Gisborne on a roll

True team man – A big milestone day for Jarrad Lynch, pictured feeding off a handball for Gisborne. He joined the Bulldogs as a teenager from Sunbury. Photo: Paul Rovere

A devastating first quarter of football paved the way for Gisborne to defeat reigning Bendigo League premiers Golden Square by 46 points on Saturday.

It was a big day at Gardiner Reserve for the ‘Battle of the Bulldogs’, with Gisborne honouring former captain and on and off the field stalwart Jarrad Lynch as he played his 200th game.

Coming off massive wins over Maryborough and South Bendigo, Gisborne realistically did not expect to reproduce the same scoring sprees.

Before the main match, Golden Square defeated Gisborne Under 18s 10.9 to 8.11, then won a low-scoring Reserves match 6.5 to 5.9.

So there was no cause for complacency from the senior side in this fifth-round match.

Home supporters soon found voice as Gisborne produced a clinical exhibition of precision football in the first term, ramming home 7.4 and conceding just 1.2.

It was very apparent which side was going to end up with the points, though the general play was much closer for the remainder of the match.

The irrepressible Brad Bernacki can make the game look easy at times, and his ball-winning ability is second to none.

He also added four goals to cap off a classy display.

Pat McKenna finished with five goals and his sheer presence lifts teammates.

The interchangeable options up forward mean defenders in the top BFNL clubs will have plenty to think about this season.

Defender Liam Spear turned in his best game for the season, and reliable ruckman Braidon Blake, super-consistent Flynn Lakey, Matt Merrett and Lynch also finished up on the home side’s ‘best list’.

Final scores were 15.14 (104) to 8.8 (56), with the visitors leaving their best quarter until the last with four goals.

Gisborne now goes north on Saturday to play Eaglehawk, and will not be underestimating the Hawks who won easily against Kangaroo Flat.

Other BFNL games are Golden Square v Sandhurst, South Bendigo v Maryborough, and Strathfieldsaye v Kangaroo Flat. Castlemaine has the bye.