Watch out for the Wildcats

Firming: Woodside narrowed its premiership odds at the weekend, after beating Churchill at Gaskin Park. Photograph supplied





POTENTIAL finals sides became clearer after Round 11 of the North Gippsland Football-Netball League.

With no real tight outings, the teams to be weary of have only become more frightening to oppose as the pointy end of the season edges closer.


THE second versus third battle between Churchill and Woodside was a statement win within the top five.

As predicted, the Wildcats would be tough to beat – even at Gaskin Park – as they have been all season long.

A free-flowing first quarter saw nine goals kicked between the two sides, six of those going the way of the visiting team, as they took an 18-point lead into the first change.

Churchill, who had just welcomed back Ben Kearns, would soon be without him again, as he was concussed in the first quarter, ending his game then and there.

Kearns’ absence for the Cougars was impactful and was noticed in the final three quarters.

Woodside peppered Churchill’s defence in the second term, but it only granted them three goals (and six behinds), meanwhile Churchill could only muster the four scoring shots (2.2) in the second term.

The Wildcats transitioned the ball with relative ease, making it difficult for Churchill to set up a counter if they were to make an intercept.

Ten points were added to Woodside’s lead at the half, and after some words of wisdom for both sides, they were set for the second half.

But, it continued similarly to the first half.

Despite some minor tweaks, the Wildcats continued to hit the scoreboard, while keeping Churchill’s influence minimal.

Another 3.3 (21) to 1.4 (10) gave Woodside some confidence as the final quarter loomed.

And just when you thought the Cougars might be due for their own quarter of dominance – something they would be used to – Woodside had another blinder.

The Cougars were held to just 1.2 (8) in the final term, while Woodside piled on 5.3 (33) to run away 64-point winners, 17.13 (115) to 7.9 (51).

We did warn you, when Woodside win, they win big.

The visitors had seven multiple goal scorers in the rout, while Churchill only managed to have seven goal scorers for the entire 120 minutes.

Cameron Whiteoak was named as best-on-ground for the Wildcats, also prominent was Josh Kennedy, Joh Fyfthe, Tom King, Josh Scott and Shaun Cusack.

For the Cougars, vice-captain Ryan Lowrie was best, also featured was coach Jordan Fenech in his 200th game, 2022 captain Angus Mitchell who returned for a game, Patrick Kearns, Kurt Holt and Bailey Flanigan.

Woodside has another potential finals game coming up this week, when they face Yallourn Yallourn North back home.

As for the Cougars, they will be in a similar neck of the woods when they travel to Yarram to take on the Demons.


THE Kangaroos would be jumping with joy.

Heyfield scored their sixth win of the season, after disposing of Rosedale with ease, despite the high-scoring encounter.

Things began to get away from the Blues early, when Heyfield piled on seven goals in the opening term, but thanks to three goals for the away side, the lead only stood at 26 points.

The scoreboard was ticking over quite frequently, with 5.5 (35) being added to the home side’s score.

Rosedale, against the run of play, continued to get chances and make the most of them, scoring 3.2 (20), keeping the margin to 41 points at the half.

The Blues were showing what they were capable of in glimpses, but were unable to stop the run and domination of Heyfield, who appear to be one of the most determined sides in the competition this season.

This was displayed when Rosedale continued to get on the scoreboard, so would Heyfield, and they would score more.

Rosedale kicked another three goals in the third term, something that could be sustainable against a different opposition, but Heyfield kicked 4.3 (27) extending their lead to 50 points with 30 minutes remaining.

Just like they had all game, the Blues kicked three more, but Heyfield had their most dominant quarter of the contest, kicking 7.4 (46) to walk away 78-point victors, 23.14 (152) to 12.2 (74).

For the Roos, Tyson Birss, Kail Hole, Mitch Bennett, Rob McMillan, Kyle Graham and Brayden Woodland were in the best.

Bennett and Graham kicked four majors each, as did coach Leigh Brown.

And for Rosedale, Tom Northe, Will Logan, Declan Barnett, Oscar Smith and Spencer Fox were impressive in defeat.

Rosedale were valiant in defeat, and if they take anything away from this, it’s the fact that they were good against a potential finals side, and this type of performance against a team in their half of the table would give them a run for their money.

They might just get the chance to put that to the test, when they travel to Glengarry this week.

As for Heyfield, they will be treated to a bye, before they get ready to host Glengarry in a fortnight.


TRARALGON Tyers United are still undefeated.

It was no surprise to see the Bombers among the winners again, when they made light work of Cowwarr at home.

TTU kept the Saints goalless for the first half, kicking 6.2 (38) to three behinds in the opening term, which soon became 13.5 (83) to four behinds at the main break.

