Maroons set sights on Parrots

Traralgon has ended Drouin’s finals dream after it recorded a 49-point victory over the Hawks in Sunday’s Gippsland League semi-final.

When the final siren went at Moe Recreation Reserve, the Maroons comfortably led 18.17 (125) to 11.10 (76).

Traralgon coach Mark Collison said he was pleased with the way his side played.

“The boys played really well, so it was good to put four quarters together,” Collison said.

“We attacked well and defended well – we got the balance right today, which was really pleasing.”

Drouin managed to kick the first major in the opening minute of the game thanks to Jordan Kingi, before Lee Stockdale responded three minutes later for Traralgon.

The next major came from Hawks coach Bob McCallum, who put his side ahead for the second and last time in the game.

Traralgon slotted four more thanks to Jason Winderlich, Nathan Rowley and two more from Stockdale.

Ben Hughes kicked two for Drouin to leave the Maroons on 5.5 (35) to Drouin’s 4.0 (24).

The second quarter was all one-way traffic, with Traralgon kicking five unanswered majors in the term.

By half-time the Maroons had opened a six-goal lead, 10.6 (66) to 4.4 (28).

The Hawks clawed back some ground in the third term, kicking four goals and four behinds.

Goals were difficult to come by for Traralgon in the third, which posted one major and eight behinds.

At three quarter time the Maroons still held a dominant 11.14 (80) to 8.8 (56) lead.

The reigning premiers showed its class in the final quarter with a seven goal to three term to seal victory and book a preliminary final date against minor premier Leongatha.

Stockdale and Winderlich led the Maroons’ goal kickers with six each, while Nathan Rowley and Michael Jaconbsen each bagged two.

Timothy Johnston and Tate Marsh kicked one each.

McCallum said his side did not execute well from the outset.

“We went in with a game plan and for large parts of the game we didn’t execute our defence well enough and up to the standard we thought we should have played,” he said.

“We allowed them too freely into the contest.”

McCallum said the loss of Hughes, who was stretchered off after a ruck contest in the forward line, threw the Hawks off balance.

“He’s a focal point down forward and it forced us to reshuffle and it wasn’t ideal,” he said.

McCallum said Kingi, who bagged two majors, was the stand out for Drouin.

“I thought Jordan Kingi had another solid game – he’s got his body to the stage where it should be,” he said.

“He’s playing some really good footy.”

The loss ends a stunning turnaround from Drouin, which fought back to play finals after being in eighth position with two wins halfway through the season.

McCallum said he hoped his side could carry the momentum it built in the latter stages of the year into next season.

Leongatha v Maffra

MAFFRA has booked itself a place in the Gippsland League grand final when it became the first team to defeat minor premier Leongatha on Saturday.

The Eagles defeated the Parrots 11.11 (77) to 9.12 (66) thanks to a six goal to one third quarter.

There was not much separating the two sides at half time with Maffra holding a narrow 4.9 (33) to 4.6 (30) lead over their opponents.

Sam Pleming led the goal kickers in the third term with three, while Michael Coleman booted two and Kade Renooy added one to give the Eagles a 30-point lead at the final change.

Pleming opened proceedings in the final quarter to add Maffra’s last goal of the game, as the Parrots mounted a fightback.

Christopher Verboon kicked two for the Parrots in the last term, with Cade Maskell and Aaron Hillberg each contributing a final quarter goal.

Pleming led Maffra’s goal kickers with three, while Thomas Jolly also kicked three and Coleman two.

Kelvin Porter and Renooy each scored one for the Hawks.

Maskell was the leading goal kicker for Leongatha, while Hillberg and Verboon each kicked two.

Josh Hopkins and Zak Vernon each contributed one.

Leongatha will now take on Traralgon in Saturday’s preliminary final.