EDFL review – round 6

BUNYIP’S slim hopes of playing finals football took a big dive after it lost to Buln Buln by 19 points on the weekend.
After an even first half, the Lyrebirds took the upper hand with a five goal to one third quarter to turn a six point lead at half time into a 28 point advantage at the last change.
The Bulldogs gave it their best shot in the last stanza, but could make little inroads. The Bunyip ground was heavily chopped up in patches, especially on the outer side, due to around 70 millimetres of rain which fell during the week and the night before the game.
Buln Buln held a five point advantage at quarter time and had a target at full forward in veteran Dean Burnell, who scored two goals, while for the Bulldogs, Chris Chilcott and Brent Hues netted goals and looked dangerous. Bunyip’s Pat Venville spun out of a pack and kicked a good goal to level scores early in the second term, but minutes later Mitch Nobelius, who returned to the club from Pakenham, produced a snap to give the visitors an eight-point lead.
Chilcott slotted home his second major mid term to trim the margin back to two points before Buln Buln pressed forward late in the term, but sprayed shots at goal and could only take a six point advantage into the main break. A feature of the first half was the centre duel between the experienced Daniel Charles and young Bulldog gun Michael Whyte, who both gave their team good drive. Young upstarts, Bulldog Wayne Morris and Lyrebird Trent Baker, went head to head in a fascinating match up on the wing. The highlight of the first half was provided by emerging Bulldog tall Brent Hues, who won huge applause from fans of both sides when he took a good old fashioned screamer mid way through the second quarter.
The Buln Buln engine room of Mitch and Josh Viney, Nobelius and Charles, got whirring in the third quarter and with goals by Burnell, Brad Taylor, tall Balwyn recruit Brett Coghill, Josh Viney and Nobelius, the visitors set up a matchwinning 28 point lead at three quarter time. Bunyip lifted in the last quarter but never looked like reeling in the deficit and fell 19 points short.
The Lyrebirds’ win was built around strong defence from Doveton recruit Ricky Hayes and Beaconsfield recruit Tom Randle, while Charles and Adam Jostlear were lively in and around the midfield and 16 year-olds, Trent Baker, Jake Mullen, James Davidson and Mitch Viney showed plenty of promise.
Coach Charles was pleased with his team’s third win, which keeps the Demons in touch with the top six.
“We’ve had it tough over the last month, but today was really good reward for those chaps who have worked hard from day one,” Charles said after the siren.
“Importantly, we are still improving.”
For Bunyip, Whyte never stopped running and presenting, defenders Michael Davies, Andrew Henwood and Chris Savage made crucial interceptions, Jake Buckingham had a crack, wingman Troy Lehmann made his presence felt and Brent Hues finished well and notched four goals. Ruckman Marc Rotunno and half backs Stuart Edwards and Andrew Hobday all did very well in the first half. Bunyip lost balance and momentum when key defender and change ruck Jack Fitzpatrick left the field early in the third quarter with an injury.
Bunyip coach Steve Henwood could not fault the effort of his players but lamented the fact his team had few players to provide the polish around the goals.
He said he was bitterly disappointed with over 20 turnovers by foot in the third quarter. Bunyip went into the game well short of strength, missing around 10 regular players, including Josh Taylor, Callum Pattie, Glen Browney and Marc Jolley and did not have the satisfactory depth to replace them.

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