NORTH GIPPSLAND FL
HE may have played less than a handful of games since retiring from the elite level three seasons ago, however that did not halt Heyfield’s Leigh Brown from booting eight goals in his sixth senior appearance for his home club.
A large crowd was on hand for the Kangaroos’ clinical 59 point victory on the road against Yarram, with former AFL premiership player Brown’s appearance adding to the attraction of the clash between first and fifth.
With coach Adrian Cox also making his season debut, Heyfield started strong with the man of the moment Brown among the action early.
Failing to land the mark that would have set Brown off with the first major, it was Josh Stubbe that dealt the first blow for the visitor.
Working the ball from one pocket to the other, the Demons settled with youngster Jari McDonald running in to goal.
Aiming to bounce back from the disappointment of dropping their first home game in over two seasons the week prior, the Demons were on.
Both sides’ attack on the ball was fierce with Heyfield’s Joel Dinsdale and Jack Woodland leading the tackle count.
Joel Dinsdale’s hit on defender Jack Moore disposed the Demon and set up Brown with his first from 40 metres.
Both sides had their chances early, but Yarram struggled to find the posts.
At the opposite end of the ground Heyfield made the most of its chances.
A one handed grab by high flyer Jesse Bedggood set up Nic Dowse before Brown added a second.
Demon coach Griffin Underwood briefed defender David Coulthard on the best way to contain the former AFL player, but Brown quickly combined with Kodie Woodland to set up the visitor’s fifth major.
Heyfield kept the scoreboard ticking over in the second term, but it was Yarram that looked the goods.
Josh Swift got the home side going, scoring the side’s first major in over 30 minutes of play.
It would be the first of five for the term, which saw the Demons draw within 12 points of the ladder leader.
Corbin Sutherland led the charge; the nuggetty forward set up several majors as the Demons appeared more composed.
Setting up Stan Grazotis in front of goal, Sutherland was at it again as the Demons scored consecutive majors before Heyfield hit the scoreboard.
Kelly’s frustrations boiled over when a free kick was paid against him, and Grazotis registered his second for the term.
Led by Jarryd Swift, Matt Clavarino and Underwood, the Demons’ midfield lifted with ruckman Dan Vardy matching up well against Heyfield’s ruck combination of Lucas Jenkins and Shaun Humphreys.
Working the ball forward with precision the Demons’ defence was on; Ben O’Loughlin combined with Vardy and Coulthard to strike within a kick of Heyfield.
Heyfield soon settled with Nick Dinsdale’s soccer kick from the goal square provided some breathing space before an errant handball by the Demons defence set up Stubbe with his second.
The Kangaroos took a two goal lead into the main change.
The third term belonged to the visitors; Nick Dinsdale added one of the side’s seven majors for the term.
It was followed by Stubbe’s third, Bedggood on the run, and Brown from the goal square before Daniel Stevens finished the job.
For the visitors, defender Scott Anderson was instrumental in the back 50, Kelly swept the loose ball off half back and Woodland was ferocious in his attack on the opposition.
Demon Matt Clavarino amassed possessions early and was pitted against Kelly who worked hard to restrict the play maker’s impact. Underwood toiled hard while defender Trek Davis was not intimidated by Brown’s presence in the forward line.
Woodside v Gormandale
WOODSIDE gave its chances of playing finals a major boost with a 37 point victory over a late fading Gormandale.
It was a pivotal game for the Wildcats, who are among a cluster of four teams jostling for the final two positions in the top five.
It was the home side that came to play early. The Tigers dominated from the outset booting six majors to one in a blistering opening term of play.
From there the wheels wobbled and the visitor clawed its way back into the contest, winning three of the four quarters to register a first victory in four rounds.
Glengarry v Churchill
Glengarry copped the full brunt of Churchill at its ruthless best as the Cougars sealed their second win on the run, 21.19 (145) to 5.11 (41).
The Cougars have put the competition on notice over the past three weeks.
Following a slow start to the season, Churchill is entrenched in the top five and has the three sides above it on guard after consecutive wins of at least 100 points.
Booting six goals in the opening term, and a further six ahead of half-time, the home side established a match winning margin of 73 points at the long change.
Keeping the foot on the pedal, the Cougars scored nine majors to four in the final term to run home 104 point victors.
Travis Brighton continued his dominant season form, James Hayward and Brad Knowles found plenty of the ball while Hamish Towns led a goal kicking contingent of 10 with a match high five majors.
Sale City v Cowwarr
SALE City made a return to the winners’ list by beating the in form Cowwarr Saints.
The Dogs maintained their undefeated status on home turf with Jake Schuback and Nick Grainger booting six majors each in an 11 goal victory.
City’s Byron Shingles was a standout, amassing possessions in a strong and skilful performance.
Brad McKay impressed while defender Tin Dimarco had an impact in the role of general down back. For the visitors Lindon Brunt singlehandedly booted seven of 11 majors, coach Luke Cooper played a crucial role in keeping the Saints in contention, with Shane Galea and Shane Morgan’s attack and relentless play setting up the forwards.
Rosedale v Bois/Briag
It was a tough day for the Bombers who hosted a blistering second placed Rosedale.
Pitted against the second best forward line in the competition, the Bombers back six had their work cut out from the first bounce.
Sharing the goals among 10 individual scorers, it was Jeremy Reid and Brandon McDonald that caused havoc in the absence of league leading goal kicker Andrew Flanagan.
Reid booted six majors as the Blues boasted 13 scoring shots in the opening term.
Doubling their score in the second quarter the result was decided early, but Boisdale/Briagolong’s Luke Conway and Adam Helmke continued to work hard to contain the Blues’ run and carry. The Blues added a further 14 majors in the second half to record a 23-goal victory.