NORTH BENDIGO’S undefeated 2017 season continued on Saturday with a 98-point win against Lockington-Bamawm United.
The Bulldogs took control of the game early, their stifling defence limiting much attacking progress from the Cats who struggled to threaten their more experienced opponents.
But despite the margin of the defeat, LBU coach Peter Gibbs was pleased with the effort his young side put in.
‘‘We knew we were going in a bit undermanned against the top side and we had a few outs,’’ he said.
‘‘Overall, we didn’t score really well but we defended okay.
‘‘There was only one quarter where they got well on top, we controlled a fair bit of the play and we were pretty pleased with that.’’
Gibbs was particularly pleased with the way the team had defended.
‘‘The willingness to control and be composed from the back half was good, a lot of that was due to the pressure put on from our mids and they went back and helped,’’ he said.
‘‘We chipped the ball around, took some time out of the game and battled well. You couldn’t fault the effort.’’
North Bendigo turned up to the Nichol Trading Oval knowing its best would be too good for the young Cats, and skipped away to a 26-point quarter-time lead after keeping LBU to just one behind.
The Cats got on the board through Darcy McCallum in the second quarter, but couldn’t hold out the brilliant Bulldogs who kicked another four goals by the half to lead by 43.
The Bulldogs made sure of things with a blistering third term, 9.2 (56) to 1.2 (8) for the quarter building an 81-point advantage.
Things slowed down in the last with the result beyond doubt, North Bendigo winners 19.9 (123) to 3.7 (25).
Gibbs said the difference between the two teams was clear.
‘‘It’s not taking anything away from North, but they’ve got talent on every line and that talent is big and strong where we are young and light,’’ he said. ‘‘The physical game isn’t our strength at the moment, we need the ball on the outside.’’
With little left to play for in 2017 but pride, Gibbs highlighted the effort of young forward Joss Howlett was indicative of the team’s improvement.
‘‘Even this week we saw improvement; we had (Howlett) down back who normally plays forward. Last time he played back against North Bendigo they kicked a few goals on him in not much time, but (on Saturday) he did a really good job and you can see the improvement there.
‘‘All I can ask for the rest of the season is that the enjoy it, and keep giving effort.’’
McCallum, who kicked two of the team’s three goals, was LBU’s best.
‘‘He started on the wing but he had our first two shots at goal which shows his willingness to run,’’ Gibbs said.
‘‘He also was willing to get back and help. He had to go down to deep defence, but he goaled from that role.
‘‘He was exceptional and played how we want our guys to play.’’
Daniel Maher kicked the third LBU goal, Marcus Angove and Marcus Crook two other standout players.