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BFNL Review - Round 11, 2024

Wet and wild conditions made it tough going across the weekend allowing the class of the top sides to stand out with a number of strong results.

Melton South


def. by

North Ballarat


North Ballarat did what they had to do on the road with a 101-point win over winless Melton South.

Ironically it was the Panthers second lowest score of the season and second lowest concede of points in any game this year.

Both sides on paper are well shy of their best 22, but that couldn't deny a next wave of opportunity.

The visitors put the scoreboard to the back of mind, opting to work on method and strategy around the ball that will hold them in good stead moving forward.

The Roosters have always been considered a forward-thinking group, embracing development of good habits taking priority over scores.

With the result never in doubt, it was all about seeing the fruits of the Roosters’ labour verses the resistance levels shown by the hosts.

The game was put to bed at quarter time 8.3 to 0.2 as North Ballarat essentially went to town on the struggling Panthers.

There has to be some merit given to the response of the young Panthers to minimise the damage from that point on restricting the Roosters to just 10 goals for the remaining three quarters while managing to post a couple of their own.

The Roosters welcomed back Stewart Crameri (two goals) for his first game of the season while promising up and comer Taj McMillan took game high honours on the goal front finishing with four goals.

McMillan joined Reggie Palmer (best), Isaac Carey, Josh Sparkman and Sam Artz (one goal) to be among voting contention for the winners while Broden Collins, Mitch Fino, John Kovarik and Ryder Rousch were the pick of the bunch from the losing side.


Elliot Lamb (North Ballarat) - 35 disposals, 23 contested possessions, 11 tackles

Broden Collins (Melton South) - 63 hitouts, 20 disposals, 14 clearances

Malachi White (North Ballarat) - 24 disposals, 16 contested possessions, 8 score involvements

Travis Hodgson (Melton South)
"Very happy with the boys effort. After our shocker a few weeks ago, we have competed hard and been pretty sound structurally. Our ball movement is improving and we've lifted our inside 50 average above 30 which although is 20 off the good sides, is substantially better than some early season games where we couldn't get above 15. The double bye is probably ok when 50% of team is 19 or younger and they've gone back-to-back against last year's grand finalists. Freshen up and try and get closer against the Marsh."

Shane McCarty (North Ballarat Coaching Staff)
"Our boys were fantastic in the tough and slippery conditions and against a young Melton South team that were having a red hot crack. Today we had 14 players under the age of 22 and it was another big step in their continued learnings and development which is what we are all about. We wanted to focus on our structures and set ups today without ever once looking at the scoreboard and we did this well. Our boys will be looking forward to the week off before getting back to work next week."






The Swans provided the upset of the year to date, downing top three contenders Sunbury at Alfredton Oval.

It was the first time for the season any of the current teams listed 6-11th on the BFNL ladder had enjoyed any success against the top five. The record stands at one win and 29 losses!

Chris Maple's group deserved every bit of their win after being in touch at half time before a five-goals-to-one third term broke the game right open leaving the Lions on the back foot and forced to do all the chasing.

Matty White's Lions were always going to come again late but their four-goal final return was matched by the hosts who managed to maintain the 22-point buffer held at three-quarter time.

With goals at a premium on a difficult day that saw just three goals kicked in the opening half, it was a credit to the two sides who were able to play a more attractive brand after the main break adding 14 goals collectively to reward brave fans with an entertaining spectacle, loaded with the upset of the season.

There's no denying the importance of the win for the Swans finals aspirations as the four points moved them a game clear and percentage ahead of nearest rival and seventh placed Redan.

Swans forward Jack O'Brien upstaged higher profile opposition sharp shooters Jake Sutton (two goals) and Mitch McLean (two goals) to finish with a game high four goals and best on ground honours ahead of Will Liston, Paddy Simpson and Marcus Powling.

For the visitors, a fourth trip to Ballarat proved their undoing despite the efforts of promising youngster Zachary Stevens, Fraser Ampulski and defenders Jordan Tentonello, Jack Newitt and Tyson Lever. 


