Dogs stun Storm, and snap streak, at Tannery Lane
GISBORNE remains the only unbeaten team after five rounds in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football League’s senior competition after Saturday’s one-goal win on Strathfieldsaye’s turf.
The Rob Waters-coached Bulldogs were way off target in the final quarter as they added 1.8 against a fast-finishing opponent that scored 4.2.
At the final siren, Gisborne led 11.17 (83) to 12.5 (77).
Storm was up 24-21 at quarter-time, but the Bulldogs dominated most of the second stanza to gain a 16-point break by half-time.
Defences were well on top in the third as Gisborne added 2.4 to 2.2.
In the last it was the Darryl Wilson and Shannon Geary-coached Storm who had plenty of run off half-back and through midfield to put Gisborne’s defence under pressure.
Despite being without captain and gun forward Pat McKenna due to a leg injury, Gisborne showed it has plenty of scoring options.
Matthew Merrett kicked a match-high four goals for the Bulldogs as Josh Kemp and Ethan Foreman added two apiece.
It was Shannon Geary and James Schischka who added two majors for the Storm as the classy Lachlan Sharp, a multiple winner of the Ron Best Medal as the league’s leading goalkicker, added just one.
Best afield honours went to Gisborne’s Jack Scanlon as Jaidyn Owen and Jack Reaper were superb in defence.
The play of Merrett, Kemp and Matthew Panuccio was a key factor in the red, white and blue claiming a crucial victory and moving a win clear at top of the ladder from Golden Square and the Storm.
Best for Strathfieldsaye were James Schischka, Lachlan Ratcliffe, Kallen Geary, Mitchell Hallinan, Thomas Bennett and Daniel Clohesy.
Gisborne’s coaching staff would also have been rapt to claim a win in which onballers Brad Bernacki, Scott Walsh and Flynn Lakey were not rated in the team’s top six, but still had an impact.
Both line-ups had changed markedly since Storm beat Gisborne by 43 points in the round 10 clash at Strathfieldsaye last season.
Saturday’s defeat ended a 14-game winning streak for Storm which began after last season’s one-point loss in Gisborne’s home at Gardiner Reserve.