NORTH GIPPSLAND FNL
NEITHER side battling for fifth was able to conjure a win over North Gippsland’s top two, but Woodside’s dogged display against Heyfield saw it through to the finals series on percentage over Yarram, which was run over by Churchill in the last round of the season.
Heyfield v Woodside
WOODSIDE came out hard driven by a desire to control its own destiny with a win over the Kangaroos.
In an even opening term the visitor held strong against the Kangaroos with inaccuracy a feature of Heyfield’s opening 25 minutes of play.
Boasting eight scoring shots, the competition’s number one ranked side converted just two majors to make the margin five points at the first change.
Woodside marked their intentions in the second term by outscoring the home side three-goals-to-one, with Josh Griffin showing a few tricks in front of the sticks on his way to a match tally of four majors.
Led by coach Chris Pettitt and usual suspects Ryan Foat, Shane Kilgower, Matt Scholz and Damien Kerr, the Wildcats hit the man hard and reversed the deficit to lead by seven at the main change.
The Kangaroos hit their straps in the premiership term as Jesse Bedggood turned it on in front of goal, captain Brenton Dinsdale raised the bar in one of his best performances of the season and the engine room, led by Jack Woodland, Daniel Stevens and Josh Stubbe, grabbed the upper hand.
Heyfield’s blistering 6.4 (40) to 1.1 (7) quarter set the tone for the remainder of the contest, but Woodside minimised the damage to ensure safe passage to the finals.
Churchill v Yarram
CHURCHILL dashed the hopes of newcomer Yarram in a 19 goal victory, crushing the Demons’ chances of snatching fifth position from neighbours Woodside.
An 11-goal haul by Hamish Towns, who displayed every move in his arsenal in the second term, was one of many highlights for the Cougars as they made a return to the winners’ list after stumbling in last week’s top of the table clash.
The Cougars’ relentless pressure and run set up many goals, particularly in a barnstorming second term which saw Churchill’s forwards and dynamite midfield decimate Yarram.
Booting 12 goals to a mere behind, the second term bloodbath spelled the end of Yarram for the year.
Led by Towns, Nick Celima (four goals), Tim Darby and Nat Campbell (three apiece) the Cougars were relentless, and appear poised for a deep finals run.
Towns’ performance in front of goal rewarded him best on ground honours, ruckman Andrew Brown was an imposing figure in the contests setting up Travis Brighton and Chris Williams who dictated play on their terms around the ground while defender Jordon Fenech stopped many of the Demons attacks.
The final scoreline of 29.11 (185) to 10.10 (70) was a bitter end for the Demons.
Boisdale/Briagolong v TTU
BOISDALE/BRIAGOLONG started strong in the battle of the Bombers, however costly execution errors saw Traralgon Tyers United steal a 20 point victory, 12.13 (85) to 9.11 (65).
Led by best on ground Brian Graham, TTU made the most of their chances when the game was in the balance in the third term.
Despite dominating the ball and opportunities in front of goal – seven scoring shots to five – Boisdale/Briagolong could not buy a major in the premiership term.
Trailing by two kicks at the main change, Boisdale/Briagolong needed to hit the ground running in the second half and did so; Danny Pratt registered one of his four for the match from the opening clearance.
From that point Boisdale/Briagolong could not convert, despite lengthy passages of play in its forward half.
In contrast, each time it pushed forward TTU made something out of nothing to score, with Graham and coach Matt Stolarczyk setting up the side’s forwards.
Boisdale/Briagolong again took their chances early in the final term to reel the margin back to 14 points.
Graham missed a long bomb from outside 50 to hand Boisdale/Briagolong a lifeline before TTU registered what appeared to be the sealer early in the quarter.
But Boisdale/Briagolong kept fighting, captain Nicol Sandison was superb when rotating in the ruck or when floating between centre half-forward and back plugging the gaps, keeping his side in the contest as they again answered TTU’s challenge to reel the margin back to 20 points.
With the clock counting down, TTU was forced to work hard as both sides kicked blindly at times hoping for the best as the ball rebounded back and forward between the half backlines, but held on to the final siren.
Cowwarr v Gormandale
COWWARR was forced to toil hard after half-time against Gormandale to mark Saint Robbie Ferguson’s 250th club match, while denting the celebrations for Tiger Wayne Henry’s milestone match.
One point separated the sides at the main break, with Gormandale ahead in the arm-wrestle.
Easing their foot slightly off the throttle, the Saints punished the Tigers with a nine goal to six second half to claim the spoils.
Goal sneak Ben Plozza created headaches for the Tigers’ defence, kicking eight majors in a best on ground performance, helped out by milestone man Ferguson who chipped in with two goals.
Henry was handy in front of goal in his 250th match in the yellow and black, with Daniel Trease also contributing three majors.
Captain Luke Hegarty was named best on ground.
Sale City v Rosedale
IN a prelude to finals, Sale City and Rosedale met with the third placed Blues claiming the honours, 12.14 (86) to 10.10 (70).
Inaccuracy hampered the visitors in the opening term before they found their way to slam home five majors to one ahead of half-time.
Brandon McDonald and full forward Andrew Flanagan, who marked his return from injury with three majors, were the main protagonists in front of goals.
The sides exchanged blow for blow in an even third term, but the Dogs struggled to eat into the Blues’ 21 point half-time lead.
Jed Hickey kept the Dogs sharpshooters in check at one end, while Mitch Bennett was the pick of the scorers with three.
City’s Ben Chivers created run on the rebound from half-back which Brad McKay and Jake Milham capitalised on throughout the match.
Rosedale’s Adam Mitchell was a solid performer for the Blues in the contests while also bobbing up in front of goal with two majors, with Luke Stuckey and Dale Fleming also impressive.