Swansong for one

Yinnar and Morwell East face their Mid Gippsland Football League season swansong when they collide in the first knockout final at Mirboo North on Sunday.

The elimination finalists shared the honours in their head-to-heads this year with both sides winning at home.

The first meeting was a one-point thriller which went the way of the Hawks, while Yinnar saluted by 28 points in the return leg.

Reigning premier Yinnar has lost many regular players through transfers, injuries and retirements.

The Magpies have had to rebuild under new coach Julian Blackford and finished a credible fourth on the competition ladder.

Morwell East lost players midway through the season and dropped some important matches but still had enough firepower to survive and maintain fifth position.

The key to the match will be up forward with Yinnar having the luxury to call upon Tim Aitken, Julian Blackford or Damian Yates to fill the vital full-forward position, but the side has no player in the top 10 league goal-kicking tally.

Morwell East has struggled around the goals with Shaun Barnes the top of the tree on 29.

On average there is very little between the two clubs offensively, with Yinnar scoring 79 points per match while the East has been hovering at 72 points per game.

At the other end of the park, Yinnar has given up just 8.5 goals per match on average while the East has conceded 12.35.

Lockie White, Ben Marks and ruckman Andrew Brown have been three of the East’s most consistent players, with others coming in and out each week.

For Yinnar many have stood up to the challenge but the pressure will be on its younger players in a finals atmosphere.

Yinnar has used 43 players in the senior team, with only two playing the full season in Matt Dyke and Luke Linton.

The East has played 38 with Matt Cunningham, Jarrod Lont, Brendan Evans, Brad Gibson and Andrew Brown all featuring heavily.

Yinnar and Morwell East have previously met in the elimination final in 2012 when Yinnar took the honours by 17 points.

Morwell East has appeared in four elimination finals for one win (2004) while Yinnar has had two appearances for one win, which coincidentally came against the Hawks in 2012.

Newborough holds the record of eight appearances with four wins.

All 10 MGFL teams have participated in elimination finals since 1995.


the season

Yinnar held top spot on the ladder until round four, dropped to second after round five then held fifth from rounds six to nine.

The Pies then climbed to fourth from round 10 where it remained.

Morwell East has been all over the table starting ninth at round one, climbing to seventh in round two, fifth in round three, third the next week, fourth in round five, and peaked at second after round seven and eight.

The Hawks dropped to fourth in round nine then fifth in round 10 where it remained at the close of the regular season.


Played: 94 (Yinnar 50, Morwell 44)

Last two games: Morwell East 8.18 (66) d Yinnar 10-5 (65), Yinnar 13.16 (94) d Morwell East 8.14 (62)


Mirboo North

(qualifying final)

MIRBOO North and Yallourn-Yallourn North will meet for the first time in a qualifying final on Saturday with the victor set to challenge minor premier Newborough next weekend.

Mirboo North goes into the clash at Boolarra confident having won both encounters against the Bombers this season.

Both teams have lost valuable players through injuries and are working hard to have full list for this important game.

YYN’s big strength has been the goal scoring ability of crack forward Dean MacDonald, who topped the table with 84 goals for the season.

He has piloted the Bombers to an average of 108 points per game.

The Bombers have fielded 38 players this season with five players there every step of the way: Tyler Brown, Owen Budge, Darcy Shellcott, Barrie Burnett and Ash Anderson.

The Tigers have had 37 players in the seniors with six playing the full roster: Tristan Salerno, Josh Taylor, Dom Pinneri, Hudson Kerr, Jacob Blair and Zac Kilgower.

Mirboo North has played in seven qualifying finals with only two wins (2006, 2014) while YYN have played in four for one win (1996).

Trafalgar holds the record of nine finals and five wins.


the season

Mirboo North started the season in fourth position, got to number one in round two, then bounced around the leading quartet before returning to the top by the end of round six.

Round seven came to the crunch and the Tigers slipped down to fourth and held down that position in round eight.

