The final Daylesford Football Club report                   with Brendan Murray!

May 15th, 2021The final Daylesford Football Club report with Brendan Murray!

Daylesford Football Club reports with Brendan Murray

Daylesford V Beaufort. Match report – 14/08/21


It was a fraught week of preparation for the seniors. The Covid lockdown of Melbourne had detained a significant number of players and getting numbers on the park was looking like a real challenge.

Enter Arron Brereton and Tom Powell who’d already played in the reserves, Adam Pasahidis from the Under 18s, the ever welcome Jordan Alexander who finished with a goal, and the unstoppable Scott Winduss, and the Bulldogs were back in business. It was a demonstration of the strong core that the club has, particularly when the chips appear to be down.

The Beaufort ground was simply atrocious. Ankle deep slush from goal square to goal square and basically anywhere that saw much activity, and with an aroma that was none too flash either. It must be said though, that the supporters and personnel were amongst the friendliest in the league.

The conditions were no obstacle for Scott Winduss who dominated his space vertically and horizontally, with lunging marks and trademark ruck taps and a goal in the opening term. Tom Hunt looked set for a big one. When getting a decent connection on the ball by hand or by foot was quite difficult, he was getting plenty of the ball and moving as though it was a dry deck.  The first quarter was an even tussle overall. As the scores were tied, you really couldn’t get much more even than that.

First quarter – Daylesford 3.1-19 to Beaufort 3.1-19

The momentum began to turn Daylesford’s way in the second quarter. Goals were scarce to come by, but Scott Hughes opened his tally. Aaron Brereton was working hard up and down the ground, which was commendable considering he’d just completed a full game in the heaviest of conditions.

Sam Winnard bustled his way through congestion, teaming well with Trent Nesbitt to clear the centre ball. Jack Pitts was making his presences felt and memorably baulked and shimmied to deliver the ball to Nesbitt T whose long roost into the forward line was cleanly grabbed by Scott Hughes who then goaled from the set shot. It was pretty much a unique passage of play in what was essentially a metre by metre slogfest of a game.

Half time – Daylesford 4.5-29 to Beaufort 4.1-25

The third quarter was characterised by the grit and determination of Jake Whelan, Luke Hallet and the battered Joel Cummings. Grunt and persistence was for the most part the order of the day and these players led the charge, along with relentless pressure and tackling from Hamish Jarrod.

Though it wasn’t all just bump and grind, with some eye popping ground ball collects and snappy passing from Rob Rogers and a well earned goal to Trent Nesbitt. Throughout this, the James Evans led back line was as tight as a fishes ask no questions, allowing Beaufort only two behinds for the quarter.

Third quarter – Daylesford 5.7-37 to Beaufort 4.3-27

It looked like it was Daylesford’s to lose in the final quarter, but they showed no sign of easing off. Ryan Coliero and Tom Conroy played with plenty of spark snuffing out a number of Beaufort rally’s while Jack Pitts continued to be influential.

The centre combination of Tom Hunt and Hamish Jarrod was outplaying their opposition, leading to a Joel Cummings long pass to Scott Hughes for his third for the day, a real achievement under the circumstances.

And while a courageous mark to Luke Hallett looked like the icing on the cake, Adam Pasahidis followed up a short while later with a booming goal which was the sealer. It was fitting that victory on the last match of the season was secured by one of the new guard of emerging young players. 

Final scores – Daylesford 7.9-51 to Beaufort 4.5-29

Post match, Coach Jarrod was full of praise for his players and was upbeat about the prospects for 2022. With an almost complete squad committed to the season and an actual training facility available pre season, ie a football oval, he was confident of a finals berth at least and a top four finish achievable.

It was a great shame that team members who had played shoulder to shoulder during the season were not able to complete the season together. We will all be hoping that this wretched virus is sorted as soon as possible and definitely by next season.

The team of course would not have succeeded thus far without the loyal support of Brad Dyson as runner, Matt Pearce for training and leadership. Josh Cowan and Seb Walsh assistant coaches, Sav Pasahidis who bobbed up wherever needed and selfless all rounder Alistair Grant. Others as well, no doubt who will be acknowledged at the up coming end of season function. Fingers crossed it can proceed!

