IT was shades of last year’s Mid Gippsland grand final when Mirboo North once again summoned a last gasp effort to steal victory from Newborough by one point in Saturday’s round 12 clash.
In a hard fought affair for the Ron Skinner Trophy, Newborough jumped the gun on Mirboo North with three goals in the first five minutes.
Josh Keyhoe bagged two and Stuart Robertson the other in a dominant term, which saw Newborough run the ball wide and create opportunities aplenty.
The Tigers seemed confused with misplaced kicks and mindless handballs costing them early.
Don Webb was strong for the Tigers and twice with good palm work enabled them to score two quick goals through Damien McLean and Brendon Weston.
On the siren James Todd put Newborough back in front with a long range goal.
Webb equalised just after the break before Newborough turned the screw and scored four goals through Robertson, Adam Kennedy, Josh Pearce and Jason Henderson to gain a good lead by the half way mark.
Mirboo North tried to get in the scoring zone but Newborough was tight in defence with Andrew Phillip leading the gang of six.
The Tigers were playing well but could not score and by half-time Newborough’s lead had blown out to 24 points.
It was still a hard slog after the break but Mirboo North staged a comeback; two goals to Webb and one to McLean brought the Tigers to within 10 points by the last change.
As the sky darkened overhead Mirboo North lit up the ground, pressuring Newborough relentlessly.
Just as they did in the 2014 decider, the Tigers edged ahead late by a point and held on to the final siren, winning 10.10 (70) to 11.3 (69).
Pearce finished with three goals and Robertson two for Newborough while best for the Tigers was Webb with three.
Daniel Halstead, Pearce and Phillip were named best for the Borough with Isaac Abas, Tristan Salerno, Jack Robertson and Webb top performed for the Tigers.
The loss saw Newborough fall to fourth while Mirboo North retained second.
MORWELL East gave Yinnar a run for its money for half a game before the Magpies consolidated to leapfrog Newborough into third on the ladder.
True to their style this season the Magpies outpaced their opponents in the first quarter to establish an 18-point lead by the first break.
It was tough going and Yinnar had to earn every goal.
Morwell East came out of the huddle and produced one of their finest quarters for the year, making Yinnar look second rate.
The East scored four goals to take the lead by half-time, with Frankie Marks effective on the forward line.
Yinnar’s smaller brigade took over in the third term; Sam Mills and Tyler Hillier became the playmakers as Yinnar clawed its way back.
The Pies overtook Morwell East and added a further three while keeping the Hawks to two behinds.
By three-quarter-time Yinnar had built up a substantial lead of 22 points.
MGFL leading goal kicker Tim Aitken was well held to one goal and did not return after the three-quarter-time huddle.
Morwell East was playing hard but lost Shaun Barnes for a spell after he was crunched in a pack.
Under testing conditions players were taking excellent marks with Morwell East’s Matt Cunningham saving twice with good grabs.
Dean Brooks was a winner for the East with excellent play but Yinnar was proving too strong, as Jayden Embry and Sam McCulloch powered the Magpies.
Morwell East had plenty of spirit to outscore their opponents for the quarter but the gap was too big as Yinnar won 13.9 (86) to 10.9 (69).
A SECOND quarter blitz by Yallourn Yallourn North set up a huge 150-point win over Yarragon.
The Bombers were untidy in the first term and wasted opportunities with poor decision making.
They had the run of play and were strong in the defensive arc but terribly wasteful around the posts.
Yarragon did not have any counter, but YYN only managed to scrape together 4.4 (28) to 0.2 (2).
YYN clicked into gear in the second to hammer 9.2 (56) and bury the contest.
Barry Brooks was kicking truly and Tim Phillips proved his efficiency as the pair shared the goals.
There was further pain to come for Yarragon as YYN bombarded the goals and produced 7.1 (43) and 7.3 (45) in the next two quarters to post the highest score of the year, 27.10 (172) to 3.4 (22).
Brooks finished with nine, but could have had double figures, while Tim Phillips chipped in with seven to be within four of the competition leader, Aitken.
TRAFALGAR turned the tide against Thorpdale to beat the Blues by 68 points in a boil-over.
The Bloods were not favoured against neighbours Thorpdale, but the new RSL trophy and four points proved enough incentive to cause a minor upset.
It was a low scoring event up to three-quarter-time when only seven goals had been produced, but Trafalgar upped the ante in the final term with 9.4 (58).
The result left Trafalgar in sixth, six points behind Thorpdale.
Trafalgar ran out winners 14.8 (92) to 3.6 (24) with Jamie Hines, Darcy Long and Wade Kelly among the best.
TAIL enders Boolarra and Hill End battled it out in a tense match, before the Demons retained the Hambone Trophy.
The Hillmen went down by five points, their third loss this season by under a goal, and remain winless.
Although they led early in a tough match they could not sustain it and by the second quarter Boolarra had regained control by seven points.
Hill End chipped away all day and may have won if luck was on their side; both teams had 19 shots at goal but Boolarra was more accurate, winning out 11.8 (74) to 10.9 (69).