Hillmen hold off brave Bulldogs for tight victory



THERE was no question Newborough had already indicated some significant
improvement had been made at the Kennel in the opening rounds of the 2022 Mid Gippsland Football-Netball League season, but it was this test against Hill End on the Rovers home ground that would give a more definitive opinion on whether that improvement might be enough to threaten the big boys at the top.
The conclusion is that the Bulldogs are good and getting better, but still have a little way to go after Hill End won a very good contest 9.13 (67) to 6.14 (50).
Newborough coach Craig Skinner said despite the result he was pleased with his side for the most part.
“It was a great opportunity to gauge where we are against the competition’s best,” he said.
“We played one and a half quarters of footy and was disappointed to watch Hill End kick the last five goals of the game … but that’s what good sides do!”
Hill End coach Mike Santo said both teams traded momentum.
“(It) was a back and forth game, we started well and led at half-time but Newborough made some adjustments at half-time and they came out ready to play and had most of the play in the third quarter and the start of the fourth,” he said.
“The Newborough crowd were in full voice as they led by 15 points halfway through the last quarter before we switched on and kicked five straight to win the match.
“An entertaining game, although we are still not playing our best footy it is always good to get the four points ‘anywhere anytime’.”
Hill End, in defeating an aspiring team, answered a few questions that were being asked post their surprising draw against Boolarra just seven days prior.
Now the job for Santo and his team is to start to string a few wins together that gives far greater opportunities and challenges later in the year.

TIGERS coach Josh Taylor had kept his normal cool facade despite his team losing the opening two rounds, and part of that front has been built on his side being able to ‘bounce back’ from similar starts in recent years.
Going into this match against Yinnar however he was acutely aware, as was his senior team, that a third loss in a row would have the odds of them being a finals aspirant quickly building against them, and indeed that is what happened as Yinnar won 16.12 (108) to 3.9 (27).
The Tigers now have a power of work to do just to be in contention let alone a contender.
Taylor said it was a disappointing performance.
“Not a great day. Yinnar won the toss and kicked with the wind which was a huge advantage. Second quarter the wind dropped off which was a pain but that’s footy,” he said.
“Beaten by a quicker, fitter and better side.
“It’s a must win against MDU next week at home or our season is off to a disastrous start.”
While the Tigers season is on the brink of disaster the last fortnight for the Magpies has been super impressive.
Yinnar coach Daniel Taylor enjoyed getting a win over his brother.
“Another great effort by the boys, our workrate and tackling pressure was outstanding from the start which really set the day up for us,” he said.
“Everyone is having a crack and contributing which is very pleasing to see.
“Mirboo North are always hard to beat up there so we really set ourselves for a big game, I thought they were good in patches and have some promising kids, we got the jump on them and to our credit we didn’t let them get back in the game.”
The Magpies are well placed to climb their way further up the MGFNL ladder, while for Mirboo North it seems the only way is up for now.

THERE would not have been a more disappointed coach in Victoria than Morwell East’s Devon Soutar after his team’s effort against Yinnar just one week prior.
I say effort, because it wasn’t so much his team’s loss that hurt, but it was their application to the contest that obviously had him fuming.
The chance to atone for a less than acceptable performance was the Hawks priority as they welcomed Thorpdale on the weekend, and they destroyed them with four solid quarters of football winning 21.15 (141) to 9.6 (60).
Soutar said it has been a better week.
“We needed to respond strongly after last week and thankfully we did. It gave the group real clarity about the link between workrate and result, and consistency in that aspect is what we are chasing,” he said.
Thorpdale coach Ray Picketing put things in perspective, saying some uncontrollable factors had affected the group leading in.
The Blues had to cancel training on Tuesday after three quarters of the senior team came down sick.
“After a tough week with the flu, thankfully not COVID, going through the playing group the boys did well to get up for the clash and started brightly with a very competitive first quarter but with a strong wind behind Morwell East in the second they piled on the goals and essentially put the game to bed,” he said.
“Our boys fought the game out well in the last but they proved way too good.”
Both of these teams are showing improvement. For the Hawks it’s about being good enough to compete in finals, for the Blues, at this stage, it’s about being good enough to trouble sides above them.

