MID GIPPSLAND LEAGUE
The make-up of this season’s Mid Gippsland Football League finals series appears settled after the penultimate round, but Mirboo North has one last chance to make it to the post-season.
Yallourn/Yallourn North has locked up the minor premiership after a 49-point rout of Hill End with 60 points and Thorpdale, in second with 48 points, has secured its finals berth.
Afterwards, Yinnar (third), Newborough (fourth) and Trafalgar (fifth) all sit on 44 points.
Sixth-placed Mirboo North remains an outside chance to play finals with 40 points.
The Bloods remain firmly in the finals frame after securing a four-point home win over Morwell East.
The first quarter got off to a slow start, with both teams goalless after the first 10 minutes of play.
Trafalgar scored the first major of the game from 50 metres out to put his side in front in windy conditions.
The wind affected both teams’ accuracy and by the end of the first term the Bloods led, 2.3 (15) to 1.3 (9).
In a low-scoring second quarter, both teams kept the ball away from the others’ forward lines, with few opportunities on goal.
Morwell East managed the first major of the term and kept Trafalgar quiet through quality defensive work.
Ben Doran managed a behind to lock both teams at 17 all before the Hawks pulled one back to go into the main break ahead, 3.5 (23) to Trafalgar’s 2.5 (17).
A scoreless quarter from Morwell East allowed the Bloods to reclaim the lead, with Rhys Holdsworth goaling for the home team.
Doran followed for his second of the afternoon and by the end of the quarter the scoreboard read Trafalgar 4.12 (36) to the Hawks’ 3.5 (23).
An early goal in the final term put Morwell East back within reach and was quickly followed by another for the visitors.
Ten minutes into play, both teams were equal on 36 points.
The Bloods’ Darcy Brock managed to kick one that trickled over the line to get his team one goal in front.
Morwell East created two more opportunities but was unable to goal, adding two behinds to its tally.
At the end of play, Trafalgar won 5.12 (42) to 5.8 (38).
“We were happy to get the points today. We knew it was going be a tough game,” Bloods coach Clint Eisiendel said.
“We got here and it was blowing a gale and it doesn’t make for a pretty game of football.”
He said his team was “well on top” in the third and managed to hold on in the final term, but Einsiedel said there was more work to be done.
“We haven’t secured our position in the finals so obviously next week’s game is crucial for us,” he said.
Hawks coach Colin King said the loss ended his team’s finals hopes.
“We try our guts out but we miss too many targets,” King said.
“We cannot kick the footy and until we learn to kick the footy better we are going to lose close games, even though we try better than anyone, like today.”
But he said the number of close losses experienced by his team this season meant it was not far off the pace.
“If the close games had gone the other way for us this season we would be in the top three, so we are close to being in contention,” King said.
“The loss today means we can’t make finals, so looking forward to next season I’d be really disappointed if any of the guys leave the club.”
Boolarra v Newborough
Newborough secured a 46-point victory over Boolarra this round in windy conditions.
The Bulldogs kept the Demons goalless in the third quarter while creating many chances of their own.
Despite Boolarra’s struggles this season, Chase Saunders has maintained his lead at the top of the goal scoring table and added another five to his tally in this round to make 53 goals for the season so far.
The Demon’s lost 7.5 (47) to Newborough’s 13.15 (93).
Luke Conway received best-on for Boolarra and Andrew Philip for the Bulldogs.
Saunders was Boolarra’s top goal scorer and Mat Slattery and Joel Mitchell kicked three apiece for Newborough.
Hill End v Yallourn/Yallourn North
The Bombers dominated in their match up with Hill End this week and led at the end of all four quarters.
Despite the Hillmen struggling this season, Michael Santo sits at number two on the top goal scorers table.
The final score at Hill End Recreation Reserve was the Bombers 16.10 (106) to the home team’s 7.15 (57).
Best on for Hill End was Jack Hudson and Lachlan Little for YYN.
Dean Macdonald kicked seven goals for the Bombers and Ben Rotheram kicked two for Hill End to take top goal scorer honours.
Thorpdale v Yarragon
Thorpdale’s convincing victory over Yarragon this week has secured the Blues a position in the finals and moved them into second position on the ladder.
Thorpdale led at the end of all four quarters and took the win by 68 points with plenty of missed opportunities at goal.
Joshua Collie took top goal scorer with five for Thorpdale and Mitchell Jolly kicked three for Yarragon.
Brett Gatehouse was best on for Thorpdale and Thomas Follett took the honours for Yarragon.
Mirboo North v Yinnar
Mirboo North dominated throughout its match-up with Yinnar on Saturday.
The Tigers held the Magpies to a solitary behind in the first quarter and lead by two goals at the end of the first term.
Yinnar struggled to come back and Mirboo North extended its lead at the end of each quarter.
The Tigers won 10.10 (70) to Yinnar’s 5.7 (37) at Walter Tuck Reserve.
The loss means the Magpies slip into third position on the ladder and the win for the Tigers has kept their finals hopes alive.
Jacob Nash kicked three for Yinnar to take top goal scorer honours and Michael Geary kicked two for Yinnar. Best-on-ground was Jacob Nash for Mirboo North and Jarrod Henderson for Yinnar.