GORMANDALE looked poised to open its North Gippsland Football season ledger against Rosedale on Saturday, holding a slender one point lead with a minute to play.
However, Blues man of the opening half, Dale Fleming saved his best act for last, booting his sole major of the afternoon at the death to hand the Blues their third straight victory, 11.14 (80) to 11.9 (75).
In a low scoring opening half which saw five majors scored, neither side was able to break clear on the scoreboard despite Gormandale’s Kapun Morris and Wayne Henry getting plenty of the ball as they drilled their side forward.
Rosedale too peppered away at the scoreboard; Gerard Barnes slotted through the Blues’ first major just shy of half-time to get his side within seven points of the lead.
The goals flowed freely after the long change as the navy blue army rallied to match the home side on the scoreboard, booting six majors to five in an entertaining third quarter.
Working hard to reel in the deficit, the Blues, led by best on ground Jake Mowat and Luke Stuckey, got the visitors going.
The pair provided much of the groundwork as Rosedale drew within arm’s reach before Fleming slotted through the late winner.
Rosedale coach Ben Macreadie continued his impressive form of the opening month of the fixture, and was ably assisted by Jeremy Reid who was the pick of the goal kickers with three.
For the Tigers, Joe Colaciello and Sam Marks booted two apiece, with Morris collecting the three votes in a stellar performance.
Heyfield v Yarram
TWO late goals saw Yarram claim the huge scalp of Heyfield in an upset at Heyfield-Gordon Street Reserve.
In a traditional arm wrestle, less than a kick separated the sides in the opening half.
The margin was five points in favour of Yarram at the first change, one that Heyfield would reverse ahead of the long change to lead by two points.
Rising to the challenge in the third term, the Demons booted clear to hold one of the most commanding leads of the contest – 19 points at the final break.
The visitors, spurred on by experienced campaigners Grif Underwood and Andrew Kiely, looked to keep the Kangaroos at bay, but the home side kept coming with five of their own majors in the final term.
The Kangaroos’ last ditch effort fell short as Yarram held off the fast-finishing home team to win by 14 points.
The Demons shared the goals among 11 individual goal scorers.
Jarryd Swift and Corbin Sutherland were among the goals, while exciting youngster Jari McDonald was named among the best.
Heyfield’s Daniel Stevens was solid claiming best on ground honours for the second week running, James Beha was crucial in the ruck contests and around the ground with Josh Stubbe and Jesse Bedggood lively in the forward 50.
Woodside v Churchill
WOODSIDE worked hard to match the might of reigning premier Churchill but faded away following a strong first term.
With scores locked at 3.5 (23) apiece in the first term, the Wildcats dished up some of their best as they ruffled the Cougars early in the battle of the big cats.
The second term saw the Cougars regain their composure and boot five goals to one to break clear to a commanding 28-point lead, one they would not relinquish as they went about extending the margin at each break to run home comprehensive 100-point winners.
It was sixth-placed Churchill’s second win of the season, engineered by Nick Campbell, captain Chris Williams and Ben Skinner who lit up the forward line with five majors.
TTU v Glengarry
INACCURACY in front of goal did not prevent Traralgon Tyers United from making an emphatic return to the winners’ list against a hapless Glengarry outfit, which could not stop a barrage of goals from the Bomber forwards.
Scoring 22.30 (162) to 4.6 (30), the Bombers kicked away early and, if not for a wayward radar in front of goal, could have won by a monster tally at the final siren.
The Bombers booted eight goals to one in the opening half, before finishing off the contest with a further 14 majors to three.
Staunch defender Guy Sinclair found himself forward, booting a game high four majors, while the trio of Stephen Hawkins, Brian Graham and Chase Saunders finished with three apiece.
The Bombers midfield brigade of Graham, Matt Stolarczyk, Marcus Pilgrim and Scott Zuehlke were polished and poised, creating something out of nothing at times, dominating the contests and flexing their muscle in front of the club’s former stars attending a past players function.
It was a tough outing for Robbie Cahill’s charges who were simply outplayed.
Zac Mangion was named best a field for the Magpies.
Sale City v Cowwarr
SALE CITY remains the only undefeated side following a 26-point victory over a persistent Cowwarr outfit.
It was far from one way traffic for the competition’s number one ranked side, which was forced to work hard for the points as the Saints proved tough competition.
Taking a five-point lead into the first change, the Saints started strongly with Pat Tainsh and Shane Morgan influential early.
The Dogs outscored the visitors in the second term to lead by three points at the break, with Mitch Bennett making his impact felt in a solid quarter effort.
Sale City mustered plenty of play in the third term, and could have extended the margin further if it was not for a few wayward shots on goal.
The Saints could only trouble the scoreboard for one major, and trailed by one of the biggest margins of the contest – three straight majors at the final break.
Cowwarr rallied, keeping with the Dogs, but it was City’s strong third quarter showing that proved telling in the end result, 12.17 (89) to 9.9 (63).
City was well-served in front of goals by Harry Kaandorp, Keenan Hughes and Nick Grainger who finished with two apiece, while Mitch and Jake Evans were standout performers.
For the Saints Marcus Tomwey was the sole multiple goal scorer.