WITH their season on the line Churchill sealed one of its best victories of the season against highly fancied opponent Rosedale in North Gippsland football.
Dark clouds overhead threatened to mar the match of the round in the opening minutes before the heavens opened, and the Cougars five-goal-to-one first quarter proved the difference at the final siren.
Piling on four unanswered goals, Churchill held all the momentum as the rain tumbled down.
Flooding forward for the first time, Rosedale had no issue kicking straight with Nick Rutter slotting through their opener.
The rain eased and Churchill added their first of four unanswered majors as the forward six found plenty of the ball, Tim Darby and Brendan Holt among the goals.
Trailing by 23 points at the first change, Rosedale exploded out of the blocks in the opening minutes of the second term to score with ease before Churchill got the reply.
Relishing the slippery conditions Joey Whykes slotted one through before the Cougars coach was assisted off the field through injury.
The loss did not hamper the Cougars’ challenge; the side added a further two majors as Whykes and captain Chris Williams led from the front.
The third term was a non affair on the scoreboard as the Cougars maintained a 38-point lead at the final change.
Rosedale challenged in the final term to outscore Churchill, but the Cougars won the day 9.17 (71) to 5.11 (41).
TTU v Boisdale Briagolong
TRARALGON Tyers United took another step toward confirming a top three finish, as the Bombers marked Justin Palmer’s 200th game with a comprehensive 47-point win.
In soggy conditions, scoring was tough throughout the contest with a mere four majors scored by the number two ranked side in the opening half, while Boisdale/Briagolong managed just four behinds.
Led by milestone player Palmer, and Adam Brady who pulled on the red and black in his 199th match, TTU booted a further four majors in the second half to record a 8.18 (66) to 2.87 (19) victory.
Palmer was judged best on field for TTU, finishing the contest with two majors while partner in crime Brady was instrumental in the engine room.
For Boisdale/Briagolong Adam Helmke worked tirelessly in the heavy conditions, and along with Owen Sim worked hard to create opportunities in front of goal.
Cowwarr v Sale City
SALE City took it up to fourth placed Cowwarr, which could ill afford a costly slip up as it aimed to firm its hold on a top five position.
After an even opening term, the Saints exploded in the second quarter to slam home three goals to nil and set about creating a match winning buffer.
Best on ground Brendan Smith created plenty of play as the Saints took a 16-point lead into the main break.
The third term was an even affair as the sides registered a major each.
Sale City defender and best for the Dogs Tom Bowman swooped on the loose ball, driving play forward and was instrumental in restricting the Saints’ impact in their forward 50 in a tight 20 minutes of play.
The Saints found their poise in the final term, settling in front of goals with Rick Battista and Tim Johnston helping extend the margin to 40 points and seal an eighth win.
Heyfield v Woodside
FOUR majors from Mitch Dowse and Kodie Woodland steered Heyfield over the line against Woodside 15.12 (102) to 11.7 (73).
In a game of two contrasting halves, the reigning champion hit the ground running to establish a four-goal lead in a solid six-major term.
The ladder leader did not halt its run in the second term, piling on another four majors to nil to establish what appeared a match winning 51-point lead.
However the tables turned in the second half as the visitors outscored Heyfield, booting nine goals to five.
Five majors came in the third term as the Wildcats worked tirelessly to position themselves back in the contest and remain in finals contention.
The resurgence was led by Rob Michaelides and Hank Norman.
Kaine Bulmer and Michaelides booted three apiece, but the clock worked against them and the Kangaroos’ immense first half lead saved the day.
Glengarry v Gormandale
A true team performance from Glengarry saw the Magpies claim victory over old foe Gormandale in its return to the winners list yesterday.
Playing to stay in the hunt for a top five finish, the Magpies had a contest on their hands when the Tigers led by a point at quarter-time and nine at the long break.
The Magpies built the pressure after half-time as the experienced heads of midfielders Brendon Solomon, Luke Hegarty and defender Adam Jaensch came to the fore as the home side clawed back to within three-points at the final change.
The Tigers struggled to maintain the intensity thereafter, as Glengarry’s Robbie Cahill led from the front in an inspiring best on ground performance.
Mark Engley and fellow livewire forward Ross McDermott proved a handful for the Tigers’ defence and Ben Nicholson continued his stellar month.