Berwick battered in bruising display

Jesse Cirulis was one of Berwick's best on Saturday against Vermont. 335962 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Marcus Uhe

The dam wall has finally burst for Berwick in its season of tough losses, having suffered its heaviest margin of defeat to date on Saturday against 2023 runner up, Vermont in the Eastern Football Netball League’s Premier Division.

The Wickers’ average losing margin through the first six weeks was 62 points but Saturday’s result blew the mean out of the water, with Berwick going down 5.4 34 to 20.12 132.

Vermont slammed six goals in the final 18 minutes of the first term, including four in six minutes to take a 40-point lead in the first break.

Berwick was winning centre clearances and inside 50s but lacked forward targets to kick to ahead of the ball and failed to make an impact on the scoreboard.

Rowville, by contrast, was ruthless, kicking eight straight and nailing its chances when presented, as hulking key forward Daniel Nielson asserted himself on the contest with a handful of opening quarter goals.

Berwick managed to plug some holes in the remainder of the contest but failed to make significant inroads themselves, kicking no more than two goals in a quarter.

The margin crept over the dreaded triple-figure mark late in the fourth quarter before Elijah Roewer slipped the Eagles’ defences and nailed his third goal to draw the margin back to double figures.

Vermont had a number of chances to restore the psychological humiliation but blew them time and time again, including one from the top of the goal square that would have given Nielson a seventh.

Ashton Williamson returned for the first time since round one, with Zach Stewart making his club debut, having moved from Kilcunda Bass.

Dandenong Stingray Coren Giliam also donned the Berwick jumper for the first time at senior level.

Senior heads in Jesse Cirulis and Tom Brennan were among the best in a Berwick jumper, as was Caydn Lane.

Berwick next faces South Croydon at Cheong Park on Saturday.

Around the grounds in Premier Division, Noble Park was thrashed by Blackburn at home, with the contest unravelling for the Bulls in the second term.

Blackburn kicked six consecutive goals to take a 46-point lead into the long break, going on to win by 63 points at Pat Wright Senior Oval.

It leaves the Bulls with just one win from four matches on their home turf, an issue Steve Hughes will be desperate to rectify.

In positive news for Noble Park, Kyle Martin has missed little time in asserting himself back onto the local footy landscape, kicking two and being among the Bulls’ best.

Balwyn remains undefeated thanks to five goals from former Hawk and Lion Jordan Lisle, powering his team to a win over South Croydon, and 40-point lead at quarter time helped Rowville down Doncaster East by 31 points.

East Ringwood continues to put the heat on the ladder-leading Balwyn, thanks to an 80-point win over Norwood.