High scoring North Gippy

Milestone men: Churchill pair Scott 'Fish' Whittle and Luke 'Derm' Brereton run out for their 150th and 100th games respectively for the Cougars. Photograph Mick Tyas





THE big boys were out to play in Round 3 of the North Gippsland Football-Netball League, with the smallest winning margin being 48 points throughout the five fixtures.If they did tipping in local football, most people would have left Round 3 with a good record, as the predicted became reality.

THE enticing battle between Yarram and Traralgon Tyers United at Yarram Recreation Reserve met expectations as the game of the round, despite an eight-goal margin at full-time.

Out of all five fixtures, this was the closest, proving how much of a blow-out the rest of the round was.

TTU consistently kept the scoreboard ticking, while halting Yarram from harming the margin too much.

So much so, that TTU’s 13-point lead at quarter time doubled to 26 points at halftime.

The second half, mainly in the final term, was all TTU, leaving no chance for Yarram to come back and steal the points.

A 28-point difference at three quarter time grew to 48 by the final siren, as the Bombers only let the Demons score a single behind in the last quarter, on their way to winning 14.10 (94) to 7.4 (46).

Caleb Michie kicked four goals for the Bombers, while Nicholas Fox, Michael Jacobsen and Hayden Willaton were the other multiple goal scorers.

For Yarram, Josh Swift top scored with three majors, while Boadie Motton kicked two.

In the best for TTU was Fox, Jake Cashmore, Oscar Aliotta, Jacob Williams, Jacobsen and Ricky Cochrane.

For Yarram, Jake McFarland, Motton, Liam Bentley, Shem Rendell, Chris Bruns and Dylan Garnham were in the best.

TTU remain one of two sides that are yet to lose a game, alongside Churchill, who defeated Heyfield on their home deck of Gordon Street Reserve.

THE Cougars started confidently, registering a 34-point lead at the first break, before a free-flowing second quarter saw 10 goals between the two sides.

Churchill led by 59 at halftime, Chris Wangman – who kicked 12 last week, was on track for a dozen again – and had six at the main break.

Both sides continued to find the big sticks, however the visitors did so just as many times to grow their lead out to 71 points by the final siren, winning 22.11 (143) to 10.12 (72).

Wangman finished with eight goals, and even played a stint on Collingwood premiership player and current Heyfield coach, Leigh Brown.

Veteran Brendan Holt finished with three goals, as did Ben Kearns, Ryan Lowrie and captain Chris Williams.

Tyson Birss kicked three for the home side, while youngster Miller Eastham kicked a couple.

For the Cougars, Williams, Wangman, Kearns, Tyson Leys, Rory Peter and Chris Kyriacou compiled the best.

Within the home side’s best was Max Van Der Zwart, Liam Heasley, James Conway, Robert McMillan, Eastham and Birss.

Churchill stay at the top of the ladder, with TTU close behind, also with a 3-0 record.

Meanwhile in the Cougars Reserves, two milestones were celebrated as Scott Whittle played his 150th game and Luke Brereton played his 100th.

The Churchill Reserves also got up in their game to go 3-0 and celebrate the milestones, already the same amount of wins recorded in 2022.

THE Jets got back on the winners list, after an unexpected start to the season for the reigning premier, defeating Rosedale at Rosedale Recreation Reserve.

Despite a first quarter lapse against Rosedale, Yallourn Yallourn North found their way back into the game to avoid a 0-3 record.

Owen Budge played his 200th senior game for the Jets, while Tom Lawrey made his senior debut for the club.

Rosedale came out of the blocks fast with seven first quarter goals, taking a 22-point lead at quarter time.

But, a seven goal second term by the Jets saw them hit the front by a couple of goals at the main break, finally getting the game on their terms for the first time this season.

A 7.3 (45) to 4.0 (24) third quarter gave the visitors an added advantage, as their 12-point lead grew to 33, before a massive final quarter put an end to things.

The Jets kicked nine goals to two in the final quarter to walk away 78-point winners, 26.15 (171) to 15.3 (93).

Kicking 93 points in a 78-point loss weirdly feels like a decent effort.

Campbell MacInnes, Kyle Jennings, Rowan Duguid and Blake Julin made the best for the winners, alongside Kennan Hughes and Anthony Young, who scored four goals each.

In a tough start to the season for the Blues, Rosedale’s best on the day were Bailey Reid, Hayden Bell, Spencer Fox, James Moulton, Riley Atlee and Caleb Barnett.

The high-scoring encounter was a shock to the league, despite the margin at the end of the game.

Not everyone wants to see a flogging each week, but can you complain if you see more than 40 goals in a match?

In the reserves, Daniel Potts reached his 200th game at YYN, capping it off with a goal in a 115-point win.

SALE CITY handed Cowwarr their first loss for the season, when they dismantled the Saints by 76 points at Stephenson Park.

