BENDIGO PIONEERS 12.5 (77)
GIPPSLAND POWER 13.16 (94)
GIPPSLAND youngster Zane Duursma announced himself as a player to watch in the future with a sparkling six-goal performance to help the Power escape a huge fright from bottom team Bendigo in the first game of the NAB League’s Queen Elizabeth Oval triple header on Sunday.
Duursma, 16, the younger brother of emerging Port Adelaide talent Xavier and Sunday’s Casey Demons VFLW debutant Yasmin, kicked 6.1 from 15 disposals and six marks, while also having five inside-50s.
It gives him 15 goals from five games this season, having booted at least two goals in each appearance after kicking seven in five games as a 15-year-old last season.
His effort, and that of Vinnie Caia, who added four majors, saw the Power see off a terrific effort from the Pioneers, who took every opportunity offered to them in the first half with eight straight goals to lead by three points at half-time.
The Power, who had been wasteful with 6.9 to that 8.0, flipped the script with 4.0 to 0.5 in the third to take control, and while the visitors lost their radar again in the last with 3.7 to 4.0, the damage was done.
Duursma and Caia cashed in on a powerful three-pronged ruck showing from Lachlan Smith (23 hitouts), Harvey Howe (19) and Max Knobel (18) that yielded 60 hitouts to 11, giving midfielders Bailey Humphrey (25 disposals, seven marks, six tackles, nine inside-50s) and Jacob Konstanty (23, six tackles, five inside-50s, one goal) plenty of opportunities to drive the ball forward.
Oskar Faulkhead was outstanding for Bendigo, picking up 29 touches, five marks and nine tackles to give his team every chance, with Michael Kiraly (22, five marks), Jason Gilbee (20, six rebounds, two goals) and Harvey Gallagher (three goals) also doing their bit in an even team effort that saw eight Pioneers pick up at least 18 touches each.
GEELONG FALCONS 10.12 (72)
DANDENONG STINGRAYS 10.8 (68)
GEELONG fought back from more than four goals down to preserve its undefeated NAB League record in a thrilling four-point win over Dandenong in the third match of the Queen Elizabeth Oval triple header on Sunday.
The Falcons looked in all sorts of trouble when the Stingrays kicked four unanswered goals to lead by 26 points early in the second quarter and struggled to make any headway as Dandenong still maintained a 24-point gap in the 20th minute of the third.
But a late goal from Euriah Hollard gave Geelong some momentum and the Falcons banged on three goals in three minutes at the start of the last term to take the lead before Patrick Hughes gave them the lead midway through the term.
Four consecutive behinds pushed the Falcons’ lead out to 10 before a Kobe Shipp goal for Dandenong set up an exciting last couple of minutes, but Geelong was able to hold on.
Jhye Clark was instrumental in the comeback for Geelong with 29 disposals and eight marks, with Hollard grabbing 22 touches, five marks, six inside-50s and that goal, Tobyn Murray having 21 and five inside-50s, Osca Riccardi 18 and eight marks, Olivier Northam 17, 24 hitouts and a goal and Felix Henderson-Burch 16, seven marks and two goals.
Taj Campbell-Farrell was instrumental in building the big lead for Dandenong in winning 36 touches and seven tackles, with plenty of support coming from Finn Emile-Brennan (25, five marks, 11 rebounds) terrific in defence, Finn Jakstas (24, eight marks), Lachlan Robinson (22, nine inside-50s, two goals), Sam Frangalas (21, six, one goal), Henry Hustwaite (23), Kade De La Rue (23) and Nick Collier (22).
MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 12.17 (89)
GWV REBELS 4.10 (34)
MURRAY climbed into the top three ahead of the competition break after Brayden George continued his brilliant start to the season to help his team thrash GWV by 55 points in the middle game at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
The Bushrangers dominated the game from the start but took until the second half to really get the rewards with 8.9 to 2.4 turning a 14-point lead into a percentage-boosting win built on 51 inside-50s to 29 and 47 hitouts to 23.
George booted six goals from 14 disposals and six marks, with two in the first term setting things up before he added three in the last to move to 17 in five games, finishing off the good work up field from Tyler Norton (27 possessions, six marks, six rebounds), Noah Bradshaw (23, seven marks, eight inside-50s, five tackles), Thomas Cappellari (25, seven marks), Nicholas Quigg (23, five inside-50s), Tobyn Murray (27 hitouts, four marks), Zander Nash (eight marks) and Ewan Mackinlay (nine tackles, one goal).
Tristan Maple (27, five marks) and Hugh Bond (27, eight tackles) were clearly best for the Rebels, with Charlie Molan (20, seven tackles), Aaron Cadman (16, six marks, five inside-50s, 1.3) and Josh Sparkman (13, six rebounds) also contributing well.
TASMANIA DEVILS 20.12 (132)
NT THUNDER ACADEMY 2.5 (17)
TASMANIA bounced back from a thrashing at the hands of Sandringham last week to dish out one of its own, with Seth Campbell turning in a stunning display as his team blasted the NT Thunder Academy by 115 points at Highgate Reserve on Sunday.
The Thunder held their own early with two goals to four in the first term but could manage only another three behinds for the rest of the match as the Devils kicked three, five and finally eight straight goals in the last quarter to give themselves a huge percentage boost.
Campbell was simply unstoppable as he knocked up 32 disposals, took 11 marks, delivered nine inside-50s and kicked six goals, with Brandon Leary riding shotgun with a brilliant 17 touches, eight marks and six majors of his own.
Lachlan Cowan (33 disposals, nine marks, five inside-50s), Liam Jones (26, eight marks, eight tackles, one goal) and Tom McCallum (27, 10 marks) also had Champion Data working overtime, while Colby McKercher (21, six inside-50s, one goal), Heath Ollington (20, six tackles, six inside-50s), Isaac Hyett (21) and Will Splann (three goals) also had good days.
Petros Politis (25, five marks, six inside-50s) performed well in the middle and Lloyd Johnson (23, 15 rebounds) was outstanding down back under pressure, while Riley Stone (17, five marks, 10 tackles, one goal) and Rohan Bailey (20, one goal) could all hold their heads high.
May 7-8: General bye
NEXT WEEK: Sunday, May 15: Tasmania Devils v Western Jets (UTAS Stadium, 2.30pm). Bye: All other teams.
THEN: Saturday, May 21: Northern Knights v Calder Cannons (Preston City Oval, 12pm). Sunday, May 22: Oakleigh Chargers v Tasmania Devils (Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval, 12pm); Sandringham Dragons v Eastern Ranges (Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval, 2.30pm). Bye: All other teams.
(All games are streamed live on the NAB League app except for the Herald Sun game, which is on that website).