Young Lions show depth

PROLIFIC goalkicker Ryan Donaldson will leave the Moe Football Club, after both parties agreed it was best for the club’s future.

And the young Lions showed they did not need him on Saturday, beating Warragul by 46 points in Gippsland League football.

Donaldson had been plagued by injuries this season following a wrist problem that has limited his ability to mark overhead and train on a regular basis.

Moe coach Jason Macfarlane was named on the interchange bench but said there would be no more comebacks from him.

“I put that down to a Brad Law joke but the boy’s don’t need me anymore,” Macfarlane said.

“I made a statement to boys at Maffra that if we want to get better players to the club we need to play only the ones who want to train and play.

“We have some players who may not be up to it at this stage, but we would play only those who were committed and that is the way we will be going for the rest of the year.”

Moe had the first goal of the match 38 seconds after the start, when Jack Casson kicked it off the ground five metres out.

Warragul’s Ben Hughes kicked four of Warragul’s nine goals to half time, with three from free kicks including two 50-metre penalties courtesy of Kane Airdrie.

Ben Morrow was an early casualty and may miss a couple of weeks, but Clinton Taylor took over the role to curb Mark Bradley’s dominance in the ruck.

Warragul was getting first use of the ball at the centre bounces, with Bradley combining well with Clinton Rowe and Matt Nobelius.

Moe started to get on top late in the third quarter with goals to Stuart Robertson and Ryan Sterling, and started the final quarter with a goal to Jack Casson within 30 seconds.

Moe’s best players included Nobelius, Rowe, Stuart Robertson (five goals), Kaine Airdrie, Ben Kerrigan, Peter Ainsworth, Tom Long, David Crook and John James.

Good players for the Gulls were Brad Nott, Mark Bradley and Sam Russell.

Wonthaggi v Morwell

Morwell scored a 35-point win over Wonthaggi Power, and coach Damien Kerr put it down to the Tigers’ first quarter 6.2 to 1.3.

Kerr said his team was starting to play how he wanted them to.

“We were starting poorly and it has been our achilles heel this year and have been concentrating pretty hard to correct this,” he said.

“We mixed it up in the middle to get a better start this week and it worked.”

New recruit Jack Wyhoon who played in Churchill’s under 18 premiership team last year, has been playing reserves for the past few weeks and his pace impressed Kerr on Wonthaggi’s big ground.

Bairnsdale v Leongatha

Leongatha’s potent forwards Jake Best and Dwayne Holt kicked 15 of their side’s 28 goals in a 90-point thrashing of Bairnsdale.

Best kicked nine goals and Holt six.

The odds-on premiership favourites let the Redlegs know who was in control of the match, with an opening term of 9.4 to 1.1.

Bairnsdale tried to match it in the second and third quarters but the Parrots took off in the final term kicking 7.4 to 1.3.

Julian Stone and Beau Vernon gave a lot of drive form the midfield, and David Gourdis was rock-solid in defence.

James Gibbs was best for Bairnsdale and kicked five while Nathan Storer got three from full forward.

Other good players for the Redlegs were Xavier Ryan, Luke Dyer and Paul Bills.

Drouin v Traralgon

Drouin and Traralgon had a full on contest all day, with Traralgon holding on to win by 14 points in an entertaining replay of last year’s grand final.

The Hawks were strengthened by the inclusion of Cam de Gooyer, Dean Woodhead and David Olsen, while Matt Collinson and Rohan Hore were welcome returns for the Maroons.

After an even first half, Traralgon kicked 7.1 in the third term to start the last quarter 31 points up.

Drouin kicked the first three goals but a steadier from Traralgon gave last year’s premiers breathing space.

Jesse Bird started in defence but was moved to the midfield to give the Maroons a bigger body presence and was part of the successful third quarter.

Jaimie Aitken was good across half back with Nathan Frietag setting up the switch play he is renowned for.

Dan McKenna kicked four and Lee Stockdale three.

Jordan Symons was good and for the first time in a long time Traralgon escaped without any major injury worries.

Best for Drouin were Damien Carmody, the consistent Pat McGrath and Steven Ballingall.

Sale v Maffra

In wintery conditions yesterday, Sale bounced back from its round six defeat, thrashing Maffra by 60 points.

Inaccurate kicking by the Magpies softened the defeat and the competition’s leading goalkicker Matt Ferguson booted six to take his season’s tally to 39, despite having three opponents for most of the day.

Weather conditions saw the lights turned on for the second half of the game which was marred by heavy rain at times.

Shane Fyfe, back after injury, was dominant for the Magpies along with Kane Martin.

Maffra’s best were full back Sam Bristow, who was courageous all day along with Ben Coleman and Sam Tudor.