After enduring a tumultuous couple of years, Gormandale has notched its first win in the North Gippsland League seniors competition in 707 days at the expense of Cowwarr, 12.12 (84) to 4.4 (28).
The Tigers shone under lights the lights at Traralgon Recreation Reserve and the club song was sung with gusto after the drought-breaking 56-point win.
Coach Steve Hazelman described the first-up win as a “relief for a lot of people” and was optimistic about the Tigers’ future prospects.
“To not only win seniors, but to also win the seconds … it was great and everyone was really excited,” Hazelman said.
“We’ve recruited quite a few players, so we were hopeful ahead of the season.
“Last year we played some games where we weren’t competitive at all, so hopefully we can go and be competitive this year.”
With 2017 runner-up Yarram next on the cards in round two, Hazelman said the Demons were “the benchmark of the competition”.
“I watched them play last week and they’re a really classy outfit,” he said.
“Hopefully we can back it up this weekend, but we haven’t won too many games so we’re not getting too excited.”
Defender Ryan Burns was among the best for Gormandale while Josh Jennings was a standout in the midfield with three goals and tagger Toby Bye was effective.
Joseph Colaciello was the only casualty for Gormandale in the win and looks set to miss this weekend’s clash with Yarram with a hamstring injury.
Glengarry v Traralgon Tyers United
Traralgon Tyers United have taken the points in their first round encounter with Glengarry on the road, holding the Magpies to just five goals on their way to the win, 8.12 (60) to 5.6 (36).
The Bombers’ defence was water-tight in the opening term and conceded just one straight goal to head into the first break with 10-point lead.
Glengarry were lucky to stand within 12 at half-time after some errant kicking from the Bombers had them with four goals from 11 scoring shots.
Their accuracy in front of goal markedly improved in the third term and three majors to Glengarry’s one stretched the lead to 19 at the final break.
The Magpies squandered their chances of a fourth-quarter comeback with some misfired shots of their own, with no goals from five scoring shots to let the line out to 24 points at the siren.
Jack Brown scored his first goal in the red and black after coming across from Morwell in the Gippsland League and made himself right at home in the best-on-ground honours list for TTU alongside fellow new recruit Simon Noy (Hill End), Quinn Sinclair and Scott Zuehlke.
Hayden Willaton was another new face to fit in nicely at the hangar in his first game after coming across from Traralgon with two goals.
Tim Aitken was the only other multiple goalscorer for the Bombers in the win while Travis Patten did the heavy lifting for Glengarry and scored three of their five majors.
Sale City v Heyfield
Defending premiers Sale City have opened their campaign for back-to-back senior flags in style in the second-half of the split opening round in a canter with a win over Heyfield, 15.14 (104) to 7.10 (52).
The score sat just a point in favour of the Bulldogs at the first break and five at half time, but a breakout second half reminiscent of 2017 form included nine goals to the Roos’ two.
Heyfield struggled to cover the off-season loss of some key personnel including Josh Stubbe, leading goal kicker Jesse Jackway and best and fairest Michael Coleman.
Max Gravener was the only multiple goal scorer for the Roos in the round one loss and kicked two while singles went to Nicholas Ierardi, James Beha, Brenton Dinsdale, Jason Garrett and Matt Millar.