Boys go back-to-back
Written by Jarryd Barca
The Calder Cannons have recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season following a monotonous 16-point win over the Bendigo Pioneers on the weekend.
The 7.10 (52) to 5.6 (36) victory at Highgate Recreation Reserve was the side’s third in four matches after losing their opening two games in 2019, squaring the win-loss ledger to 3-3 after six NAB League rounds.
Inclement skies above meant the contest at times turned into an eyesore.
Midfielders Jacob Martin and Daniel Mott – who played the second half as a defender – both collected 36 disposals and had the ball on a string throughout the entire day.
Second-gamer Josh Hotchkin’s 14-disposal and 31 hit-out performance was also compromising, while captain Brodie Newman – particularly influential in the first half – backed up his 36 touches and 17 marks from the previous week with a 21-touch and 12-mark outing.
Calder’s tackle count – a high-focus element heading into the contest – of 76 was also its highest tally of the season.
After two consecutive weeks of a goalless opening term, Calder was able to dominate play from the get-go to register the first four goals in the opening 10 minutes of the match.
The slight breeze advantage aided the Cannons to a 21-point lead at quarter-time before the rain began to plummet.
The second term was a regressive scrap with Bendigo’s Caleb Fisher steering through the away side’s first goal 13 minutes into the quarter, before back-to-back majors to Cannons Mason Fletcher and Matthew Allison saw a match-winning 28-point lead open up at the main break.
With Calder coach Ross Smith shuffling the magnets around in the second half it was a less stabilised and clinical side that saw out the rest of the match.
Coupled with sluggish conditions under foot, the home side registered 1.5 in the remaining two quarters but held on to register their third win of the season.
“We’ve found some good form, which is nice. We changed a few things in the way we move the ball and that’s paid dividends,” Smith told heraldsun.com.au.
“We’re trying to get some versatility into our side and show recruiters our players can play in a number of positions.”
Smith lauded inside mid Martin for a break-out performance in Cannons colours.
“We’ve been waiting for Jacob to give us a little bit, we sat him out for a couple of weeks because his form didn’t warrant selection,” he said.
“He’s gone back and worked on a few things and he was our best player on the day, which was really pleasing.”
The win puts the Cannons ninth on the NAB League ladder with the side looking forward to a trip to Morwell this Mother’s Day to take on the sixth-placed Gippsland Power.