Birds remain at top of tree

THE Gippsland League’s top two, Maffra and Leongatha, both recorded convincing victories in the second half of the Gippsland League’s split round 15.

“For me they are the two stand out sides,” Moe coach Adrian Burgiel, whose side lined up against the Eagles on Saturday, said.

Fresh from its 13th win, Maffra sits comfortably in top spot, with just three rounds of the home and away season left to play.

Maffra is a game clear of Leongatha, while Traralgon is another game behind in third.

Wonthaggi sits a further two games behind in fourth, while at 28 points apiece, Sale, Morwell and Drouin are in a three-way race for the fifth and final spot in the finals.

Trailing Maffra by 88-points at three-quarter-time, Moe recovered from a disappointing opening three quarters to kick seven goals to two in a dominant final term.

“Our last quarter was really encouraging. We kicked seven to two, which was really good. We were poor early, our first three quarters were really poor, we missed targets and our skill errors cost us… but the final term was a good confidence builder; (it) showed us that we can score against the good teams,” Burgiel said.

The Lions were without three of their best due to injury, including the coach who ruptured his ACL against Morwell.

“We have got a few injuries at the moment; Mitch Stanlake and Luke Webber were out,” Burgiel said.

Moe is looking to finish the season on a high, despite a tough run home.

“We are going to try to finish strong. We have Leongatha, Sale and then Bairnsdale at home to finish off,” Burgiel said.

Despite the late comeback from Moe, Maffra won by 49 points.

Gary Jones and Darren Sheen were the stars with the boot with four apiece, while Jake Roe-Duggan booted three.

Eagle Kel Porter took the honours for best on ground.

Leongatha d Warragul

IN the second game of the weekend, Leongatha stamped its authority with a big win over bottom of the table Warragul.

Jake Best starred for the Parrots with 10 goals, while Cade Maskell managed four.

The home team dominated from the outset and held the visitor scoreless until the second term.

Leongatha slammed on seven goals to one in the second to lead by 64-points at half-time.

By three-quarter-time, the Parrots’ lead was out to 95 points and the carnage did not stop there, with the home team adding another seven majors in the last to run out a 137-point winner.

The match wrapped up the split round 15, which last weekend saw wins to Traralgon over Wonthaggi, Morwell over Drouin and Sale over Bairnsdale.