Morwell stamped itself as a genuine Gippsland League finals contender when it defeated third-placed Maffra by 16 points on Saturday.
The Tigers have now defeated three of the top sides in recent weeks.
Morwell coach Damien Kerr said he was pleased with the Tigers’ efforts, and while Maffra was undermanned, he said the Tigers did “what we had to do to get a win”.
“It is good to be five and five and playing well against the top sides but we are having trouble at the other end,” Kerr said.
Robert Michaelides was Morwell’s best player and Tom Crosby was rucking well against Brett Connolly in an evenly contested match.
The game was fast and open with Michaelides controlling the midfield with Joel Soutar.
Daniel Hutchison gave Morwell a slight edge at quarter-time with three goals and he was too quick for rugged Maffra defender Sam Bristow.
Morwell’s quick starts to each quarter was highlighted in this match when Hutchison and Tim Ryan goaled within 30 seconds of the second and third quarters underway.
The Eagles led at half-time but the Tigers went into three-quarter-time with a 17-point lead through another two goals to Hutchison.
Adrian Burgiel was kept quiet by Jack Brown and kicked his only goal for the game late in the term.
Maffra attacked at the start of the final term but a 1.3 result allowed Morwell to steady and run out winners. When Hutchison kicked his seventh the game was in Morwell’s control.
Traralgon v Warragul
After a couple of losses Traralgon returned to the winners list with a comfortable 58-point win over a young Warragul side.
Traralgon president Andrew Quenault said the conditions suited the Maroons and they took over in the second half.
“It was pleasing to not chase tail for a change,” Quenault said.
He said Warragul had injuries to key players but the Gulls were on the right track with their development program, and if the players stuck together they would be a dangerous side in two years.
“Tom McQualter was awesome and played his best game for a couple of years and kicked four goals; Dan McKenna and Lee Stockdale also kicked four each,” he said.
Nathan Frietag and Jamie Aitken shut down the dangerous Ben Hughes and held him goalless.
Drouin v Moe
Drouin’s tricky home ground advantage and a return to form gave the Hawks the points against Moe.
Lions coach Jason Macfarlane said the team did had a “fair dinkum crack” and he was not disappointed with his team’s efforts.
“We let ourselves down by not having the right footwear for the very heavy conditions,” Macfarlane said.
“They slid too much and only about five players had the right footwear for the conditions.”
Peter Ainsworth, Chris Robinson and Gary Blandford were best for Moe, with Stuart Robertson kicking three.
Wonthaggi v Leongatha
Leongatha ran home winners by 21 points against Wonthaggi.
The Parrots were accurate in the first half kicking 8.1 to 3.6 but were shaken after Beau Vernon’s injury and kicked only a point for the third term.
Sale v Bairnsdale
Yesterday Sale annihilated Bairnsdale by 176 points.
The Redlegs had not kicked a goal until the last quarter when they managed to slot home two majors.