The Cowwarr of the first round was nowhere to be seen in Round 3, as they simply couldn’t keep up with the Bulldogs.

A 29-point first quarter lead soon grew to 37 by the main break, as Sale City seemingly rested to restart and continue their demolition job.

In the third term, Sale City kicked 5.5 (35) to 2.2 (14) to hold a 58-point lead at the final change, just out of reach for Cowwarr.

The home side scored four goals to two in the final term to score their second win of the season by 76 points, 18.16 (124) to 7.6 (48).

Sale City captain Mitchell Evans kicked five goals and was one of the best, alongside Blake Safstrom, Jaxsyn Whitehill, Joel Safstrom, Ben Brett and Harry Kaandorp.

Cowwarr welcomed a new face to the club, with rich connections to the AFL.

Brayden Rioli made his debut for the Saints, and is the brother of three-time premiership winning Tiger, Daniel Rioli.

Brayden was a member of Essendon’s Next Generation Academy, and represented Northern Territory at the Under 16 AFL Championships.

Brayden kicked two goals and made the best for Cowwarr, along with Jake Brown, Brett Grieve, Nick Wozniak and Kurt Henderson.

CARS at the Woodside Recreation Reserve would have tooted their horns quite often, as the Wildcats provided one of the biggest margins you might see this season against Gormandale.

A 50 to six-point first quarter gave the home side a benchmark to continue to grow on, and that they did, as in the second quarter, their 44-point lead turned into a 124-point one.

The third quarter was tame compared to the other three quarters, as Woodside only added five goals to their total, conceding one in the process.

A 149-point advantage leading into the final term was enough comfort to give the Wildcats some added incentive to reach the 200-point mark, which they achieved in the final term, surpassing 200 points and winning by 203 points, 34.13 (217) to 2.2 (14).

Former Collingwood rookie Daniel Farmer booted 12 goals and earned himself best-on-ground honours, while 11 other players found the big sticks.

Within the Woodside best was Farmer, Joh Fythe, Josh Morgan, Hamish McLeod, Michael O’Sullivan and Jai Williams.

While for Gormandale, Isaac Copland and Jai Foulkes scored their only goals, and within their best was Tristan Salerno, Copland, Nicholas Millington, Jarred Canning, Williams Flanagan and Kodie Owen.

Woodside move to third on the ladder, yet have the highest percentage in the league, understandably, with 261.97 per cent.

Glengarry had the bye.

ACTION in the North Gippsland Football-Netball League doesn’t slow down anytime soon, with another big five fixtures upcoming.

Similarly to last weekend, tipsters could suggest what is likely to happen in Round 4, if there is not to be any upsets.

UNCERTAINTY looms around Yallourn Yallourn North, as they host Heyfield at George Bates Reserve this Saturday.

Despite a 78-point win over Rosedale last week, the Jets still conceded 93 points.

Obviously a 78-point win is remarkable, yet against a better opposition, 93 point against could prove more costly.

Expect the Jets to get the four points at home against a deflated Heyfield, but also don’t be surprised if Heyfield can keep up with them at any stage.

SPEAKING of Rosedale, they travel to Tyers to face TTU.

Their impressive scoring ability against the reigning premier might come as a shock to the Bombers.

But, TTU appear to be one of the strongest teams in the league so far this season.

TTU will undoubtedly be strong favourites going into this one, with a large margin definitely on the cards.

Rosedale will need to bring their A Game to have any chance of preventing a humiliation.

CHURCHILL returns home in Round 4 to welcome the fresh Glengarry Magpies, coming off the bye.

Perhaps momentum might play into the Cougars’ hands in this one, as they have been on a tear throughout 2023.

Gaskin Park has been difficult for any visitor in recent years, with only a handful of visiting teams coming out successful.

The top-of-the-ladder team would be expected to remain there, especially considering that Heyfield and Rosedale – teams that Churchill defeated – beat Glengarry.

WOODSIDES travel to Cowwarr to take on the Saints, who were sent back down to Earth last weekend.

The Wildcats are one of the in-form teams of the competition, and would be extremely disappointed if they failed to take advantage here.

Despite this, that seems highly unlikely, as Cowwarr looked to be a shadow of their Round 1 form, even if that was against Gormandale, when they lost heavily to Sale City last round.

Cowwarr will need plenty of help to have any chance against Woodside. Perhaps their depth plays a part here.

YARRAM will hope to get back on the winner’s list when they travel to Gormandale to take on the bottom-of-the-ladder Tigers.

Despite a loss last weekend, the Demons are still finals hopefuls, as the ladder begins to take shape within the next few weeks.

Gormandale don’t look to have a competitive bone in their body so far this season, they scored 45 against Cowwarr, but that was in a 93-point loss.

In the other two fixtures, they scored 0.9 (9) and 2.2 (14).

I don’t think this game will be a problem for the Demons, and after this week they should look to build on the momentum that they will have.

Control: Chris Kyriacou in action for Churchill.