NORTH GIPPSLAND FL
CHURCHILL suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Sale City in round five of North Gippsland football.
The Dogs notched up their third consecutive victory with a 17-point win against last season’s preliminary finalists to jump to outright second on the premiership ladder.
Sale City held the Cougars goalless in a low scoring opening term, before Churchill slammed home seven majors in the second to lead by 22 points at half-time.
Led by Tim Darby in front of goal and coach Allan Chandler in the contests, the Cougars were impressive and appeared poised to carry their second term efforts into the final half.
But it was Sale City which pulled out a seven-goal to two quarter to take a nine-point lead at the final change.
The final term was an even affair with the Cougars’ inaccuracy in front of goal proving costly as they added only 1.6 (12) to City’s 3.2 (20).
TTU v Cowwarr
COWWARR was gallant in its second consecutive victory in a contest which saw little love lost between it and Traralgon Tyers United.
The Bombers kicked away in the opening 10 minutes of play before the Saints slammed home four unanswered majors in a purple patch, which would serve them well for the remainder of the contest.
In the first of the five goals Brett Street’s speed saw him accelerate from his opponent and sit the ball up to Linden Brunt who, scored from 40 metres out.
Team mate Shane Morgan outmuscled two defenders to receive the free, the forward converting one of five for the contest. Ferguson switched play from one pocket to another to set Morgan up with his second in as many minutes to hand the visitors a nine point lead at the 20 minute mark.
Lee Cooper steadied and drilled the ball from defence along the boundary line to see the Saints add their fourth unanswered major with the Bombers responding ahead of quarter-time.
A kick off the ground by Rick Battista got the Saints going early in the second term; the major was set up by a clever tap by Morgan, which allowed a centering kick to the goal square with Battista running onto the ball for the Saints’ sixth major.
Coach Luke Cooper combined with Street and Morgan to set up Ben Coffey who scored from 30 metres out directly in front of goal.
The warning bells sounded for the Bombers and captain Luke Middleton was moved into the ruck. Cory Bannister went with Brian Graham, who was moved from the forward 50 to the engine room, Bannister wearing the danger man like a glove. Defender Nick Albanese went to Morgan in an effort to contain the Saint.
Despite the strategic moves, the Bombers appeared rushed and chocked by the pressure that the Saints were applying. Ferguson pestered his opponents, the Saints defenders hassled theirs with sublime pressure.
The Bombers’ majors came late in the third quarter and reeled the margin back to 22 points.
It was short lived, with 34 second on the clock when Brendan Smith added another to his tally, however the Bombers did not drop their heads with their big guns in the middle of the ground Graham, Middleton, Pat Sharp and Hayden Hector challenging, but it was not enough.
Glengarry v Woodside
Three points separated reigning premier Glengarry and Woodside at the final siren.
Inaccuracy in front of goal hampered the Wildcats’ challenge, while at the other end of the ground the Magpies, led by Mark Engley and Josh King, had no such issues.
The Magpies led at the first change and built on their lead with a solid second term adding 4.2 (26) to 3.3 (21).
But it was Glengarry’s third term which set the tone and proved enough to hold off a late Woodside challenge.
The Magpies led by five goals at the beginning of the final quarter, but the Wildcats almost overran the home side with five goals to reel the margin in.
With Glengarry’s lead dwindling away the Magpies were saved by the bell with the siren ringing on Woodside’s challenge.
Rosedale v Heyfield
League leader Heyfield was forced to work hard for the four points against Rosedale.
Little separated the sides in the opening half, with the Kangaroos leading by a straight kick at the first change.
The margin was only two points at the main change with the Blues, through forward Andrew Flanagan, reeling in the margin.
The Blues failed to match the Kangaroos in the third quarter, with the visitors slamming home seven goals to three to create a 26-point buffer at the final term.
Jesse Bedggood scored five goals in a high scoring affair.
The home side rallied early in the fourth term to make a charge on the scoreboard.
The running brigade of best on ground Dale Fleming, Luke Stuckey and Rohan Diamond tested the Kangaroos’ runners as the Blues made a statement in front of goals.
Despite outscoring the Kangaroos in the final term the Blues fell 11 points short at the siren, 17.11 (113) to 14.18 (102).
Yarram v Gormandale
Gormandale troubled Yarram as the plucky Tigers kicked seven goals to one in the third term to come within arm’s reach of the Demons.
Down and out in the opening half of the contest and trailing by 40 points, the Tigers appeared on track for a comprehensive loss.
However, the yellow and black army rallied to hold the home side to one goal in the third as they went on a rampage in front of the sticks to reel the deficit back to a kick.
Scoring the opening major of the final term to bring the scores level, the Tigers’ momentum was overrun by a dogged Demon outfit, which regained composure led by Corbin Sutherland in front of goal.
Despite the Tigers’ best efforts they could not match the fast-finishing Demons, who ran rampant in the final stages of the contest to win 16.20 (116) to 12.8 (80).