Goal Kickers: S. Hughes 3, A. Pasahidis, J. Alexander, S. Winduss, T. Nesbitt
Best Players: T. Nesbitt, J. Pitts, T. Hunt, H. Jarrad, J. Alexander, R. Coleiro

Daylesford V Beaufort. Reserves.

The Reserves ran out looking rather thin on numbers, but they had the services of a mature aged recruit to help fill out the ranks. Specialising in the newly-developed lurking forward role, while not troubling the scorers, McBurn would go on prove a handful for the Beaufort defensive structures.

In an utter quagmire, Beaufort were the better team in the first quarter with superior ball use and forward pressure, but Daylesford responded from there with the better use of the long game and an edge at winning the ball at contests.

Under the conditions, 2-3. 15 each at half time was in fact a decent result for both teams efforts under the circumstances.

The second half saw Daylesford consolidate its efforts and pull away on the home team. Ben Horne was providing plenty of drive and Captain Brereton was also instrumental. Adam Tonna was showing plenty of grit with second and third efforts in a contest and Jarrod Adams was a very effective stopper in the backline, taking repeated contested marks with a ball like a cake of soap. Zach Giouzelis was impressively determined and Pat Helper also had his shoulder to the wheel.

The cavalry in the form of Tom Powell and Toby Hughes had arrived at this stage and their added skill and tenacity was stifling Beaufort while creating attack up forward. Having already slogged through the mud for the Under 18’s Chace Petkovik signed up for more with the Reserves and played an agile and energetic role throughout, getting plenty of the ball, while Lachy Campbell made the best of his opportunities kicking a two goals and a few minors in a game where scores were scarce and precious. As always, the team that wants the ball the most will usually win, and it was the Bulldogs in the end who simply wanted it more.

Coached by the tireless Rob Rogers with the valued assistance of Ed Conroy, Chris Adams team runner and Pete Geddes with the flags, the Bulldogs recorded their fourth win of the season and finished on the best possible note.

Daylesford 3-4. 33. Beaufort 2.5-17

Goal Kickers: L. Campbell 2, B. Horne, D. Ryan
Best Players: C. Petkovic, B. Horne, Z. Giouzelis, A. Brereton, J. Adams

Under 18s.

The Under 18s had a tough one to complete the season with, finishing 1.3-9 to Beauport’s 22.14-146. Harry Strawhorn snagged their lone goal.

Goal Kickers: H. Strawhorn
Best Players: A. Pasahidis, L. Pertzel, C. Petkovic, L. O”Conal, A. Monaghan

Their 2021 campaign concluded with two wins and 14th position on the ladder. They will no doubt be looking to improve on that in 2022.

Under 15s

The under 15s had an emphatic win against Beaufort, springboarding them to second position on the ladder on percentage from third.

Goal Kickers: J. French 7, B. Kinnear 7, F. Pelham 3, A. Leonard 3, T. Koleski 2, M. Hunt, Z. Slater
Best Players: B. Kinnear, M. Botheras , Z. Koleski, J. French, T. Pelham, A. Leonard

They have been consistently excellent throughout the season, but having gone down to top placed Buninyong during the season will know what is required of them should they proceed to the Grand Final. Supporters and players are encouraged to get behind them during the finals series. There are exciting times ahead for these young Bulldogs.

Under 12s

The Under 12’s finished the season well with a win over Beaufort.

The goal kickers shared the task evenly. Their accuracy could not be faulted.

Daylesford 4.0- 24. Beaufort 1.0-6.

Goal Kickers: Z. Marshall, J. Thompson, B. Conrad, J. Goddard

Congratulations to parents, coaches and all concerned for the season.

Words & images: Brendan Murray

Daylesford Versus Gordon July 31, 2021

With spectators at this weekend’s round of football (and the next) being barred for Covid reasons, including the press corp, this report will be confined to observations that can be gleaned from the CHFL results info.

Going in against the undefeated league leaders Gordon, the outcome was always going to be a tad predictable. The question was, how would the Bulldogs stands up against the Gordon machine that had belted sides by over 40 goals. (Which raises the old chestnut of advancement/relegation with the BFL. But that’s another story).

