A MATCH-winning goal from Rosedale full-forward Andrew Flanagan denied Traralgon Tyers United its first win of the North Gippsland football season in a classic battle under lights on Anzac Day.
The key forward slammed home nine goals in front of a large crowd, where the Bombers held sway for the majority of the contest.
TTU’s run and drive off half-back and work in the engine room helped it achieve the upper hand, but the Blues kicked the last three majors of the contest to seal an unlikely comeback victory.
Leading from the onset the Bombers were sharp and well drilled, with best on ground Pat Sharp leading the charge as the side went into the first change seven points ahead.
Rosedale added the first of the second through Flanagan, before consecutive majors to TTU created a 10-point buffer.
Bombers coach Matt Stolarczyk scored a major to extend the lead to three goals, which helped TTU settle after failing to make the most of its dominance in their forward half.
Consecutive misses to Graham was quickly answered by Rosedale, with Flanagan marking and scoring from 10 metres out.
Tyler Mustoe responded for the Bombers from the centre bounce to register one of his four goals for the evening, which was followed by another to Flanagan ahead of half time, 7.5 (47) to TTU 9.5 (59).
Graham slotted through the opener of the second half following a 50-metre penalty.
It was the first of two with Graham’s second unanswered goal extending the margin beyond 25 points.
Mustoe kicked a goal on the run from outside 50, with the Bombers’ silky moves from defence placing the Blues under pressure.
Brad Scott settled the Blues with the first of three majors on the run ahead of the final change.
The Blues trailed by 11 points and had their backs up against the wall as the Bombers scored early in the final term through Lachlan White to extend the margin to 20 points.
However, it did not halt the home side after Flanagan goalled to get his side up and about.
Drilling the ball from defence, the run of Gerard Barnes was superb as he got the Blues within arm’s reach.
Craig Mayman and Flanagan combined, with Flanagan handing the Blues the lead for the first time since the opening minutes of the contest.
Flanagan was not finished as his final major sealed the win, 14.11 (95) to 13.10 (88).
It was all one way traffic in the contest between top of the table Heyfield and the lesser ranked Boisdale/Briagolong.
The Kangaroos skipped away to a 28-point lead at the first change and extended the margin out to nine goals at the main change.
Heyfield added another 16 goals to one in the second half to romp home massive winners by 152 points.
Heyfield boasted 11 individual goal scorers, with Kodie Woodland leading the charge with six, Luke Pratt five and Daniel Stubbe adding four to his season tally of 18.
The home side was led on the ground by a best on ground performance from Sean Humphries, while defender Marty McDonough directed the Bombers’ back six in a staunch performance.
Gormandale v Churchill
CHURCHILL claimed its third consecutive victory with a 98-point victory against Gormandale.
The Tigers failed to score in the third term and their backline was under siege, with the Cougars boasting 14 scoring shots for a return of 8.6 (54).
The visitors took a 96-point lead into the final change, and to the Tigers’ credit, it matched Churchill on the scoreboard in the final term.
Churchill’s Tim Darby and Chris Weller were the pick of the individual goal scorers booting five each, with Chris Williams and Chris Burke among the best.
For the Tigers, Luke Hegarty bagged a haul of five majors in a solid performance and Ryan Burns collected the three votes.
Cowwarr v Glengarry
A slow start by reigning premier Glengarry proved costly as Cowwarr opened its account with a three-goal victory.
The Magpies were held goalless in the opening term as the Saints established a handy 22-point buffer, a margin that would serve them well for the remainder of the contest.
Despite an eight-goal haul from Glengarry’s Josh King, the Saints appeared in control throughout the contest with four goals from best on ground Kyle Stammers.
Pat Tainsh continued his early season form directing traffic through the midfield with Kurt Henderson and Shane Morgan solid contributors in the team’s 15.10 (100) to 13.4 (82) victory.
Little separated Woodside and Sale City in yesterday’s showdown.
The Wildcats bullied the Dogs early to take a seven-point buffer into the first break, but the tables turned in the second with the visitors taking a five-point lead at half-time.
Led by Mitch Bennett in front of goals, the Dogs fleet footed forwards began to make an impact as the sides more experienced campaigners, including Tim Dimarco and Matt Lutze, began to shape the contest on their terms.
The home side remained at arm’s length in the third quarter, trailing by nine points at the final change.
The Wildcats mounted one last challenge, but lost 14.10 (94) to 15.11 (101).