SPEEDY: Moama’s Lachlan Schultz was the Bendigo Pioneers best against Gippsland Power. Picture: BILL CONROY
THE Bendigo Pioneers could not halt Gippsland Power’s charge to victory in the TAC Cup football clash at Craigieburn on Saturday.
Gippsland’s dominance in and around stoppages proved telling as it gained a three-goal lead by quarter-time.
Power racked up nine scoring shots to one in a brilliant start to the match.
By half-time Gippsland held a 28-point buffer.
Bendigo did lift its play in the second half, but Gippsland had all the answers as it kicked away to record a 33-point victory.
Pioneers’ coach Brett Henderson said Gippsland’s strength around the packs was telling.
“They had one or two players dropping off back into defence and were able to take quite a few intercept marks or spoil a pass,” Henderson said.
Power’s pressure meant a lot of Bendigo’s attacks were forced sideways, backwards or came unstuck through disposal errors or wrong decisions.
“There was no doubt the effort was there, but our play to the forward half was chaotic at times.
“The pressure on our midfielders meant some passes to the forwards were not so great.”
Despite the loss, Henderson said there were positives to take from the match.
Moama’s Lachlan Schultz followed up his great play in the breakthrough victory against NSW-ACT the previous round by being Bendigo’s best.
“Lachy was outstanding. He works so hard from the start of the match until the finish,” Henderson said of the wingman’s play.
Sandhurst’s Lachlan Tardrew provided plenty of run and dare in the second half.
Golden Square clubmates Isaac Miller and Jayden Burke were again strong in defence.
Echuca’s Isaac Johnson and Jordan Bath played well in their first TAC Cup under-18 games, while Sandhurst’s Braidon Blake and Cooper Jones are two youngsters developing well.
Mildura’s Jayden Fox tore a hamstring just before half-time and is likely to miss four to six matches.
After next weekend’s bye, Bendigo plays Oakleigh on July 4 at the QEO.
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