The final scores were Gordon 25.16-125 to Daylesford 8.4-52 and from a 13th-placed side, that is a more than respectable effort. That is a strong and quite gutsy result.

Gordon kicked away in the first half, 14.11-95 to Daylesford 2.3-15. But in the third, Bulldogs dug deep to record 6.1, outscoring Gordon 4.3.

Up against what is logically the best back line in the league, full forward Scott Hughes kicked an outstanding five goals. None of them would have been easy, all of them would have demonstrated great skill and accuracy.

Sam Winnard and Tom Hunt also chimed in with two and one apiece for the game.

It’s not hard to picture Chris Peart bobbing and weaving through the opposition to deliver quality feed to the forwards, while ably assisted by Xav Walsh, who has that uncanny ability to seem like he’s in no hurry, yet opponents seem to be unable to lay a finger on him.

The versatile and determined Tom Hunt and playing coach Hamish Jarrad would have piled the pressure on, providing inspiration.

And while it’s one thing to have class, it’s another to have enduring class. Multiple grand finalist Rob Rogers also stood out against this year’s likely premiers. You can bet that long time comrade James Evans and his hard working back-men would have been under relentless pressure from Gordon forwards, who must be the best in the business, yet kept them to an honest score. And judging by the large number of behinds, were forced to ply their trade under a good deal of pressure.

So while Gordon came away with the four points, the match was a very good demonstration from a side which is maturing, has some top notch personnel and plays with plenty of spirit. Supporters would have been quite happy with the performance, if they been able to be there.

Goal Kickers: S. Hughes 5, S. Winnard 2, T. Hunt
Best Players: C. Peart, S. Hughes, X. Walsh, T. Sullivan, R. Rodgers, H. Jarrad

The Reserves were no match for Gordon. Best afield were the tried-and-true combination of, D. Ryan, A. Brereton, I. Medina, R. Holmes and W. Rogers.

The Under 18s struggled against Gordon also, but it’s heartening to see these youngsters sticking together and giving it their best.

Final scores: Daylesford 4.3-27 Gordon 24.10- 154

Goal Kickers: C. Petkovic 2, T. Pelham, L. O’Conal
Best Players: A. Pasahidis, C. Petkovic, L. O’Conal, L. Pertzel, L. McColl

The Under 15s on the other hand, continued their very successful season (third on the ladder) with a decisive win against eighth placed Gordon. 8.9-57 to 3.4-22

Goal Kickers: J. French 3, T. Koleski 2, T. Pelham, F. Pelham, S. Meadows
Best Players: G. Vivian, Z. Koleski, T. Pelham, M. Botheras, J. Nemeth, J. French

The Under 12s also enjoyed success in a one-sided sort of a game winning 6.9-45 to 0.

Goal Kickers: Z. Marshall 2, S. Morgan, C. McBride, J. Goddard, L. Mccarthy
Best Players: M. Aylward, J. Goddard, Z. Marshall, W. Klu, S. McColl

Daylesford V Springbank July 10 2021

You couldn’t have wished for more pleasant football weather as Daylesford (13th placed) took on Springbank (8th placed).

There was a positive vibe about the Bulldogs from the word go, with Chris Peart true to form, collecting numerous early possessions and delivering bullet like passes to leading forwards, the very switched on Scott Hughes in particular, who registered early goals from those efforts. As would become a familiar pattern during the game, the ball spent the majority of the time in the Springbank forward line. James Evans was masterful in repelling attacks on goal at the last line of defence, along with the formidable Cam Ralph.

The first quarter scoreline reflected the Bulldogs efficiency when in attack.

Daylesford 3.0-18. Springbank 3.3-21.

The second quarter saw the Bulldogs consolidate their work during the first, with an uptick in their run and handball game, including a beauty from Ben Jones at the end of a well executed chain to Shaun Clarke who kicked truly for the opening goal. But it was Scott Hughes who was leading the charge on the scoreboard with contested goal square marks or scrambled groundplay, whatever it took. Still though, Springbank were an agile opponent who continued to impact the scoreboard.

Daylesford 6.0-36 Springbank 7.6-48.

