Goulburn Valley League
Under 18s footy
Rochester v Tatura
Rochester 17.9 (111) def Tatura 3.3 (21)
Finally, the start of the season that almost never was arrived on Saturday.
The GVFL has kicked off, with only underage games taking place.
Rochester hosted Tatura Bulldogs at Moon Oval in sensational weather, with spectator numbers limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The home side came out of the gate at full speed, kicking three goals in the first four minutes, all from the boot of Mitch Cricelli.
Nathan Kay, playing his first game in over a season, was the next to chip in after marking at half forward and playing on for a long goal.
Cricelli was responsible for two more goals in the term and linked up with Adam McPhee for another.
A dominant quarter saw Rochester up by more than 40 points at quarter-time.
The second term was again all Rochester.
Spencer Cleary’s opening goal was the deserved result of Jarrad Kyne being well on top in the ruck and the Tigers’ ability to win the centre clearance at will.
Cricelli was marking everything that came his way and had the next three majors for the home side.
Jordan Priestly kicked straight to close out the term and put Rochy up by 12 goals at the long break.
The second half saw a swing in intensity, with the Bulldogs showing plenty of bite.
With Tatura really getting into the game Cleary’s goal was the only major for the home side, who were outscored by the Bulldogs in the third term.
The final quarter was again controlled by the home side, with two goals to Priestly.
McPhee had his second as the Tigers controlled the ball in their forward 50, chipping it around until it ended with McPhee lining up directly in front.
Cricelli rounded out the day with his ninth goal after a contested mark saw the ball hit the turf and he recovered fastest to snap truly.
Rochester coach Mitch Bright said he was proud of his side’s performance after the delayed start to the season.
“It was really good for the boys to get out there and grab a win after the long delay,” Bright said.
“They played really well, I thought they started superbly.
“We’ve been working hard on structures and I think it’s (the win) a testament to the work they’ve done in the time off.”
Goals: M. Cricelli (9), J. Priestley (3), S. Cleary (2), A. McPhee (2), N. Kay.
Best: M. Cricelli, A. McPhee, N. Kay, J. Kyne, S. Cleary, R. Holmberg.
Goulburn Campaspe Junior Football League
LBU v Leitchville Gunbower
LBU 9.7 (61) def Leitchville Gunbower United 2.6 (18)
It was great to see the kids able to play football again — thanks to Leitchville Gunbower coaches and players for a great day.
In the first quarter LBU scored three goals, with Jai Milligan setting the pace with a good goal out of the centre.
Noah Ramskill and Nicholas Mitchell played well up forward while Finn Palmer was dominant down back.
The second quarter saw the team changed around.
Archie Sims was strong up forward and the midfield was led by Bowden Stone and Jai Milligan, who were winning everything.
In the third quarter Noah Condliffe played well, with Bowden Stone LBU's only goal scorer.
Lucas Holgate was having a great game at half-back while Cody Betts was getting plenty of the ball.
In the final quarter LBU’s young guns were running out of legs with the opposition getting back into the game.
Jacob Haines went forward, kicking one, along with Oscar Palmer.
Finn Palmer went into the centre and along with Bowden and Noah won nearly every clearance.
A super team effort by all the boys to start the season.
Goals: N. Mitchell (3), N. Ramskill, J. Milligan, C. Betts, B. Stone, J. Haines, O. Palmer.
Best: Jai Milligan, Bowden Stone, Noah Ramskill, Finn Palmer, Jacob Haines and Nicholas Mitchell.
Lockington Bamawm United v Leitchville Gunbower
It was great to see many excited kids ready to play their first football match of the season on Saturday morning.
Against smaller and younger Leitchy-Gunny opponents LBU displayed great attack on the ball and teamwork to move the football regularly into the forward line.
Players were rotated through many positions on the field to give everyone a chance to get into the game. It was good for players to experience different positions to play in.
With eight different goalkickers the scoring was shared around in a fantastic team effort.
To their credit, our opponents fought the game out to the very end.
Bendigo Junior Football League
Leitchville-Gunbower 21.9 (135) def. North Bendigo 6.1 (37)
Glorious winter conditions greeted the Bombers as they ventured to Atkins St Oval.
After a tumultuous week sorting border requirements, six forced changes failed to significantly impact the structure of the team.
A fast opening quarter would have delighted AFL commentators with eight straight goals kicked between both sides.
But it was Leitchy-Gunny who led after kicking six majors.
Key marking forwards revelled in ideal conditions as Hugh Byrne and Angus Baldwin took over in the air, with the duo kicking five goals in the second.
The forwards were on song with 10 goals straight midway through the second.
First use of the ball on the small confines of Atkins St is paramount and Eli Spiers led the way in the ruck, gaining control. He provided silver service to midfielders Windridge, Cruse, Gleeson, O’Shea and Ross as the Bombers dominated the third term, booting six goals.
A plucky Dogs outfit refused to throw in the towel, playing their best footy in the last quarter while the Bombers’ tremendous accuracy for goal eluded them in the last.
The backline was rock solid all day, led by the Taylor boys.
Their switching of the play was a highlight.
Hugh Byrne took best on ground honours booting 8.2 in a powerful marking display with plenty of support forward with Danziger, Gus Baldwin, Hawken and Varcoe all providing dangerous options and raising the two flags.
Goals: H. Byrne (8), B. Hawken (3), A. Baldwin (3), H. Danziger (3), R. Varcoe, S. Cruse, A. Windridge, B. Taylor.
Best: H. Byrne, E. Spiers, A. Windridge, M. Gleeson, B. Hawken.