provided an option. So we’ve got blokes who can play a role and that’s all we expect from them.”
Learmonth face the tough test of last year’s runners up Buninyong, whilst Gordon will be playing cellar dwellers Newlyn at home next week in round 13 football. Gordon 22.11.143 Def Learmonth 8.7.55.