AS good as Tarwin had been in their two wins in two rounds to start the season, their home ground clash with classy rival Foster was always going to be the type of opposition that would fast track their credibility of being a finals contender rather than a middle of the range team.
Foster had a fortnight to stew on their first round loss to Fish Creek, in a game where they led comfortably before inexcusably giving up what should have been an opening round win, but as disappointing as that loss was, things got even worse, when the Tigers went down to the Sharks 10.2 (62) to 4.6 (30).
Tarwin coach Troy Hemming was buzzing after the win.
“Foster have some big bodies and are really strong around the contest. They brought some heat but our boys just stuck to the plan and played great footy,” he said.
“First game for the club for Noah Bee-Hickman was solid down back with Lachie Schreurs having his best game for the season next to him in the backline chopping everything off setting us up to attack.
“Jack Vanderkolk is on antibiotics this week after receiving leather poisoning having his best game for the season
“Very proud of our group, seconds and seniors have all earned respect and the week off as we have the bye this week”.
Good sides won’t panic under pressure, and in fact more times than not, they respond in a way that sees them at their best.
Foster coach Sam Davies paid credit to Tarwin.
“They are very well structured and a much improved side,” he said.
“We really let ourselves down with front half turnover and letting the ball out of the back, which ultimately was the difference, but we’re far from worried.”
Foster this week host Newborough, the Bulldogs too, coming off a loss and keen to put the Tigers to the sword.
The clash looms as crucial for both teams, but especially for the home side as they chase their first win.

THERE are not too many things worse than losing by a solitary point, as there are so many instances in a game where you can look back and think what if we did that, what if we goaled then, what if we didn’t turnover when we did.
But the fact is the only thing you can do is bounce back the following week and that’s exactly what MDU had planned to do when they welcomed Fish Creek to their home ground, and didn’t the Demons love it when their plan came together, winning comprehensively 7.17 (59) to just 0.9 (9) – the well-respected Fish Creek side kept goalless for the entire match.
Meeniyan Dumbalk United coach Peter Harris said he couldn’t have been prouder.
“The effort the boys have been putting in on the track paid off today against a top side. We have set the benchmark now and have a real belief within the group,” he said.
The bar has been lifted not only for MDU, but also for many teams in the MGFNL competition, with the knowledge that unless any side on any given day has come prepared, they are vulnerable no matter the opposition.
Fish Creek coach John Danckert was left searching for answers.
“Really tough loss take,” he said.
“Out played in every aspect of the game. We remain positive, we understand that we are a work in progress, we lick our wounds and learn a lot from a loss like that.”
It’s been said before, and it will be said again, this competition is as even as it’s been, perhaps in decades, and even a small blemish as that of the Kangaroos on this occasion can have longer lasting effects than just the one week.
This week the test doesn’t become any easier when they prepare for the challenge of Morwell East.

SUCCESSIVE 100 point plus losses are obviously not the way you want to open your season, but for the Power, overcoming such comprehensive defeats would start with a much improved performance against the visiting Lions.
Stony Creek was one from two, but desperately keen to take advantage of Toora’s poor start to the season by assuming control of the match early and in doing so further deflating a team who had been bashed for a fortnight prior.
It didn’t all go exactly to plan, but importantly it went well enough for the Lions to get the points with a five goal victory, 10.10 (70) to 5.10 (40).
Stony Creek coach Jay Accardi said he was happy to get the win and move on.
“We had a great contest against Toora who pushed us all day,” he said.
“It was pleasing from our point of view that we were able to play the style of football we have been aiming for and we are starting to gel as a team.”
Toora coach Matthew Ponton said it was a better effort from his troops.
“Our boys put pride back in the jumper today with a never give up attitude, although we didn’t get the result the fight and belief we showed in each other all day was pleasing and something to build on for the rest of the year,” he said.

BOOLARRA had the bye.