Brumbies hold Blues at bay to remain in race for top spot

Blaine Johnson's five first-half goals and a stellar performance from skipper Emmanuel Collard saw Baldivis claim a third consecutive victory as they dealt Centrals' hopes of hosting a final a blow on Sunday.

The Brumbies were rolling early with a big second quarter setting up the 15.10 (100) to 12.6 (78) win, despite a gallant fight in the last from the Blues.

Joel Ritchie had the home side on the board early when he bagged the day's first goal five minutes in, before Johnson chimed in with his first.

Centrals needed a response and got one through the boot of Jacob Martinez, but Kurt Verdonk returned the favour for Baldivis as the hosts took a 15-point lead into the first break before breaking the game open after a back-and-forth second term.

After falling 25 points behind early in the quarter, Centrals clawed back into the frame as Grant Dunn, Ryan Henley and Brendan Erceg all booted goals to cut the margin to seven.

But Johnson took over from there, with the league-leading goal scorer bagging four majors in the space of four minutes while Brendan Tingey also pitched in to give Baldivis a 38-point advantage at the half.

Centrals managed to stem the flow in the third quarter as the hard work of Callum Marshall helped Henley, Brett Hill and Tyler Kirkland score, but the Brumbies did enough to lead by 33 at the final change.

That didn't stop the Blues mounting a comeback, however, as Marshall poured in three of their four consecutive goals to cut the deficit to within nine points midway through the fourth.

But Collard conjured two goals in response, as the Brumbies finished strong to escape with a 22-point win.

The victory keeps Baldivis' hopes of a minor premiership alive, with the winner of their clash against Rockingham next week taking that mantle.

Goals

Baldivis

B. Johnson 5, E. Collard 3, B. Higgs 2, B. Tingey 2, K. Verdonk , L. Mitchell, J. Ritchie

Centrals

C. Marshall 3, R. Henley 3, B. Hill 2, G. Dunn, B. Erceg, T. Kirkland, J. Martinez

Best

Baldivis

J. Wythes, E. Collard, J. Russell, J. Branchi, A. Field, L. Mitchell

Centrals

G. Dunn, C. Marshall, B. Hill, J. Martinez, B. Mcphail, J. Smith