IN some of the worst conditions seen in the past few seasons. Loy Yang B Gippsland Power recorded a second consecutive TAC cup win, soundly defeating Eastern Ranges in Traralgon on Sunday.
The region had suffered heavy rain through the week and Traralgon had an extra 15 millimetres overnight to really test the reserve’s new foundations.
Unfazed by the weather, the Power applied extreme pressure in every contest from the opening bounce until the match was prematurely called off 10 minutes into the last term.
Conditions gradually deteriorated throughout the afternoon to the extent that players were suffering hypothermia, and with the Power more than eight goals ahead the match was abandoned early.
The Power was strengthened by the return of key defender Christian Buykx-Smith, who had been missing due to injury since round three of the 2014 season. Josh Dunkley, Jordan Cunico and Lukas Webb were missing due to state commitments, but the Ranges had similar personnel issues.
The Power was without key players, Sam Skinner, Darnell Grech, Bohdi Walker, Liam Nash and Dylan Proctor due to injury, but the response was stirring from the troops on hand.
The match opened with the sort of intensity coach Leigh Brown had been begging for, resulting in Josh Patullo setting up Aloysio Ferreira to goal.
More forward pressure resulted in Power hard-man Nash Holmes kicking a fine goal. The match became an intense arm wrestle for the rest of the term, with neither defence or midfield willing to concede an easy possession, let alone a scoring opportunity.
By the first change the Power led by 16 points while the Ranges went scoreless.
The second quarter opened with Tate Marsh going, long and direct up forward and Tom Papley snapped a major to extend the lead.
Purposeful play by Nicholas Argento created an opportunity for Brad Olsson to snap truly.
Both sides upped the defensive ante and for the rest of the quarter neither was able to create effective scoring scenarios.
At the long break the Power led by 29 points, while the Ranges remained without a score.
As the rain intensified, clean possessions diminished and simple hard work was required to move the ball forward.
The Ranges limited the Power’s scoring opportunities and, 10 minutes into the term opened their account with a point.
Jack Hammond joined the kick-it-long -and-direct brigade and once again Papley was on the spot to snap another major.
Some hard work up forward by the Ranges saw them score a goal on the 20-minute mark of the term, but Holmes again put in hard yards to set up Argento.
In the final minutes of the quarter more intense forward pressure resulted in Alex Carr snapping truly and the Power went to the final break 38 points up.
In the opening minutes of the last term Holmes dished off to Papley to mark and goal before the game was called off with the Power 45 points up.
The Power now faces a real grind over the next month, starting with the TAC Cup’s top side, the Oakleigh Chargers, at Morwell this weekend.
Both sides will be without key players due to the final round of the national championships, but the Chargers have many returning from school football commitments.