CASTLEMAINE proved it is a genuine top five contender with a hard-fought 15-point win over Gisborne at Camp Reserve on Saturday.
Castlemaine coach Shane Robertson.
The 12.13 (85) to 10.10 (70) victory was the first time the Magpies have defeated the Bulldogs since round nine, 2009.
“We’re pretty stoked with the win,’’ Castlemaine coach Shane Robertson said.
“We rate Gisborne very highly even though some people have rated them middle of the rung.
“They still have their core players and they have quality kids coming through. I still consider them a top four side.
“If we’re going to gain respect we need to beat a prized team and that’s what we did today. For our confidence going forward it’s a big result for us.”
The Magpies could be 3-0 after three rounds, but they faltered in the final quarter against Kangaroo Flat in round two.
That result proved to be a spur for the Magpies against Gisborne.
Castlemaine jumped the Bulldogs early and, despite Gisborne throwing everything at them, the Magpies managed to keep the BFNL power at arms length for the rest of the game.
“We just had to keep reminding ourselves throughout the day that we didn’t want to choke like last week,’’ Robertson said.
“We kept putting scoreboard pressure on Gisborne. Our guys were good enough to control the game on the scoreboard and in the way they went about it.
“I thought we controlled the intensity of the game.”
For the third game this season Justin Dorward was named best for the Magpies.
The star midfielder was in hospital on Wednesday, but showed great recuperative powers to play a major role in the Magpies’ win.
“He was on a drip in hospital with the flu on Wednesday night and got out of hospital on Thursday,’’ Robertson said of Dorward.
“All credit to him. It was a mighty effort.”
Tommy, Horne, Brian Mustafa and ruckman Tom Godsell all impressed for the Pies.
For Gisborne, it was a case of too much left to too few.
The Bulldogs battled to find four-quarter performers.
Under-18s graduate Shannon Rooth played his best senior game for the club, while full-forward Matt Knox continued his good start to the season, kicking five goals.
Tim Walsh was sold down back and Scott Walsh showed flashes of the form that won him the 2012 Michelsen Medal.
The result leaves the Bulldogs with a 1-2 record going into a tough Anzac Day clash with arch-rival Golden Square.
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