The Tigers Over 35 side made the long journey to Castlemaine and came away with an impressive 18-point victory at the weekend.
With 13 players unavailable, the Tigers still fielded a strong side of 19 including four of the over 47s in Steve Wilson, Grant Nicholas, Tim Allan and Marc Callow who all held up well against much younger opposition.
The additional fitness of the players this season came in handy as it was the run and carry that had Castlemaine on the back foot for much of the game.
Lone ruckman Steve Wilson toiled manfully against some very talented opposition, but again it was the Tigers’ pace that gave them the edge with Russell Ludby and Warren Watson winning their respective wings, as well as the midfield dominance of Paul Roberts, Mick Salerno, Wayne Hicks and Colin Mackrell.
A five goal to one first quarter was the catalyst for the win.
Castlemaine restructured and was far more competitive in the second quarter, as the Tigers kicked three majors to an inaccurate Castlemaine 2.9.
The third again went the Tigers’ way, as they kicked four goals to two in a tussle, but at the start of the last quarter the Tigers had no bench and some tired boys took to the field.
Castlemaine’s ability to add fresh legs in the last caused the Tigers some major problems, holding the Tigers scoreless while adding three-two themselves.
At the final siren, it was a hard fought three-goal victory with some very tired and bruised players leaving the field.
Royce Frantz was a tower of strength up forward all day kicking seven goals, and alongside Danny Cunico and Mick Siddle, the trio created plenty of havoc deep within their lines.
Peter Kavadias and Danny Reid led the defence with purpose and had plenty of support from the running Russell Deppler and Grant Musgrove.
Tim Allan, Grant Nicholas and Marc Callow all jelled well in defence with their younger teammates especially in the last quarter under some intense pressure.
The over 47s had the bye.
Gippsland 12.7 (79) defeated Castlemaine 8.13 (61)
Best Players: Royce Frantz, Paul Roberts, Mick Salerno, Colin Mckrell and Steve Wilson in a great team effort.
Goalkickers: Royce Frantz 7, Colin Mackrell 1, Mick Siddle 1, Shane Golding 1, Russell Ludby 1 Steve Wilson 1.