Trent Shinners was out for the count, concussed and in a daze on the bench, David Hille was done for the day, taken off as a precautionary measure because of a minor shoulder complaint and Ben Duscher and Rick Ladson had been battered and bruised but were back in the contest heading into the final term they led by five goals.
But the Gold relished the challenge against the Seagulls yesterday. They were 51-points clear mid-way through the third term before the run of injuries hit.
“We knew they were going to come, they’re a good team, in the end it was just a matter of survival,” Bendigo coach Hayden Skipworth said.
“We tried to attack the game early and then we just had to hang on. The siren couldn’t come any sooner I suppose.”
It held on to win by 19-points at Windy Hill.
Ben Duscher was terrific with 28 touches for the Gold, while Matt Little and Scott Gumbleton dominated up forward in the absence of Justin Maddern who went down in the opening term with an ankle injury.
Skipworth praised Little, who has worked on becoming a more versatile player since taking out of the Frosty Miller Medal two years ago.
“He (Little) was excellent. He was really lively. Obviously coming up against his old side, he wanted to play well and I thought he played a really selfless game and he was probably in our better players on the day.” He said.
After its fourth win of the season, Bendigo is considered to be a flag threat depending upon which team shows up. It has a huge reliance on its Essendon-listed squad who have been decimated by injuries over the first half of the season.
“Now we’re starting to get them all up and running and hopefully in the next three or four weeks, we’ll see a few more guys as well,” Skipworth said.
“We’ve been a little bit up and down and it’s due to personnel. You can only compete with what’s out there and today we had a talented team and they got the job done,” he said.
NORTH Ballarat posted a 24-point win over Geelong at Simonds Stadium.
After trailing by 26-points at the first change, it was the midfielders that instigated the turnaround. Myles Sewell, Nick Couch and Lachie George were dominant in the clinches and Lindsay Thomas dominated up forward with six goals.
FitzGerald noted that the last time Thomas and Matt Campbell played for North Ballarat together was in 2008 when it cruised to premiership glory.
It was just the Roosters’ third win of the season but propels them to within striking distance of the top eight.
FitzGerald believes the club needs to put two consecutive wins on the board which hasn’t happened this season but admitted the club has lost its prowess at home, stating that the surface at Eureka Stadium is much more superior than what it once was.
There is no more mud-slosh on the terraces or at the centre bounces which clearly defined his hard-working team in its premiership era.
In other matches in a super Saturday of VFL action yesterday, Werribee Tigers trounced Collingwood by 109-points, Port Melbourne thrashed Frankston by 89-points and the Casey Scorpions returned to second spot with an impressive 55-point win over the Northern Blues.
Hero of the week: Scott Gumbleton (Bendigo) – It’s almost a feel-good story for the VFL to see an injury-plagued Essendon forward string a couple of good games together. Yesterday was his best with 12 disposals, six marks and three goals.
Villain of the week: Justin Sherman (Williamstown) – Appeared to be a little lack-lustre yesterday when the Seagulls needed him most. Started to have an impact late in the game.
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