HAMPDEN Football Netball League took a step closer to its dream of becoming the top ranked competition in Victoria with a strong performance on Saturday.
The Bottle Greens moved into the top five of the AFL Victoria Community Championship rankings after dismantling the Ballarat Football Netball League 20.15 (135) to 8.13 (61) at Ballarat’s Mars Stadium.
The win was Hampden’s third successive under coach Jonathon Brown, with a showdown against modern day nemesis Ovens and Murray likely to be ahead of them in 2020.
Camperdown pair Riley Arnold and Fraser Lucas featured in the victory alongside Cobden’s Jesse Williamson and Terang Mortlake’s Ryan O’Connor.
The Bottle Greens broke the game open early in the contest, making all the early running as they slammed home six unanswered goals to hold a 36 point quarter time lead.
Ballarat responded quickly in the second quarter, kicking two goals to reduce the margin to 22 points before Hampden again surged ahead.
They added five goals in the final 20 minutes of the quarter to push the margin out to a commanding 54 points at the main break.
Hampden’s lead grew to 10 goals two minutes into the third term, before Ballarat started to hit back on the scoreboard.
They had multiple entries into their forward line for a large number of shots on goal, however inaccurate kicking did not allow them to cut back into the deficit.
They were able to reduce Hampden’s lead to 39 points before a late goal to the Bottle Greens saw them take a 45 point advantage into the final term.
Two quick goals to Hampden at the start of the last quarter put the icing on the cake of what was already a dominant performance.
The 20 minutes of the game saw the Bottle Greens register a further five goals to Ballarat’s three, with the visitors running the game out strongly to secure a 74 point win.
Port Fairy midfielder Kaine Mercovich earned best on ground honours through the midfield, while his Seagulls team-mate Tom Sullivan finished with three goals.
Koroit quartet Ben Dobson, Jeremy Hausler, Tom Couch and Alex Pulling also performed strongly to be named in Hampden’s best players.
The Bottle Greens’ dominance also extended to the netball courts, with Hampden recording a 55-44 victory for league and Cobden coach Mel Starr.
The side led from start to finish, holding three, six and six goal margins at quarter, half and three quarter time before blowing the lead out to 11 by the time the final siren sounded.
Camperdown’s Jess Cameron featured in the win alongside Cobden trio Remeny McCann, Amy Hammond and Jess Wheadon, while Warrnambool’s Amy Wormald was named best on court.
The side will now head to the Association Championships in Frankston on June 23.
Meanwhile, Colac and District Football Netball League was also celebrating two wins from two matches in its interleague campaign against Maryborough Castlemaine District Football Netball League.
The football side cruised to a 17.10 (117) to 10.4 (64) win for former Camperdown coach Dan Casey while the netball team won 49-37 for league and Simpson mentor Pat Duynhoven.
Simpson footballers Nick Harding, Darcy Leishman, Tom Leishman, Brad Salmon and Matthew Drayton and netballers Amy Pemberton, Paige Salmon and Emily Duynhoven featured in the wins.