It went to third in round nine, then second in round 10 and stayed there for eight weeks.

YYN started off in seventh position but jumped to third in round two.

The Bombers rose to second in round three but dropped to fifth for rounds four and five.

By the end of round eight, they were third and besides a brief stint in second they’ve remained there since round 10.

Played 86 (Mirboo North 43, YYN 42, drawn 1)

Last two games: Mirboo North 13.11 (89) d YYN 11.16 (82), Mirboo North 7.8 (50) d YYN 6.2 (38)

Qualifying final

Saturday at Boolarra

Seniors: Mirboo North v YYN

Reserves: Yinnar v YYN

Thirds: Yinnar v Newborough

Fourths: Mirboo North v Trafalgar


A grade: Thorpdale v Mirboo North

B grade: Yinnar v Newborough

C grade: Newborough v Yinnar

D grade: Newborough v Yinnar

17 and under: Yinnar v Hill End

15 and under: Mirboo North v Newborough

Elimination final

Sunday at Mirboo North

Seniors: Yinnar v Morwell East

Reserves: Mirboo North v Yarragon

Thirds: Hill End v YYN

Fourths: Yinnar v YYN


A grade: Yinnar v Trafalgar

B grade: Mirboo North v Trafalgar

C grade: Trafalgar v Boolarra

D grade: Trafalgar v Thorpdale

17 and under: Newborough v Morwell East

15 and under: Yallourn v Yinnar

By the record books


Elimination finals

1995-Yarragon 8-11 d Boolarra 5-13

1996-Boolarra 14-12 d Newborough 4-8

1997-Boolarra 8-11 d YYN 5-4

1998-HillEnd 12-14 d Thorpdale 6-6

1999-Thorpdale 9-13 d Morwell East 9-8

2000-Thorpdale 12-21 d Hill End 7-6

2001-Newborough 14-11 d Yarragon 10-7

2002-Boolarra 18-14 d YYN 8-8

2003-Newborough 5-5 d YYN 3-2

2004–Morwell East 13-14 d Hill End 9-8

2005-Newborough 16-11 d Mirboo North 9-8

2006-Trafalgar 24-12 d Newborough 4-10

2007-Newborough 12-4 d Trafalgar 10-9

2008-YYN 11-8 d Morwell East 8-5

2009-Yarragon 13-9 Yinnar 8-11

2010-Mirboo North 11-7 Trafalgar 10-11

2011-Mirboo North 21-16 d Newborough 10-10

2012-Yinnar 11-10 Morwell East 9-5

2013-Trafalgar 7-9 Boolarra 6-11

2014-Boolarra 9-5 Trafalgar 6-12

2015-Newborough 12-6 d Trafalgar 5-14


Qualifying finals

1995-Yinnar 18-16 YYN 10-10

1996-YYN 12-9 Yarragon 9-9

1997-Yinnar 14-9 Morwell East 5-8

1998-Newborough 14-9 Morwell East 5-9

1999-Newborough 19-11 Trafalgar 9-9

2000-Newborough 12-11 Trafalgar 11-4

2001-Trafalgar 11-8 YYN 9-4

2002-Yinnar 14-11 Trafalgar 13-9

2003-Yinnar 17-11 Mirboo Nth 16-3

2004-Yinnar 16-9 Newborough 8-16

2005-MorEast 15-12 Trafalgar 11-11

2006-MirNth 13-9 Yinnar 8-10

2007-MorEast 10-6 Yinnar 9-9

2008-Trafalgar 6-9 MirNth 6-5

2009-MirNth 6-3 Trafalgar 8-11

2010-Yarragon 8-1 Morwell East 7-6

2011-Trafalgar 15-10 YYN 11-13

2012-Trafalgar 9-12 MirNth 5-8

2013-Yinnar 13-12 Newborough 7-6

2014-MirNth 10-7 Yinnar 8-9

2015-Yinnar 19-12 MirNth 9-4