The goals continued to flow in the second half too, as things began to go from bad to worse for the visitor’s.

A 6.5 (41) to 1.2 (8) third term sent not only TTU past 100 points, but also their margin, as their percentage grew throughout the day.

With the game all but over, the Bombers finished the game with another 41-8 quarter, winning by a massive 145 points, holding onto top spot on the NGFNL senior ladder.

Brad Kelleher was strong up front with seven goals, Hayden Willaton kicked four, while Stuart Goddard and Michael Jacobsen kicked three each.

Kelleher moved into equal-sixth on the NGFNL senior goal scoring list, with 35 goals throughout the season from eight games.

In the best for the Bombers were the Willaton brothers – Liam and Hayden, Jacobsen, Kelleher, Frazar Brouns and Jack Brown.

While for the Saints, Ben Coffey, Brayden Rioli, Mathew Leicester, Kyle Stamers, Sean Alexander and Rhys Luxford battled hard.

TTU can finally flex their muscles at the top of the ladder, now boasting the highest percentage which has been held by Woodside for most of the season.

The Bombers took their percentage past 300 and over the Wildcats to 320.46 per cent.

TTU have Sale City this week, before one of the highly-anticipated games of the season, which will most likely be a first versus second duel against Woodside.

Cowwarr will hope to get their first win since Round 1, when they face Gormandale at the Boneyard.

The Tigers will also be desperate to get their first win of the season, in what is seen as a genuine possibility.


YALLOURN Yallourn North survived an early scare to hold off Sale City.

In typical Sale City fashion as of late, they didn’t shy away from the contest early.

The Bulldogs stayed close in the first half, matching the Jets in the first quarter (17-apiece), before going down by just 13 points at the half.

Chances looked to be missed by the Jets, who were inaccurate in front of goal, kicking 4.7 (31) in the second term, but it perhaps showed us what they were capable of doing as the second half of the match unfolded.

And it was, as the Jets piled on 5.4 (34) to 1.3 (9), to establish a 38-point three quarter time lead.

The scoreboard was a true reflection of the Jets’ second half performance, as they kicked another five goals to one in the final term to claim a 61-point win, 16.19 (115) to 7.12 (54).

Dean Macdonald kicked five, but still wasn’t the top goal-scorer on the day, outdone by teammate Josh Keyhoe, who kicked six.

Keyhoe claimed best-on-ground honours, and within the best was Jai Massese, Kyle Jennings, Cambell Staff, Anthony Young and Owen Budge.

For Sale City, Bill Quirk, Matthew Walker, Ben Brett, Blake Safstrom, Jaxsyn Whitehall and Chad Evans were best.

The Jets will have one of the toughest fixtures this season up next, when they make the long journey down to Woodside for a chance at making a run to securing the double chance.

YYN now look to be fighting Churchill for third spot.

They remain two games behind them, but if they can string some wins together and hope for some favourable results, they could be a chance when push comes to shove.

Sale City also don’t have it easy this week, when they take on the undefeated TTU.


YARRAM needed that one.

The Demons are finally back on the winners’ list, and they did so in comfortable fashion, restoring their hopes of playing finals in 2023.

Visiting Glengarry, doubt surrounded Yarram based on their recent form, but they put those doubters to sleep with their performances at the weekend.

Not only did they win, but they kept the Magpies to a single-digit score up until the final quarter.

A monster first quarter set up the win, when Yarram kicked 6.6 (42) to nothing.

The second term was quite bleak in return, with just two goals going the way of Yarram, as Glengarry got on the board with a behind.

The Magpies kicked their first major in the third term, while Yarram could only manage to add one, as they held a 56-point lead going into the final term.

Just how Glengarry have done during points of the season – they finished strong.

The Magpies kicked 3.1 (19) to 2.2 (14), dragging the margin back to 51 points when the final siren rang, 11.12 (78) to 4.3 (27).

For Yarram, Matt Clavarino, Kiefer Sutherland, Dylan Garnham, Jake Mcfarland, Levi Munns and Chris Bruns – the new senior games record holder – all made the best.

Tom Poulton, Jack Burgess, Hunter Carman, Matt Scholtes, Seth Healy and Jordan Isiah Thomas when in the best for the losing side.

Yarram will want to take advantage of a Churchill side who are coming off the back of a loss, but it will be hard giving their recent head-to-head record.

Glengarry have a chance to find their first win since Round 8, when they host Rosedale this weekend.


GORMANDALE had the bye.

The Tigers will have their best chance of a win so far this season, when they host Cowwarr at the Boneyard this Saturday.