Strong second half downs Magpies

Max O'Sullivan snap kicks towards goal. Photo: Peter Banko
Max O'Sullivan snap kicks towards goal. Photo: Peter Banko

Kyneton produced a strong second half to defeat a plucky Castlemaine by 58 points on Saturday.
The match started in some of the toughest conditions seen all season, with heavy rain and hail thumping down for the first five minutes of play and then steady rain persisting for much of the first half, enough to make conditions difficult for both sides throughout.
The Magpies came out firing in the slippery conditions, with their physical attack strong early despite being a younger and physically smaller side.
Kyneton took some time to adjust to the wet conditions and were sloppy by foot early, creating opportunities for the Magpies, who finished the first through the pace of Chester on the goal line.
The remainder of the term was very much an arm wrestle, as both sides struggled with the slippery conditions and were unable to take chances in front of goal.
Magpie Dylan Atkins controlled half back, rebounding the Tiger attacks time and again and forcing them wide on other occasions, while the Tigers fleet of running players, led by Max O’Sullivan and Billy Mahony looked dangerous at times.
Increasing blustery winds added to the difficulty of the conditions in the second term, and it was Kyneton who got started first with a nice snap from Ethan Foreman, who had showed signs of being a handful for the Magpies in the first term.
Within 30 seconds, again after strong bustling work to move the ball forward from Gareth Bowes, Foreman had two, this time from a free kick that was more than a little fortunate in the conditions.
The Magpies broke a stalemate with a nice running goal by John Watson, who had been a good contributor in the first half, to close the margin to just four points.
The Tigers went into the main break with an eight point lead, and although the scoreline of 3.11 to 3.3 looked as though the Tigers had been wasteful, in reality the contest was very even.
The large crowd enjoyed sunshine to start the second half and the Tigers also seemed to like the conditions, doing all the attacking in the opening moments of the second half before Fintan Brazil slotted a nice set shot to be the second Tiger in the goal kicking column.
In improving conditions the Tigers defence was proving harder to crack with Jayden Excel taking control at half back. Jack Chester hit the post from a set shot and the Tigers wasted no time in rebounding with the nice passage of end to end football ending with a goal to Foreman, who now had five of the Tigers seven.
Foreman shared the next opportunity with Brazil, who again finished a set shot nicely and fittingly it was Foreman who slotted number six with a 50 metre shot after the siren, taking the three quarter time lead to an even six goals.
The final scoring opened with O’Sullivan goaling in heavy traffic at the top of the goal square, before kicking a set shot from just inside 50 moments later.
The Magpies were denied an opportunity to hit back when a long banana from Jack Chester bounced through, only for the goal umpire to appear to be talked into calling the ball touched by Excel. From the resultant kick in the Magpies swooped on the footy and Jonte O’Neal kicked a nice goal only for the ball to be called back by the boundary umpire for a throw in, with the Kyneton defenders again seeming to have a fair amount of influence over the decision.
It was third time lucky for the Magpies when Darby Semmens rolled one through without intervention, but the Tigers quickly replied after a 50 metre penalty to Hayden Moore to the goal line.
A beautiful centre clearance from Braidon Blake to Johnson should have ended in a goal to Riley Pedretti after late contact wasn’t penalised with a 50 metre penalty, however the young Magpie received his reward when he converted a free kick in the next passage of play for a goal.
Foreman couldn’t manage to add to his tally in the final term, missing several shots and from one of these Hamish Govan, a good contributor all day for the Tigers, made the Magpie defence pay for an error on the kick in with a fine snap.
O’Sullivan capped off a great game with another major to see the final margin 58 points, however the Magpies were entitled to feel proud of the their effort, particularly given they lost key playmaker Kalan Huntly early after a heavy knock.