THERE were no great expectations from this top versus bottom match between Dalyston and Bunyip at Dalyston last Saturday, but there was a lot of interest in the game all the same.
Highlights included Tylah Osbaldeston running out for his 150th game, tossing the coin, securing the wind advantage and being named in the ‘best players’ for his strong play coming out of defence, while limiting key Bunyip forward Brent Heus to one goal.
Later in the match, team mates encouraged Osbaldeston forward in the hopes he might snag a late goal to boost the celebrations but despite ‘barrelling’ a kick from 50 metres out against the wind, it wasn’t to be.
The goal-kicking heroics were left to Brad Fisher who underscored his all-round value to the team, front and back, with nine goals.
His ninth came at the 18 minute mark of the last quarter after a
fantastic grab 20 metres out, straight in front. So there was plenty of time for him to get an even 10, had the team not been concentrating on a fitting finale for Osbaldeston’s 150th.
But they were happy enough with their 77-point win, especially as it allowed them to move two games clear of Inverloch-Kongwak who unexpectedly lost to Nar Nar Goon away, despite a late surge.
The Bunyip supporters, who turned out in good numbers at Dalyston, weren’t all that concerned as they sounded their horns and shouted encouragement after each of their seven goals in an honest display by the visiting Bulldogs.
They had a convincing win in the Fourths and gave a good account of themselves in the Thirds, so a return to competitiveness in the Seniors’ ranks might not be all that far away.
Dalyston made only the one change on Saturday, Kainen Schrape in for Blake Carew, and they stamped their authority on the contest with a five goal to one first quarter, kicking with the aid of a three goal wind.
And ominously, their first goal was up on the board within 30 seconds of the first bounce, straight out of the middle and on to Chris Graham who set the standard with a straight shot from 45 metres.
But to give them their due, Bunyip stiffened their defence and it was 13 minutes before Dalyston got their next through Matt Rosendale following a nice long ball from Travis Krause, Rosendale waiting goal-side of the pack for his chance.
Michael Marotta followed up a minute later after strong play by Kyle Kirk.
Bunyip pulled one back against the wind, working the ball doggedly around the clubrooms’ side wing to where Bryce Morton gathered the loose ball and poked it through skilfully from 15 metres on the angle.
It was just reward for effort but Brad Fisher shut down the challenge with the next two of the term, the first following a delightful left-foot pass from the mercurial Marotta and the second as a result of great lead-up play by Legione and Rosendale.
Three more within six minutes into the wind in the second quarter; via Anthony Bernado, Daniel Belsten and Chris Graham and Dalyston had the match fully on its terms, even after Tyson Buckingham made the most of a long kick into the Dogs’ danger zone and a late one by Whyte after a free 30 metres out.
Kainen Schrape had kept the momentum with Dalyston through an answering goal.
As the match continued in the second half, it was very much ‘The Brad Fisher Show’, with ‘Fish’ flying for mark after mark, kicking four in the third quarter and three more in the last.
The Pies sit comfortably on top now and they’ll have two weeks to plan their attack on last weekend’s giant killers, Nar Nar Goon away.
Full football coverage in this weeks edition of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.
To subscribe to our digital edition: https://sgst.com.au/ezine-publication/