Bendigo Pioneers answers Oakleigh's late charge to win TAC Cup clash
INSPIRED by the play of captain Jacob Chisari, Sam Heavyside and ruckman Jordan Mangan, the Bendigo Bank Pioneers scored a 14-point victory in Saturday’s TAC Cup under-18s match against Oakleigh Chargers at the QEO.
Lalbert’s Jake Maher was on the end of a chain of handpasses to kick the Pioneers first goal.
After taking few marks inside 50m the previous round, Bendigo’s attack hit back as Strathfieldsaye’s Harry Conway and Kyneton’s Jordan Mangan goaled after winning duels with the Chargers defence.
Chisari won possession in the centre, kicked long and then sprinted into the 50m arc to receive a handpass and goal.
A brilliant pass by South Mildura’s Chisari was marked by Lockington-Bamawm United’s Trent Bacon to cap a superb opening term.
Oakleigh fought back strongly and scored two goals in the space of two minutes to trail 36-19 in the 14th minute. The Pioneers hit the post twice, while Jay Canterbury goaled to put the Chargers within 13 points.
Another great mark by Mangan in the goalsquare made it 45-25 by the half-time break.
Bendigo’s intensity lifted in the crucial third quarter.
Sandhurst’s Billy Evans goaled from a tight angle in the Aquatic Centre pocket.
A quick transfer of play by the Chargers from half-back ended in a Marcus Higgins goal.
Strathfieldsaye’s Fergus Payne showed great strength to win possession in the goalsquare and snap truly.
Payne goaled on the run as the Pioneers held a 40-point lead going into the final term.
Oakleigh was on target in the second minute, but the Pioneers replied when South Bendigo’s Blake Poyser intercepted a pass near the 50m arc on the timekeepers’ box flank and centred the ball to Chisari to mark and goal.
The Chargers didn’t give up. Jay Kennedy-Harris roved brilliantly and goaled in the sixth and eighth minutes.
Just on two minutes later and James Toohey goaled after a Oakleigh won the centre break.
The margin was back to 14 points in the 11th minute when the Chargers capitalised on a turnover.
Sandhurst’s Alex Hywood marked and kicked a much-needed goal for the Pioneers.
The visitors goaled again, but it was the Pioneers who celebrated victory.
Bendigo coach David Newett said the willingness to run and support team-mates, and to take the game on played a big part in the win.
“Our pressure for three-and-a-half quarters was fantastic,” said Newett.
“Pressure and discipline were two key areas in this match. Every player contributed and worked hard.”
The coach said the team’s leaders did so, not just by words throughout the week, but in their play.
“Sam Heavyside and Liam Byrne (both in their second game back) are key players for us at centre bounces, and in and around the packs,” said Newett.
“Chizza (Chisari) won a lot of critical contests, and did well to kick a couple of goals.
The coach also praised the efforts of Mangan and Jordan Hargreaves against 210cm opponent Angus Milham in the ruck duels.
Next round in the TAC Cup season is on May 18-19.