May 15th, 2021Daylesford Football Club reports:
Daylesford V Learmonth 23/04/21
For the senior footballers, Saturday’s game against Learmonth was the one that got away.
In what is looking like something of a pattern, their opponents got away to a quick lead kicking three goals four points to Daylesford’s one goal two points in the first quarter. The Bulldogs then put the foot down to dominate the second quarter with nine scoring shots to one but yielding only three goals and six points. Learmonth was restricted to a single goal. Daylesford went into the break with a narrow four point lead.
The second half was an arm wrestle with returning club great Trent Nesbitt and the ever reliable Xav Walsh getting plenty of the ball and veteran Rob Rogers, one of the gentlemen of the game handy all over the ground. Ben Jones and Sam Winnard were dual goal kickers in a low scoring game.
In a nail biting finish the Bulldogs came home strongly with more scoring shots than Learmonth, but inaccuracy was again their undoing.
With the bye next week, the Dogs will have time to regroup before facing Carngham – Linton away the following week.
Final scores Learmonth 9.9-63 def Daylesford 8.13-61.
Meanwhile the Reserves continued their winning way with a comfortable win over Learmonth. The dependable Ben Horne kicked two majors in a best on ground performance while the up and coming Adam Pasahidis contributed three. Final scores; Daylesford 11- 8. 74 def Learmonth 6-8. 44.
In the juniors, wins went to the Under 18s and Under 15s, while the under 12s were out of luck in their match.
Words: Brendan Murray | Images: Bettina Ralph
Bulldogs v Clunes
The Daylesford Bulldogs hosted Clunes on Saturday and the senior footballers were blitzed at the outset by a direct and accurate opponent who had registered five goals to one in the opening quarter.
From there in the Bulldogs dug their way back into the game. Xav Walsh was instrumental in propelling numerous attacks forward Chris Peart was also a major spearhead. As the Bulldogs gained ascendency with better ball movement and increased intensity it looked as though they might match the poor old saints relentless inaccuracies from the night before.
There were a number of charges but the Bulldogs had their work cut out for them going into the final quarter with a 17 point deficit. After some wayward shots Scott Hughes was on the receiving end of some excellent mid field passing and converted a number of crucial goals, finishing the day with a handy seven goals.
Sam Winard was at his best bustling and scrapping the ball forward. Shaun Clarke in ruck was dominant all day while James Evans continued his excellent form rebounding from the back line. It was a joy to see club champion Jordan Alexander back in the red, white and blue. He and Joel Cummings were indefatigable, putting the clamps on opposition run and carry players creating numerous turnovers and skilfully transitioning the ball by both hand and foot.
It was a stunning turnaround as Clunes were were goalless in the last quarter while the the Bulldogs raced away to a 26 point win. It seems like the Bulldogs are really beginning to gel as a team and with some key players returning from injury in the near future the outlook for the Bulldogs is bright.
Daylesford 3.1-19 4.5-29 6.6-42 13.14-92
Clunes 5.2-32 7.2-44 10.5-65 10.6-66
Bulldogs V Ballan – May 8, 2021
The Daylesford Bulldogs opened their account for the season with a convincing win over Ballan.
The opening quarter was an arm wrestle between two teams that both seemed a bit green, but the Bulldogs steadily kicked away for the remainder of the game.
During the second and to a lesser extent during the third quarter, gettable shots on goal regularly went astray, including a couple out on the full. It’s harder than it looks, and lets face it, it does look hard, but accuracy on goal will to a large extent determine where they’ll be at the pointy end of the season.
Continuing on from a pearler last week against Creswick, James Evans was a potent springboard from the backline, regularly combining with Xav Walsh, whose silky skills rendered him almost untouchable by the opposition.
Also continuing last week’s fine form was Sam Winnard who finished the day with two goals and further impressed with big grabs and ball control in play.
There was definite lift from half time, with Cam Ralph a standout energiser whose fierce tackling and elite ground coverage snuffed out numerous Ballan advances. Chris Peart and Joel Cummings provide excellent midfield drive to the quite outstanding Scott Hughes up forward who was simply unbeatable in ‘one on one’ marking contests and hauled in some big pack marks as well. He finished with three goals.
It gladdened the hearts of many a Bulldog supporters to see Rob Rogers skilfully combining with James Evans, as they have done so many times throughout the journey.
This was one the Bulldogs really needed. Last week against Creswick showed their potential. They were more cohesive and disciplined against Ballan, and collected the four points as a reward.
Final score: Ballan 5.6-36 – Daylesford 11.13-79
Daylesford v Creswick – Saturday, May 1, 2021
There were highlights and frustrations for the Bulldogs senior footballers as they lucked out against Creswick on Saturday.
With as much of the ball and probably more than their opponents, inaccuracy on goal was the telling issue on the day.
Supporters loved seeing James Evans charging out of defence and delivering the ball deep into attack.
Sam Winnard was in fine touch. Dominant in the ruck and snagging everything markable that came his way, including a second quarter gem on the wing, playing on to roost a big goal from 50m.
New recruit Shaun Clarke was a commanding if not towering presence, also playing very well below the knees, but in a game of millimetres would rue some fingertip marks in front of goal that just didn’t quite stick.
Cam Ralph, Joel Cummings and Scott Hughes were livewires all day, slick and dependable with team lifting confidence and in -play attitude. Xav Walsh was potent around the ground, teaming well the ruck duo.
The Bulldogs finished as they would have wanted to have played all day with a series of running, play on goal combinations.
The Bulldogs will be disappointed by Saturdays loss, but the talent and potential of the team could well be seen. Greater consistency and finesse will emerge as the season progresses.
Final score: Daylesford 8.12-60 Creswick 10.7-67
Words & Images: Brendan Murray