Tyson Lever (Sunbury) - 29 disposals, 17 intercept possessions, 11 marks

Lewis Rinaldi (Ballarat) - 31 disposals, 21 contested possessions, 12 tackles

Marcus Powling (Ballarat) - 64 hitouts, 13 disposals, 7 clearances     

Chris Maple (Ballarat)
"A top four quarter effort. We sustained our forward pressure throughout the game. Great to see our young team withstand a strong Sunbury team who kept coming all day. A lot of good learnings out of the game."

Matt White (Sunbury)
"(Ballarat) played their ground well, made it small and congested which suited their game and beat us in the contest. Full credit to Ballarat, they have some good players to be fearful of."

East Point



Bacchus Marsh


East Point’s dream run continued with a dominant win over an undermanned Bacchus Marsh outfit.

It was just the fourth time this year 40 scoring shots were recorded against any opposition, highlighting the gulf between these two sides albeit, under trying conditions and the lowest score from the Cobras since their 1.9-15 return against Melton in Round 6 last year.

The visitors were always going to be up against it given the form lines but the emphatic nature of the 131-point separation was above expectations on a cold Winters day at Eastern Oval.

The win consolidates Joe Carmody's men in second position on the BFNL table, only percentage shy of Melton who share the same win / loss record (W9 L1).

This game was played on the Kangas’ terms essentially from the outset as they held Cobras goalless until the third term.

An 86-3 scoreline at halftime, 21 scoring shots to three spoke volumes of the Kangas stranglehold on the contest.

As many as a dozen Kangaroos’ players hit the scoreboard, none moreso than leading forward Bryson McDougall who finished with a game high five goals to move into outright third in Tony Lockett Medal calculations.

McDougall joined notable defenders Billy Jones (two goals), Jacob Brown, Geordy Slater and Jackson Merrett in the best players alongside Mr. Consistent midfielder Matty Johnston (three goals).

For the Cobras on a tough day for the club the pickings were slim. If there were to be any consolation for the touring party, the age profile of those named in the best does yield some encouragement moving forward as Colby Piggott, Bailey Glascott, Isaac Nixon and Cody Gates all rated credible mentions.


Matt Johnston (East Point) - 40 disposals, 20 contested possessions, 14 score involvements

Jacob Brown (East Point) - 27 disposals, 10 intercept possessions, 10 marks

Jake McCreery (Bacchus Marsh) - 21 disposals, 15 tackles, 7 clearances

Joe Carmody (East Point)
“Really good all-round performance against a young and up and coming side. Conditions suited our contested ball players, and we were able to generate a number of scoring opportunities with our high amount of inside forward 50's."

Dennis Armfield (Bacchus Marsh)
"Tough day on a beautiful Ballarat day. Joe has his team well drilled and humming. Their leadership across the board was impressive. I was proud of our boys to keep fighting, regardless of the scoreboard. (We) had a very young team who will learn a lot from the experience."



Def by



Melton simply outclassed a resilient Redan at City Oval under single digit temperatures.

Rain, hail or shine, nothing seems to phase the Bloods - they just get the job done and make light work of their ability to hit the scoreboard.

In fairness, Redan had their fair share of the ball but were unable to finish off any of their territory gains due to the 'stingy' nature of the Bloods’ frugal defence.

Melton simply don't give you any easy scores -the Lions’ five shots on goal is yet an example.

In fact, it was the seventh occasion in 10 games this year that the Bloods have kept their opposition to 45 points or less.

While there were lengthy periods resembling the old 'arm wrestle' adage, the sheer ability of the Bloods to finish their work with an accurate shot on goal is having a profound impact.

Ryan Carter (three goals) and Braedan KIght (three goals) rarely miss given an opportunity.

Carter's set shot routine is faultless and his timing on the kick in red hot form while Kight just kicks them for fun and from anywhere.