The third term commenced with Springbank registering a major score, but it was to be their only one in a quarter where the Daylesford defence was simply superb. Tom Conroy was getting plenty of the ball. Tom Sullivan and Jack Pitts were solid, but it was full back James Evans once again dominant. (When your correspondent put to him post match that he was ‘the thin blue line’ in defence, with typical modesty he corrected that to be ‘the old blue line’).

All over the ground, the Bulldogs had lifted. Joel Cummings had been a livewire at every contest, and with great dash and determination twice seized the loose ball to hammer home goals. Scott Hughes was having a day out, and with the forwards giving him plenty of space, was outcompeting his opposite number to add further goals. Shaun Clarke was dominant in the big marking contests while Trent Nesbitt and Jake Whelan where providing plenty of drive.

Bulldogs hit the lead after an ascendant quarter. Supporters were thrilled with the effort and skill shown by the Bulldogs, including accuracy on goal, which was as pleasing as it was rare.

Daylesford 10.0-60. Springbank 8.8-56.

Springbank were first out the blocks to register the first goal, but Tom Hunt on the end of an exceptional passage of play in which Hamish Jarrad and the silky Xav Walsh were key, scored again to resume the lead. The speed and versatility of Springbank however proved decisive towards the end of the quarter. Yet again, the Bulldogs did not seem to have the endurance to fully match their competitors. They played with plenty of spirit and in Scott Hughes (7 goals. 0 points), have a highly skilled and consistent forward. Not for the first time they were close to defeating a top eight side, Skipton a recent case in point.

There are some very gettable games in the run home, including next Saturday away to Newlyn, so some reward for their improvements during the year are due.

Daylesford 11.0-66. Springbank 11.13-79.

Goal Kickers: S. Hughes 7, J. Cummings 2, T. Hunt, S. Clarke
Best Players: C. Peart, J. Whelan, C. Ralph, S. Hughes, J. Pitts, T. Nesbitt

The Reserves tried hard but couldn’t overcome Springbank. Club champion and official gentleman Cade O’Brien put his shoulder to the wheel with two goals, while Ben Horne was as ever, a skilled and reliable contributor. Aaron Brereton and the emerging Jack Goodlet made the best of their opportunities.

Daylesford 5.5-35. Springbank 10.10-70.

Goal Kickers: C. O”Brien 2, C. Slater, B. Horne, A. Brereton
Best Players: B. Horne, A. Brereton, D. Ryan, I. Medina

The Under 18s were outgunned, going down 3.0-18 to 16.23-119.

It was good to see Under 15 players stepping up to support their more senior team mates.

Goal Kickers: M. Botheras 2, T. Koleski, J. French
Best Players: S. Kinnear, J. Nemeth, M. Botheras , L. Mccoll, M. Hunt, Z. Slater

The second placed Under 15s played third placed Springbank and came away with a clear awareness of what it will take to secure a premiership as a determined Springbank overcame a strong early run by the Bulldogs to finish ten points up at the final siren.

Daylesford 4.8-32. Springbank 6.6-42.

Daylesford V Bungaree 3rd July 2021.

The Bulldogs took to the field in a foggy, nippy 4 degrees on a sodden track, well used by a handful of previous games. Our winter game couldn’t get much more winter than this.

The first quarter was an end to end arm wrestle, with James Evans once again a bulwark in defence, but also spearheading attacks with run and carry and long bombs into the forward 50. Josh Clough was additionally very solid and reliable in defence. Kane Stewart was a live wire, creating opportunities with good running and use of space. But it was Chris Peart who had his hands on the ball the most. Near unrecognisable under Bungaree mud within the first ten minutes, he played the wet ball like a dry ball. Overall the standard of play was quite good given the conditions. At 1.4-10 apiece, the teams could not have been much closer at the first change.

Second quarter saw the Bulldogs step up another gear. The defence held true with Tom Conroy involved in some truly courageous marking and Cam Ralph pulling down some big ones and following on with footskills which belied the difficult conditions. With their tails up, major scores went to Tom Hunt and Scott Hughes from mark, set shots, while Chris Peart was rewarded for his determined tackling with a free kick and successful shot on goal. There were a host of minor scores as well as the Bulldogs clearly outplayed the home team.

