Tigers’ season comes to an end

MORWELL East has stunned favourites Mirboo North, downing the Tigers by 27 points in yesterday’s first Mid Gippsland Football Netball League semi-final match.

At the final siren the Hawks led the Tigers 9.15 (69) to 6.6 (42).

A fortnight ago Morwell East was ranked an outsider, but two weeks on has disposed of Yinnar (fourth) and Mirboo North (second) and now enters the preliminary final on Saturday.

Windy conditions at Hill End did not help either side, but both teams were prepared to go in hard to win the ball.

Mirboo North was without Kris Berchtold – one of its better play makers and looked lost without him.

Morwell East trailed at the first break only through inaccurate kicking which was brought on by the pressure from Mirboo North defenders.

Dwayne Gunn played a big role for the Tigers in defence and the Hawks couldn’t buy a goal while Mirboo North was able to convert three times, with Jesse Giardina playing a senior role.

At the first break Mirboo North led 3.0 (18) to 1.5 (11).

Morwell East’s star was rising in the second term and they produced some of the best form seen this season; Frank Marks and John Koopmans were getting plenty of possession for the East giving their forwards a chance to score.

Clancy Bennett did well for the Tigers but too few were willing to win the hard ball, with Morwell East scoring three goals to Mirboo North’s one.

The Hawks led by five point at half-time, with the scoreboard reading Tigers’ 4.7 (31) to Morwell East’s 4.2 (26).

Morwell East came out in the third with the wind at its back and was more forceful in attack, its defence tightened and Andrew Brown gained the upper hand in the ruck duels.

Shaun Barnes and Lachlan White were busy around the goals, creating headaches for the Tiger defenders and the Hawks were able to post another 2.2 (14), but it was difficult with plenty of stoppages.

Morwell East reduced Mirboo North to only one effective scoring shot, which resulted in a minor score and by three-quarter time led by 15 points.

It was goal-for-goal in a hectic last quarter and Morwell East fans were out of their cars urging their team on.

The team duly responded.

With the clock ticking down the Hawks were able to keep their heads up, while the Tigers knew this was their final match for the season as Morwell East defeated Mirboo North for the second time this season.

For the Hawks it was a team effort led by Marks, Eric Semmler, John Koopmans and Paul Henry with Marks scoring three goals.

Jesse Giardina scored four goals up forward for Mirboo North, but he received little support.

The Tigers’ best were Jeremy Salinger, Dwayne Gunn, Giardina and Bennett.