It's break your heart stuff for any opposition side trying to gain some momentum against the ladder leaders.

On the flipside, it's a dream for Troy Scoble and the Bloods to have at their disposal.

Carter and Kight were again the beneficiaries of the consistent, hardworking Bloods’ soldiers from up the field.

Lachie Watkins, Lachlan Walker and Blake Souter thrived in the Wintery conditions once again to be named in the better players alongside big man Brett McIntyre who toiled hard in the ruck in the absence of Jono O'Brien.

For Redan, the performance wasn't without effort despite what the scoreboard suggests.

Jacob Short tried his heart out as a key pillar in defence and was caught out only when the supply was delivered on a platter.

Kye Jess and Lachie George were arguably the Lions’ biggest possession winners and had high territory gains by foot while Dean Matthews and Geelong VFL listed player Lachie Bond also received the nod of approval from coach Gary Learmonth.


Khy Jess (Redan) - 36 disposals, 22 contested possessions, 11 tackles

Lachlan Watkins (Melton) - 31 disposals, 20 intercept possessions, 18 contested possessions

Jaycob Hickey (Melton) - 30 disposals, 14 contested possessions, 11 tackles

Gary Learmonth (Redan)
"Today's result was disappointing but I thought that for a good part of the game we were competitive. We weren't able to do the basics well enough against a really smart footy side. We loved the opportunity to test ourselves against a playing and coaching group we really respect and hope to be able to improve to reach their level sooner rather than later."

Troy Scoble (Melton)
"Strong in all phases of the game today, especially defensively in tricky conditions. Effort was strong as we try to see out the last three-week block. (It's) been a very challenging period and proud of our group in how they've united and supported each other. Week off comes at a good time for us as a club and group. Challenging week ahead and we will stay united, work on elements of our game style and look forward to the second half of the year."




Lake Wendouree


An eight-goals-to-one final quarter blitz from the Devils was enough to earn them an encouraging 70-point win over Lake Wendouree at Darley Park on Saturday.

The inaccurate Devils were 6.20 at three-quarter time, having earned very little bang for buck from their 26 shots on goal that kept the visitors in the game, trailing by 25 points.

But finally, a correction of sorts from the powerful Devils saw them work their way to a more suitable margin validating the true gap between the two sides.

Devils’ midfielder Luther Baker was outstanding and lauded with best on ground honours - his seventh appearance at the pointy end of discussion in ten games, consolidating yet another body of work into an already consistent season.

Dangerous forward quartet Billy Myers (four goals), Brady Wright (three goals), Leigh Spiteri (three goals) and Harley Inglis (three goals) combined for 13 of the Devils’ 14 goals in the absence of Will Johnson who is another two or three weeks away from a return.

Underrated Devils’ defender Zane Le Huray joined Baker for a seventh appearance in ten games among the best players.

For the Lakers, they again showed periods of competitiveness but were unable to amount that to scores when forward or deny the Devils who are clearly well ahead in any finals or flag prospect discussions.

Lakers’ coach Rohan Brown welcomed further learnings out of the game while acknowledging the contributions of Ben Hayes, Angus Gove, Jaydo Wright and Ty Palmer who featured prominently for the touring party. 


Angus Gove (Lake Wendouree) - 41 disposals, 15 rebound 50s, 9 intercept possessions

Luther Baker (Darley) - 29 disposals, 18 contested possessions, 13 score involvements

Brady Wright (Darley) - 22 disposals, 13 score invovlements, 11 marks  

Dan Jordan (Darley)
"Thought we controlled all areas of the game except our entries and conversion in front of goal. Credit to Lakers who cracked in all day. Good to get some reward on the scoreboard in the last quarter."

Rohan Brown (Lake Wendouree)
"Margin blew out in the last 30 minutes with Darley’s class players taking over the game. Really pleased with our contest and how we faced the game against a quality coached opposition. We look forward to the back end of the year knowing we are taking small steps in the right direction."