Daylesford 4.9-33. Bungaree 2.5-17.

The third quarter was a turgid affair. By now the conditions were dominating the game and it was a slog from one contest to another. The umpire looked like needing an interchange whistle. Shaun Clarke was giving the followers first use of the ball in the majority of ruck contests, but it was basically twenty two minutes of energy sapping stacks on the mill with Bungaree creeping back with two majors at the scoring end while Bulldogs were unable to make an impression on the scoreboard. The Bulldogs held a narrow lead at the change and while the wind advantage had subsided somewhat, were reasonably positioned for a decisive last quarter in the context of the game.

Daylesford 4.9-33. Bungaree 4.7-31

Seb Walsh laid out the facts in his address to the players, in four or more instances this season the team had lost the final quarter, and the game.

This must not, could not happen today.

The fourth quarter saw the drama significantly ramped up, as victory was in sight for both teams. Jack Pitts and Tom Sullivan continued their good work around the ball, but it was Bungaree who took the initiative, with the odd loose man and some fortuitous kicking errors going their way, providing them a one goal advantage with little time on the clock.

A blinder from Tom Hunt in the pocket levelled the scores and the Bulldogs looked to have seized the momentum back.

Scores were level. What happened next may well weigh on team members minds for some time. After a slogfest of four quarters, Bungaree basically just took the ball out of the centre and kicked a goal. Soon after, the siren sounded.

Daylesford 5.9-39. Bungaree 6.9-45.

Supporters emotions were visibly stretched. Some looked skyward, others at their feet. This one really hurt.

Undoubtedly football is a game played from the neck up and there is no questioning the Bulldogs desire for the ball, belief for each other and hunger for a win, but the fourth quarter situation may also be indicative of something from the neck down.

The Tuesday and Thursday nights at Vic Park may well be key to being able to withstand and ideally advance on their opponents last quarter surges.

A further challenge for the team and coaching staff after Saturdays teeth grindingly narrow loss would most likely lie somewhere in the chest cavity. Players will need to reinvigorate their purpose and determination and take heart at the hand dealt to them this week.

Next week is tenth placed Springbank at home. This will be an opportunity to put the fourth quarter bogeyman to rest. All supporters and Bulldog curious members of the community are welcome for what will certainly be a cracker of a game.

Around the club, the Reserves went down by 20 points with the evergreen Rob Rogers and dependable Ben Horne hitting the scoreboard and generally best around. Good to see Bill Giacometti also hitting form.

The Under 18s had a tough day, with Frankie Harvey, who also popped up in the seniors leading the goal kicking.

The Under 15s on the other hand were dominant, with essentially a walk in the park against a scoreless opponent. The Koleski brothers were amongst the best on, with T Koleski bagging a handy seven goals. They are currently second on the ladder, separated only by a paper thin percentage from the top team. Definitely a team to watch.

The Under 15s were outdone. Jackson Goddard had a standout game, as did Zac Marshall who also contributed on the scoreboard.

Daylesford v Skipton – June 26, 2021

While your correspondent was unable to attend the match at Vic Park, the quarter by quarter scores and CHFL player rankings seem to tell the story.

You had a Bulldogs team start just how you would want them to, strong from the start, registering 2.3-15 to Skipton 0-2. 2.

With no stretch of the imagination, Chris Peart, who finished with 2 goals would have been instrumental in a dominant quarter. James Evans had clearly marshalled the back six to thwart whatever advances Skipton, placed 6th on the ladder, had made on goal.

The second quarter was undoubtedly an arm wrestle with Skipton adding 1.2 to Daylesford’s 1 point, but in a low scoring affair on a sodden track the Bulldogs were still leading by 6 points at the major change.

Trent Nesbitt, a very welcome returnee after an earlier very distinguished career with the Dogs, was clearly up and about, and the grittily determined playing coach Hamish Jarrod had put his shoulder to the wheel, But the 3rd quarter scoreboard pretty much tells the story.

Bulldogs kicked six points. Skipton kicked four goals. The home side had more scoring shots than the visitors, but failed to convert, while the visitors each time did. The classy and dependable Xav Walsh was undoubtedly driving the ball forward, but at the pointy end, luck was not coming our way.

