Saints go marching in



COWWARR handed Woodside a second straight defeat in North Gippsland Football, when the Saints booted nine goals to six after the main change to sneak home one point victors in the dying minutes 16.15 (111) to 17.8 (110).

Renowned for their slow starts to the season, it has been quite the month for the Saints, who up until round four had not recorded a win.

Since that day against Glengarry they have won three from five and have marched up the ladder to sit within striking distance of the top five.

The match against the Wildcats was evenly placed at the first change, both sides’ desperation at the ball was evident as the Wildcats took a nine point lead at the break.

The Saints regrouped and worked hard to match the home side before the main change, but it was Woodside that further extended the lead at the long break. Both teams booted three goals in the third, and the Wildcats appeared in control with a 13-point buffer.

However, the Saints were never headed after the final change.

Led by best on ground Shane Galea, fleet footed Ben Plozza, who finished the contest with a bag of six, and Sean Alexander, the Saints made their challenge in the final minutes of play to hit the lead by a mere point, which proved enough in the end.

Plozza was joined by Kyle Stammers (four) and Shane Morgan (three) as the leading goal scorers for the Saints.

The Wildcats’ Justin Staley added six to his season tally of 35, while midfielder Adrian Fazioli worked hard to set up opportunities for his side.

Heyfield v Churchill

INACCURACY in front of goal haunted fifth placed Churchill, which barely failed in its efforts to knock over the undefeated Heyfield Kangaroos.

Three points separated the sides at the final siren with Churchill’s jitters in front of the posts preventing the Cougars from surprising the ladder leaders.

Trailing by 38-points at the final change, the Cougars pulled together the strongest final term performance of the season booting 6.5 (41) to Heyfield’s mere one major.

The late challenge was driven by Travis Brighton and coach Allan Chandler, with Brendan Holt and Nic Celima the ‘go-to’ men in front of goals.

Left shell shocked, the Kangaroos did not have an answer to the Cougars, who were narrowly beaten by the clock.

Rosedale v Gormandale

A PERSISTENT physical Tiger line-up prevented third place Rosedale from dominating the contest against Gormandale, but the Blues won out 14.10 (94) to 8.5 (53).

It was far from one way traffic throughout the contest. As they have frequently done throughout the season, the Tigers struggled to score a major in the third term with their sole goal courtesy of Daniel Trease late in the quarter.

In cold, damp conditions the Blues did enough to build on their lead and register win number six although it was far from convincing.

Addressing his team ahead of the contest, Gormandale captain Luke Hegarty said it was “time for the team to stand up” and “it starts with you” and that is what the Tiger line-up did early, placing Trease and Wayne Henry forward.

Hit head on, Rowan Diamond was an early casualty for Rosedale, as the Tigers hit the man and ball hard, working hard to intimidate their higher ranked opponent.

It did little to rattle the Blues. The visitors opened their account early before adding a further two as Andrew Flanagan imposed his presence in the forward 50.

Rosedale’s Dale Fleming was sublime in the first term and his tenacity and tackling drew the attention of coach Nick Leechino on the boundary line.

Gormandale settled with their first major set up by the experienced campaigners in Trease and Daniel Domaille.

Trease’s side kick to Domaille set up Henry who halted the Blues’ run of majors.

The Tigers pressured the Blues’ defence, with thirds player Will Flanagan working hard to contain Trease, with able support by the back six of Scott Johnstone, Chris Hughes, Frazar Brouns, Ryan Carpenter and Nathan Flint who worked well under pressure.

Gormandale’s first was quickly answered with Rosedale’s fourth, followed by another to Flanagan ahead of quarter-time.

The Tigers were dished up a serving at the quarter-time huddle, asked to “really attack it, attack it harder”.

And attack they did. Trease had the first shot at goal from the centre clearance but missed, before best on ground Jarryd Gilroy goaled directly in front.

It was answered by Rosedale’s Brad Scott, before Trease added his second to reel the margin back to 18 points.

Trease was at it again as he worked hard to gain possession and make it two on the run, but his shot missed to the near side.

Frustration began to boil over in the Tiger backline and undisciplined play boiled over.

Steve Burgess had a free kick reversed on him which looked to gift Craig Mayman a shot on goal, but Mayman’s kick was off target.

An out of jail card saw the Tigers defence, through Sam Marks, rebound off half-back with Matt Sheridan and Josh Sandy picking up the loose ball to drill the Tigers forward for their second.

Flanagan added another to his match tally, as the key forward wrestled with the frustrated Tigers backmen, who lost their cool, giving away another free kick and major.

Fleming made it two in a row for the Blues, with his major on the run blowing the margin wide open ahead of half-time.

The premiership term was a one sided affair.

Rosedale dominated the term, scoring the first four for the quarter in quick fashion before the scoring dried up.

Rosedale’s Adam Diamond was superb in his sweeping role across half-back sending the Blues forward time and time again.

The goal of the term was a left foot snap to Chris Lowe, who was bemused when he was dragged following his major.

Clearly disappointed by his side’s “given up” attitude, Luke Henderson was unimpressed making it clear that “if you’re slow come and have a rest”.

Wanting more from his side, Trease opened the proceedings in the last and Henry added his second as they looked to gain some respectability on the scoreboard.

Outscoring the visitors three goals to one, the Tigers reeled the margin back to 41 points at the final siren.

Sale City v TTU

A barnstorming Sale City booted six goals to one in the final quarter to kill the contest against Traralgon Tyers United.

Led by best on ground Matt Lutze, Jake Milham and Brad McKay, the side boasted plenty of ammunition in and around the contest along with in front of goals with Jake Schuback, Mitch Bennett and Lutze key figures in the forward 50.

The Bombers were well and truly in the contest for three quarters of the match, with City holding a narrow 10-point lead at the final change.

However, it would be one way traffic in the final term, with the Bombers failing to make it two on the run.

Glengarry v Boisdale/Briagolong

GLENGARRY made a welcome return to the winners’ list, never faulting in its clash on the road to Boisdale/Briagolong.

After getting their season back on track at the same ground last year, the Magpies will be hoping their 46-point victory will put them in good stead for their clash against Churchill in a fortnight following the week’s bye.

Welcoming a number of players back to the fold the Bombers were competitive in patches, with Regan Tait and Marty McDonough leading from the front.

However, it was the Magpies’ seven goal to two opening term which set the tone for the contest and saw the Bombers playing catch up footy against a side that has struggled to hit its straps.