ROUND two of Western Border football kicked off last Thursday with the traditional Anzac Day clash between North Gambier and South Gambier.
This year Vansittart Park was the venue and the Tigers continued their new-season form with a strong victory.
Hamish Telford did the damage for the Tigers, earning the Tony Casadio Medal for his efforts.
Coach Justin McConnell was again in fine touch, with seven majors to ice the game.
Down at Casterton Sandford on Saturday The Border Watch sports cadet James Murphy found it hard to pick the best players for the winning side.
West Gambier controlled the game – especially after the long break – where they denied the Cats quality use of the ball.
Lawry Bradley-Brown was again in top form and earned the top votes from Murphy.
Over at McDonald Park it was expected to be a tough contest for the grand final rematch.
While Millicent had lost many players from last year’s premiership roster, the Bulldogs were wary and came out firing.
Despite a dominant first half by East, the Saints did hit back, but left too
big a job to be any real threat on the scoreboard.
However, around the ground there were plenty of good contests.
The combination of John Forster and Jayden Eldridge began to find plenty of the Sherrin and move it up the ground, sometimes at an alarming rate.
The result saw the East side fire up and create a solid 26-pint half time lead.
From there it was a formality, despite a late charge by Millicent.
Forster has been a consistent performer for the Bulldogs, but his effort on Saturday was certainly a game-changer.
As a result he receives the weekly honours in the Intersport player of the year award.
Votes – North Gambier v East Gambier – Anzac Day (James Murphy)
3. Hamish Telford (North Gambier): Was in the right place at the right time and was a vital link in the Tigers’ passage play. Took some daring marks and worked hard for possession, earning himself the Tony Casadio medal in the process.
2. Tom McLennan (North Gambier): Worked hard all day and did not shy away from a contested ball. Kicked three goals to compliment his efforts.
1. Taylor Saffin (South Gambier): Stepped up to defend North sharpshooter Justin McConnell, holding him relatively quiet until a string of free kicks early in the fourth quarter saw him break free.
Casterton Sandford v West Gambier (James Murphy)
3. Lawry Bradley-Brown (West Gambier): Was his usual hard-working self and excelled through the midfield in his side’s solid team effort, backing his performance with a big goal in the fourth quarter which marked the end of the Cats’ chances for victory.
2. Steve Wenman (West Gambier): A brick wall in defence, especially in the final quarter when the Cats made their final push. Took several intercept marks inside the defensive 50 to keep the Roos safely in front.
1. Tom Sullivan (Casterton Sandford): Provided run down the wing and pushed through the midfield, as well as clearing the contested ball forward to set up chances for the Cats to score.
East Gambier v Millicent (Trevor Jackson)
3. John Forster (East Gambier): Played a strong role around the ground. Helped fire up the Bulldogs in the second term with some inspiring breaks and continued that momentum throughout the game.
2. Jayden Eldridge (East Gambier): Joined with Forster in the second term and began to run the ball across the midfield to set up scoring opportunities.
1. Mark Keiselbach (East Gambier): Made a solid return to the A Grade ranks, with strong marks and quality disposals around the ground.