Lions charge on to deserved victory

Moe had a rare chance to celebrate on Saturday after posting its first victory of the year over Drouin in round 11 of the Gippsland League.

It came much to the relief of the Lions side which has been agonisingly close in three of its past four matches.

“It’s a massive relief, not just for myself but for the players,” Moe coach Jason MacFarlane said.

“We have worked pretty hard over the past few weeks, we have come close for a few games.

“To be so close and then to get one over the line (on Saturday) is just a relief as well as deserving for the players who have earned in it.

“I reckon we have only played one bad quarter in four or five weeks of football.”

Teenager Charlie Rieniets made his mark for the Lions with four goals in his senior debut for the club.

“I don’t think we even had him on the bench,” MacFarlane said.

“We try to look after the younger players a bit, but he looked after himself.

“He took mark after mark, kicked three or four in the end and for a bloke in his first game that is just tremendous.”

MacFarlane also played his role on the field in just his second game of the year.

He said he hoped his experience out on the field would help some of the younger players.

Drouin had the better start and led Moe by eight points at quarter-time.

The Lions fought back to win the second and trailed the Hawks by one point at half-time.

Moe shot ahead with a five-goal-to-two third quarter to take an 18-point lead in the last change.

However, the break came later than expected with play delayed for half an hour late in the third quarter after a collision involving Hawk John Miller.

There were fears Miller may have suffered a spinal injury and he was treated on the ground before being loaded from there into a waiting ambulance.

He was later cleared of any serious injury and released from hospital.

During the three-quarter-time break MacFarlane urged his players to give it everything they had. “This is our win up for grabs; there is no second prize today,” he said at the huddle.

“We have spent the last three weeks being bridesmaids.

“As far as I’m concerned, this is it. I’m asking every single one of you to give everything you’ve got.”

Moe outscored its opponent in the last, albeit in behinds. The Lions kicked two goals five behinds to Drouin’s two goals two behinds, to claim its first win of the year.

Wonthaggi v Traralgon

Traralgon produced one of the upsets of the season after it knocked off inform Wonthaggi, which until Saturday had won seven consecutive matches.

The visiting Maroons came out firing with a five-goal to two first term in a bid to make amends for its two-point loss to the Power back in round two.

Traralgon led by 20 points at the first change but it was Wonthaggi that took charge in the second.

The Power produced its own five-goal quarter while holding Traralgon to just one to lead by four points at half-time.

It was the Maroons’ turn again in the third.

Traralgon added six goals to one to reclaim the lead and stretch it out to 26 points at the last change.

Both sides managed just two majors in a low scoring last quarter as Traralgon held on for an important 22-point victory.

Warragul v Morwell

Morwell moved back to second on the ladder after a big win against Warragul.

The Tigers got off to a strong start against the team that tested it back in round two.

The visitors booted four goals to one in the opening quarter to lead by 21 points at the first change.

Morwell dominated the second term with five unanswered goals and by half-time had stretched its lead out to 49 points.

The Tigers repeated the effort in the third to lead by 57 points at the last change.

The Gulls outscored its opponent in the last but it was too little, too late as the visitors ran out 52-point winners.

Sale v Leongatha

Sale maintained its hold on the top spot with a big win at home over Leongatha.

The Magpies got out to an early 18-point lead at quarter time and never looked back.

Eight unanswered goals in the second boosted Sale’s lead out to 63 points at half-time.

The reigning premier led by 74 points at three-quarter-time before an 11th hour surge from the visitors.

Leongatha slammed on six goals to one in the last to narrow the Magpies’ winning margin to 47 points.

Bairnsdale v Maffra

Maffra got one back on Bairnsdale when it travelled East to take on the Redlegs in the final match of the round yesterday.

The home team had the upper hand early and led by five points at quarter-time, however the visitors found their feet in the second when it kicked five goals to Bairnsdale’s two, to lead by 13 points at the main change.

Maffra doubled its score in the third and in doing so stretched its lead out to 39 points at the last change, before holding on to run out winners by 46 points.

Darren Sheen added another eight goals to his tally after putting 10 away last week.

James Gibbes kicked five for Bairnsdale.