IT was a round of evenly matched sides and games on Saturday, with the match at Thorpdale going down to the wire.
Thorpdale’s Harley O’Connell kicked a goal with 20 seconds to go to secure a three-point win over Yarragon, 12.7 (79) to 12.4 (76).
Neither team held the lead for long and the margins were close all day.
Thorpdale was in front for most of the first quarter, but the Panthers led at quarter time.
Brad Mackie’s presence at centre-half forward allowed Thorpdale to keep the ball in its forward half and make some good scores.
Yarragon was leading by eight points at half time, and by seven at three-quarter time.
Yarragon was in front for the entire last quarter, until O’Connell was held without the ball, just 30-metres out from Thorpdale’s goal and was awarded a free kick. O’Connell said he did not realise how late in the quarter it was when he kicked the goal to put the Blues in front.
The siren sounded just after the next centre ball-up and Thorpdale celebrated its first win for the season.
Boolarra v Mirboo North
Boolarra suffered another disappointing loss, this time to Mirboo North 12.9 (81) to 6.14 (50).
The Tigers’ accuracy in the first quarter helped them to an early lead with four goals straight to Boolarra’s two goals two at quarter time.
The Tigers led at all the breaks, but the margin shortened to eight points at half time and just four points at three-quarter time.
Mirboo North dominated the last quarter, scoring five goals while keeping the Demons goalless.
It was a disheartening loss for a side that showed so much spirit last year, but Mirboo North certainly deserved the win.
Yinnar v Trafalgar
Trafalgar just got up over Yinnar in a game that was close all day, 12.5 (77) to 10.7 (67).
Yinnar trailed by eight points at the first-quarter break and turned it around to lead by one at half time.
The Magpies opened the final term with a goal, but Trafalgar was able to kick the last three goals to come away with the win.
Blood’s coach Chris Kyriacou said his players’ fitness and strong desire to win got them over the line.
Hill End v Yallourn/ Yallourn North
Hill End’s solid side proved more desperate for the win, knocking off Yallourn/Yallourn North 15.10 (100) to 9.7 (61).
YYN kicked the first point and goal, but Hill End got over its slow start to lead by 13 points at the first break.
The Hillmen’s second and third quarters set them up for the win, with the margin 57 points at three-quarter time.
Bombers coach Tony price said when YYN’s Darcy Shellcot went off with a possible broken leg in the third quarter his side “switched off”.
Price described his side’s performance as lazy, and said that this loss will do his team “a world of good”.
Price said his players were not desperate enough for the ball, and although they had the same inside 50s as Hill End, they were unable to capitalise.
“We believe that we are as good as Hill End and next time we play them we’ll prove that,” Price said.
Hillmen coach Josh Tymenson said his side started off slowly, but was happy with their attack on the football for the rest of the game.
He credited his team’s backline with a fantastic job at shutting down key forwards.
Morwell East v Newborough
Newborough’s dominant second half earned them a 34-point win over Morwell East 12.12 (84) to 7.8 (50).
In the first quarter, Morwell East had most of the ball and led 2.2 (14) to 1.3 (9) at quarter time.
The margin remained small and at half time, the Hawks were still leading but by only one point.
In the second half the Bulldogs came out harder, took more marks and key players started to lift.
Morwell East’s lack of taller players really started to show and Newborough were just too strong for the home side.
Newborough’s impressive ruck proved important, dominating the clearances in the last quarter which helped the team secure a comfortable win.