Thorpdale completes quartet

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Fish Creek v Boolarra

IT was fourth versus 11th on the Mid Gippsland Football-Netball League ladder, but it was always thought to be a much closer clash than what the ladder suggested.

The Demons had been on the wrong side of too many matches that could have gone either way, and were desperate to turn their season around against the home ground Kangaroos.

What unfolded however was Boolarra’s biggest loss of the season and perhaps Fish Creeks’ most impressive win.

Fish Creek 15.13 (103) defeated Boolarra 2.8 (20).

“A really positive performance from the team. A solid four quarter effort with everyone playing their role. We now have a big game against what looks like the dominant team for the year and then a well earned bye,” Fish Creek senior coach Jarrod Weston said.

As Fish Creek have impressed, slowly building a formidable team that looks likely to be able to match any in the competition, the “mojo” just hasn’t been there for the Demons in 2023.

“Nothing changed from our previous four games, we keep giving opposition starts and have been getting ourselves back in the game, but eventually a side is going to take advantage and Fishy did yesterday and flogged us, Boolarra senior coach Tony Giardina said.

“Winning is like a habit, unfortunately losing is as well.”

The closeness of the competition means that Boolarra are far from being out of the picture, but in reality they will need to find winning form sooner rather than later, and in the week ahead, they meet a side in much the same position, Mirboo North.


Hill End v Foster

AS much as we focus on the winners each week, credit should also be given to those clubs and those players that roll up their sleeves on a week to week basis, do all the hard work but do not walk away with a win.

The Rovers came with good intentions but failed to really threaten in any way after quarter time.

Foster 17.15 (117) def Hill End 4.6 (30).

“Happy enough with the result on the weekend on a pretty heavy deck – after quarter time we really defended well as a group and only allowed one goal through which was a massive effort, that included none in the second half,” Foster senior coach Sam Davies said.

“The last two weeks has seen us get into our groove a little bit more – to Hill End’s credit, they fought the game out, Mike still has them playing for him.”

There is no question that the Rovers will find an upset win or two before the season’s end, but against whom is hard to pick at this stage, for coach Mike Santo, you can be certain he’s hoping its sooner rather than later.

“Foster played well, they have great size and strength all over the field. We were on top in the clearances for a large part of the day but couldn’t maintain that pressure in all parts of the ground. Some encouraging signs from our young players again which was good,” Hill End senior coach Mike Santo said.


MDU v Morwell East

THIS clash might not have been season defining but it certainly had the possibility of being season altering.

It was fifth at home to third, both teams aware of the importance of a win, with the Hawks also desperate to stop a potential three-game losing streak whilst also putting some distance between themselves and the Demons.

The result means the pressure continues to build on Morwell East after the Hawks fell 20 points short to an impressive MDU 5.11 (41) to 8.13 (61).

“Today was a really hard fought win. Morwell came at us all day, but we were able to put four quarters together and come away with the four points,” MDU senior coach Nathan Allen said.

They say you only really lose, if you walk away from the contest having not learnt, and for Morwell East, they certainly feel as though the loss has them well placed to be better in the weeks ahead.

“We travelled to MDU knowing we had to bring our best if we were going to come away with a win. We had a really strong side in and had made a few structural changes,” Morwell East senior coach Paul Henry said.

“I really thought we played our best game. It was a great game to watch, both sides moved the ball really well. We kicked a goal late to bring the scores even but MDU had the answers when they kicked the next three.

“It was a loss, but there were some really good signs shown compared to the last couple of weeks. We now have a bye this week, then Tarwin at home.”


Mirboo North v Tarwin

TOUTED as quite possibly the match of Round 7, this home ground clash for the Tigers was an opportunity to put the Sharks season in jeopardy.

Tarwin had promised plenty in 2023, but to this stage had delivered well short of expectations.

Put simply it was a win or nothing for the visitors, and they played as they knew it as well, with a convincing fifty point win, 17.5 (107) to 8.9 (57).

“Great team effort from the boys on a heavy deck! Our (midfielders) were really good in the contest and we used our kicking skills this week which was nice to see. Mirboo has some good young kids coming through and they will compete against every team, every week,” Tarwin senior coach Troy Hemming said.

A Tarwin win, would have many wondering whether it might be the start of the sort of form the Sharks showcased in 2022.

“Tarwin’s accurate goal kicking was a clear highlight in today’s game kicking 17.5. It was the third quarter which broke the game open for Tarwin, the midfield got on top and we had to battle on with seventeen men due to a send off rule late in the second quarter. Tarwin was too good for longer,” Mirboo North senior coach Peter Mongta said.

If the Tigers can fast track some of that emerging young talent, they will start to surge late as they inevitably do in this competition, but they would not want to leave their run too late as they did in the season prior.


Newborough v Stony Creek

THE Newborough train continues to roll along, picking up wins, learning about their opposition and improving their form along the way.

The Bulldogs are good, are likely to be better and that in itself is sure to be daunting for any opposition.

Make no mistake, they were tested on the weekend, but as good sides do, they found a way to win, 20.5 (125) to Fish Creek’s 15.11 (101).

“Stony Creek brought everything Saturday, then threw it at us with force. A ten-goal first quarter in perfect conditions for football set the scene for the day which saw thirty five goals kicked. After we kicked the first six goals of the third quarter Chris and his men got their hands on the ball and after hitting the front half way through the last quarter they’d kicked nine unanswered goals,” Newborough senior coach Craig Skinner said.

“We found a spark in the midfield through Jake Bowden and Pat Charles, allowing Wade Anderson to light the forward line up to give us a great hard-fought win.

“In some way the day was spoiled by 58 free kicks, 15to 20 would be a normal day. Looking forward to the bye this week to rest some sore bodies and see Thorpdale on the other side of it.”

Frustrations with umpires to both sides’ credit were tempered, but you sometimes wonder whether feedback in the right manner would actually be a positive step forward for all parties, nevertheless, both sides flourished in the high scoring clash.

“It was a high-scoring game from the start. We had a really good chance to win the game and managed to get in front in the last quarter,” Stony Creek senior coach Chris VerBoon said.

“Newborough were able to score quickly when they went forward and it was hard to delay that run. I couldn’t be happier with how we moved the footy. To see the way we train come out in a game was really rewarding for the whole group, and gives them belief that we can play a really good brand of footy.”

If the Lions can continue the type of football they displayed on the weekend, they are sure to upset a few teams in the second half of the year.


Thorpdale v Toora

THORPDALE have momentum, they have confidence and they also showed they have no mercy for opposition sides.

The Blues delivered their most convincing win of the season and in doing so secured sixth place on the MGFNL ladder.

Thorpdale 19.15 (129) def Toora 4-2-26.

“Solid effort after quarter time against an undermanned Toora. Undisciplined play cost us a few goals early which was disappointing. Our talls all over the ground led the way with some solid contested marking and spoiling,” Thorpdale senior coach Jason Winderlich said.

As good as Thorpdale were, Toora were a little off their best and due to personal circumstances Magpies’ senior coach Jack Weston couldn’t be a part of the action, which meant it was always going to be a tough task.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t there so I really can’t offer anything from the game, but hopefully we can give something to cheer about next week,” Toora senior coach Jack Weston said.

The Toora reserves side continues to display some terrific form and there is no question some of their personnel will be considered for senior selection in the weeks and months ahead, while at Thorpdale, winning form is making it difficult for several strong considerations to find their way to the next level.


BYE – Yinnar