From Bendigo Advertiser
Reported by Matt Nicholls
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BENDIGO made it four wins on the trot with a resounding 32-point victory against Box Hill in the VFL on Saturday.
The Gold took three quarters to gain the upper hand in the match at Box Hill City Oval, but burst away in the final term to win 14.16 (100) to 9.14 (68).
In a brilliant team performance, Bendigo’s goals were shared around, with two goals each to Kyle Reimers, Steven Stroobants, David Hille, Travis Colyer and Matt Little.
Gold coach Hayden Skipworth said he was happy with the performance of his forwards – not just for their goals, but also their defensive pressure.
“Our forward pressure has been a real focus for us, because it’s crucial to keep the ball inside the forward 50 and build pressure,” he said.
“We did that extremely well and that was really pleasing.”
Bendigo was slow out of the blocks and conceded the first three goals of the match before Lauchlan Dalgleish snared one late in the term to reduce the margin to 14 points at the first break.
After a quarter-time spray from Skipworth, the Gold lifted their intensity and started to control the ball.
“I’m not sure why we started so slowly – maybe its because the Essendon guys had four days off early in the week – but our intensity just wasn’t there in the first quarter,” Skipworth said.
A late second-term goal to Scott Gumbleton gave the Gold a three-point lead at half-time after Bendigo kicked five goals to two in the quarter.
It was a rare moment of brilliance for Gumbleton, who was well held by Hawthorn-listed defender Stephen Gilham.
Still, with the likes of Hille, Little and Justin Maddern in the forward line, there was no rest for the other Box Hill defenders.
The third term was again an arm-wrestle for ascendancy and only two late goals gave Bendigo a buffer heading into the final quarter.
With 12 points separating the sides, the Gold put the foot down in the last term to put the result beyond doubt.
At one stage Bendigo led by 39 points before a point and a Tim Northe goal reduced the final margin to 32 points.
Skipworth said half-back flanker Michael Hibberd was Bendigo’s best after shutting down numerous forward entries and rebounding with precision.
“The way Hibberd read the play was outstanding and he managed to mix defence and attack perfectly,” the coach said.
“Brendan Lee was another standout for us. He got 30-odd possessions and his clearance work was exceptional.
“Having (David) Hille in the ruck helped our midfield a lot.”
Hille, a former Essendon captain trying to win his place back in the Bombers side, staked his claim for a recall, Skipworth said.
“I’m not sure which way Essendon will go this week but David played a solid game and was terrific when he was resting up forward.”
Bendigo takes on Werribee this Saturday at Windy Hill before it has a bye.
Skipworth said the Gold could be missing a handful of players this week due to the fact Essendon is playing Fremantle in Perth.
“We’re not sure who we’re taking over yet but I’m sure we’ll lose a couple, at least,” he said.
“It’s our last game before a bye so we want to go into the break on the back of a win.”
A win against Werribee would make it five in a row for the Gold, one short of the club’s record six successive wins back in 2003.
That year Bendigo was 1-8 after 10 rounds but produced a remarkable run to win six on the trot under coach Peter Banfield.