Magpies and Bulldogs go head to head

Former AFL star Neville Jetta prepares to unleash a kick. Photo: Peter Banko

The Castlemaine Magpies hosted Gisborne in round eight Bendigo Football Netball League action at the Camp Reserve on Saturday.

The Magpies came into the match fresh off their Indigenous Round Shield win over Kangaroo Flat and Gisborne from a 28-point victory over fellow top-four contender Strathfieldsaye Storm.

It was a huge day for the Magpie faithful who were thrilled to welcome former AFL star Neville Jetta for a one-off special appearance.

Drafted to the Melbourne Football Club in 2008, Neville played 159 games with the club. He was the first MFC player to be awarded the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award in 2018 for his work with Indigenous youth and ambassador roles with the Red Cross and Headspace. In 2021 he announced his retirement and began his position as development coach at Collingwood Football Club.

The Castlemaine club loved hosting the AFL great and said his presence lifted the side against the in-form Bulldogs outfit.

The Magpies matched it with Gisborne in the opening term with both sides kicking four goals apiece and the Bulldogs held a slender two-point lead at the first change.

Castlemaine continued the intensity in the second stanza kicking another two majors and keeping Gisborne to 1.6 to trail by only one point at half-time.

Gisborne broke the shackles in the third term and found some accuracy in front of the sticks, kicking four goals the Castlemaine’s 2.1 and widening the gap to 12 points at the final change.

Gisborne showed their class in the final term smashing on another six goals to the Magpies’ 1.1 to claim the four points by the margin of 41 points.

The win seeing the Bulldogs sitting in second spot on the BFNL table, four points behind leaders Sandhurst.

Among the top performers for Gisborne were Brad Bernacki with four goals and Zac Denahy with three.

Jetta was among the best on ground for Castlemaine along with coach Michael Hartley who kicked two goals and Ryan Eyre. Kalan Huntly and Bailey Henderson also played well for the Magpies kicking two goals each.

Gisborne’s Flynn Lakey and Castlemaine’s Bailey Henderson chase down the ball. Photo: Max Lesser

The Reserves game was also a tight contest with the Bulldogs managing to keep their noses in front and win the match by 18 points.

Best for Gisborne were Tom Wood who kicked four goals and best for the Magpies was Jackson Hood who also kicked four.

The Under 18s were also well matched with Castlemaine giving their all in a low-scoring affair. But in the end Gisborne had all the answers winning by 24 points.

Riley Leedham was a standout for the Bulldogs booting five, while Kyan Martin was among the best for the Magpies kicking three.


Magpie netballer Madie Clifford works to keep the ball in play during the A-reserve match against Gisborne at Camp Reserve on Saturday. Photo: Max Lesser

On the netball court the Magpie 17&Under side started the day with a hard-fought win against a determined Gisborne 62-51.

Gisborne’s B-reserve side 75 triumphed over Castlemaine 19.

The Bulldogs B-grade side 53 posted a convincing win over Castlemaine 29.

Gisborne’s A-reserve side 79 defeated Castlemaine 17 and in A-grade Castlemaine 53 went down to a determined Bulldogs 67 in a fast-paced clash.


The Castlemaine women’s football sides kicked off the weekend with contests against White Hills at the Camp Reserve Friday evening.

The Castlemaine Under 18 Girls were first to hit the ground and produced a valiant effort against a dominant White Hills doing down by 66 points. Best for the young Magpies were Kate Batchelor, Olivia Muscat, Amelia Britt, Lori Whaley, Tegan Barry and Miharo WiHare.

The Castlemaine senior Women’s side once again demolished their opponents to the tune of 173 points to maintain top spot on the ladder, four points clear of second-placed Golden Square. Among the best were Beppina Marshall, Tiahna Cochrane, Eillish Cumming, Maeve Tupper, Rachael Stubbings and Abbey Bertram.

In other news, the Castlemaine Magpies congratulate Magpie senior women’s talent Aisling Tupper who made her Victorian Football League Women’s debut for North Melbourne on June 1. Aisling is a star and very deserving of this opportunity, and the CFNC can’t wait to see where it leads her!

This weekend the Castlemaine FNC sides will make the trek to the Queen Elizabeth Oval in Bendigo where they will face another test against Sandhurst, whilst Gisborne host Kangaroo Flat.

The Magpie Women and Under 18 Girls will host Sandhurst at the Camp Reserve on Sunday June 16 with the Under 18s to hit the ground at 11.15am, followed by the Women at 1pm.