Trailing by a gettable twelve points going into the final term, The Bulldogs fought back in the final quarter with Jack Pitts making the most of his opportunities and most pleasingly, youngster Adam Pasahidis was getting plenty of the ball. The Bulldogs added 1.2 to Skipton’s 4 points, but needed more to wrest the game game back.

Not for the first time this season, accuracy on goal was the Bulldogs undoing.

Final scores: Daylesford 3.12-30. Skipton 5.8-38. Players and supporters will rue another missed opportunity, where a better game and more shots on goal were still not enough to bring home a win.

The Reserves were never really in hunt, going down 4.6-30 to 14.6-90, but good to see a standout game by Text Kavanagh Dando, B.O.G and two goals to his name, and honourable mentions for Frankie Harvey who pulled on the boots for the Reserves after having dobbed two goals in the Under 18s just prior, as well as club stalwarts Shannon Mobbs and Tom Powell.

In the juniors, the Under 15s came away with a win, and are currently second on the ladder with Jack French the fifth highest league goalkicker. They are a very promising team by all accounts.

Next Saturday the Bulldogs travel to Bungaree, where too much football will be barely enough.

Daylesford Seniors V Waubra – June 19, 2021

Daylesford was away to Waubra, one of the more attractive grounds in the CHFL, with the seniors contesting the Bernie Jurcan Cup, inspired by the beloved late clubman.

In a welcome change from previous matches, the Bulldogs were on from the first bounce. The centre combinations were integrating beautifully, particularly with Chris Peart, whom various supporters liken to club champion Luke Adams in term of his football acumen and game style, releasing quality ball to a potent forward line. Sam Winnard was a worthy target, clunking contested marks in the goal square, while Shaun Hughes imposed himself on every contest. Playing coach Hamish Jarrad was back on field from injury and quickly impressed with his hardness at the ball and strategic leadership. Daylesford led 5.3-33 to Waubra 3.0-18  

Anyone acquainted with the Waubra ground will know that there is a scoring end. A hundreds or so wind turbines and their orientation gives a bit of a clue.

Waubra wasted no time making the most of it with a swift game that saw five goals piled on, almost unanswered except for some decisive forward defensive pressure from Xav Walsh which resulted in a turnover against the flow of play. His pass to Trent Nesbitt was rewarded with a goal. Emmlyn Nettleton was gritty throughout, tunnelling in for the hard ball gets with the determination that saw him awarded the 2021 co-captaincy. Cam Ralph was simply everywhere and his tenacity at the ball gave Waubra something to think about.

 At half time, Waubra led 8.1-49 to Daylesford 6.4-40.

The Bulldogs had some work to do in the third quarter. The centre combination and the tight rebound work of James Evans, Alex Singleton and Jack Pitts put the game back on Daylesford’s footing. Scott Hughes broke out with a handy goal from a lead to a centimetre perfect Rob Rogers pass that forwards all over the country drift off to sleep on a Friday night hoping will come their way the following day. But while Daylesford seized the momentum, gettable goals were frustratingly registering behinds only. Tempers flared at one stage with a sizable melee which threatened to boil over. Waubra are a very good country club, so it is unfortunate that they have in their midst, a grub.

However, the Bulldogs had worked their way back to a one point deficit at three quarter time and supporters looked set for a cracking last quarter. Daylesford. 8.9-57. Waubra 9.4-58.

However, it was largely one way traffic, with the Bulldogs struggling to get the ball into their forward line. Despite the dogged desperation of the likes of Joel Cummings, Trent Nesbitt and Tom Hunt, Waubra simply had more run in their legs at the crucial stage. A depleted Daylesford bench also did not help matters.

Final Scores.  Daylesford 8.9-57. Waubra 13.6-84.

Daylesford has a well balanced team both on paper and on the park. They took the game up to their much more fancied rivals for three quarters, but were unable to sustain the pressure. The Bulldogs gave a very good account of themselves on Saturday. With a few degrees more of on field endurance they should out compete more highly placed teams and certainly those in their vicinity on the ladder.

The Reserves had something of an ordinary day, going down by 46 points. The Under 15s were the only juniors to meet with success.

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

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