By TOM HAYES
ONLY six teams mathematically remain in the hunt for finals, after another round of the North Gippsland Football-Netball League saw one’s chances cut loose.
But six can’t fit into five, so when push comes to shove, who will stand tallest in the final two rounds of North Gippy home-and-away season.
TRARALGON Tyers United humbled Heyfield.
The Kangaroos were sent straight back down to Earth after a thumping defeat at the hands of the league-leaders.
Before heading into the match, Heyfield appeared to be one of the most exciting young sides in the competition, following a string of strong wins.
But reality might have sunk in for the blue and white, succumbing to their biggest test of the season.
You better not shy away from the task when playing TTU at Tyers, because if you do, this can happen.
The Bombers dismantled the Kangaroos from the offing, starting off with an eight-goal to one opening term.
The same followed in the second term, handing the home side a more-than-comfortable 84-point halftime lead.
Scoring slowed down in the third term, in fact the Kangaroos managed to win the quarter slightly, dragging the deficit back to 79 points at the final break.
But normality was restored inside the final 30 minutes, as TTU piled on another 7.5 (47) to 1.4 (10) to put the margin over triple figures, sending Heyfield home empty-handed.
The final score in TTU’s favour was 25.9 (159) to 6.7 (43).
Beau White was the cream of the crop for the Bombers with five goals, leading the line of three additional four-or-more goal scorers.
Frazar Brouns, Nick Fox and Brad Kelleher all booted four of their own.
Flynn Shields was unstoppable for the Bombers, earning himself a spot in the best, as was White, Tom Fleming, Fox, Brouns and Kade Duncan.
As for the Roos, Liam Heasley, Kail Hole, Robert McMillan, Asher Eastham, Kodie Woodland and Max Van Der Zwart were valiant in defeat.
A 15th successive win this weekend for the Bombers will secure the minor premiership. All that stands in their way is 10th-placed Glengarry.
As for Heyfield, they remain inside the top five, and with games against Gormandale and Cowwarr, there is no reason the Kangaroos drop points and fall out of finals contention.
THE Demons are still in the hunt.
Yarram staked their claim at the weekend in a commanding 67-point win over Cowwarr on their home deck.
The visiting side barely lifted their foot off of the throttle, and with finals on the horizon, why would they do anything else?
A quick start to the game granted the Demons an early advantage over the Saints, taking a 27-point lead at quarter time.
The second term was much more free-flowing, for both sides, Cowwarr added 3.2 (20), but Yarram extended their lead, adding 4.1 (25).
Cowwarr blew their chance to get back into the game after halftime, instead Yarram put the game beyond doubt, smashing the Saints, kicking 8.2 (50) to 2.1 (13).
With the margin now out to 69 points, the four points virtually in the bag for Yarram, both sides combined for eight goals in the final term.
The lead was cut, but the damage was done, Yarram claiming a massive win 21.6 (132) to 10.5 (65).
Josh Swift was huge for the Demons, kicking nine goals. He was well-assisted by Tyler Chisholm (four goals) and Thomas Sheedy (three goals).
Swift was best-on-ground, also in the best was Dylan Garnham, Chris Bruns, Liam Bentley, Griffin Underwood and Sheedy.
For the home side, Brayden Rioli, Kyle Stamers, Sean Alexander, Nick Twomey, Matt Johnston and River O’Brien were noticed for their efforts.
Yarram remain four points outside the top five, and still within a chance of a finals.
With Sale City next up for the Demons, they could draw level with Yallourn Yallourn North if results fall their way.
However, in the final round they face Woodside, and with two wins essentially needed to qualify from here, it must be said that is unlikely.
THE Jets closed in on double chance.
They didn’t put a foot wrong at the weekend, on their way to a 149-point win over Glengarry at home.
Consistent goal flow was on display, as YYN closed the gap on Churchill in third, who are under the pump in the final two rounds.
The Jets kicked 6.2 (38) to 2.2 (14) in the first term, before keeping the Magpies scoreless throughout the second and third.
While doing so, YYN kicked 12.7 (79) throughout the second and third quarters, to extend their lead beyond 100 points – 101 to be exact.
It just went from bad to worse for Glengarry, despite scoring 1.1 (7) themselves. YYN flexed their muscle, kicking 8.7 (55), walking away as 149-point winners, 26.16 (172) to 3.5 (23).
The duo of Dean Macdonald and Keenan Hughes were at it again, kicking 13 goals between them; seven and six respectively.
Macdonald was noticed for his efforts with best-on-ground honours, also featuring was Mitch Luck, Bailey Brown (four goals), Hughes, Barrie Burnett and Anthony Young.
For the Magpies, Jack Burgess, Michael Ryan, Alex Birmingham, Lachlan Patterson, Matt Scholtes and Curtis Hood tried their best.
The future of YYN’s season is all in their hands, and this is where it gets interesting.
Next week, they travel to Gaskin Park to take on the Cougars, who are currently under siege.
A win here will boost them above their counterparts and into the second-chance position of third.
However, a win for the Cougars will just about confirm second chance for them, as they would be two wins above the Jets and even if Heyfield draw level on points, Churchill’s percentage should be far more superior.
Everything will come down to the final two weeks, but all could be decided in the next couple of days.
WOODSIDE survived an early scare.
The Wildcats weren’t able to take easy street from the get-go against the Bulldogs.
Sale City kept themselves in the competition for at least a half before the visitors drew away in the second.
Woodside took a seven-point first quarter lead, moving to 18 at halftime.
Not their usual selves, Woodside generally put sides away by this point, and with only an 18-point buffer, Sale City was well and truly in the fight.
But all hopes were squandered in the second half, when Woodside did what Woodside does best – score goals.
The Wildcats added 8.3 (51) to 1.1 (7) in the third term, blowing the lead out to 62 points.
The onslaught didn’t stop there, as they buried the home side on their way to a 93-point demolition, 21.9 (135) to 6.6 (42).
And with that defeat for the Bulldogs, they were kicked out of finals contention, leaving just six teams in the hunt for a premiership, which will soon be cut to just the final five.
Daniel Farmer led the line for the visitor’s, kicking eight majors, while the Wildcats saw another 10 players hit the scoreboard, three of which doubled-up.
Farmer was best-on-ground, while Josh Kennedy, Lee Stockdale, Rowan Missen, Cam Whiteoak and Michael Stockdale all featured in the best.
For the home side, Blake Safstrom, Tom Bowman, Chad Evans, Jai Nelson, Sam Dean and Brysen Nottle were the best for the Bulldogs.
Woodside are treated to a bye this week, but I’m not sure if they would’ve wanted it.
If TTU win this weekend over Glengarry, they take the minor premiership, and unfortunately for Woodside, it is completely out of their hands.
However, Woodside were able to mathematically confirm a top-two spot at the weekend, meaning they are likely to face off against Heyfield, YYN or Churchill in the first week of finals.
ROSEDALE got their fourth win of the year.
The Blues started slow, but grew over time to overcome the Tigers at home.
Gormandale started positively, taking a 10-point lead into the first break.
And they stuck with the Blues for as long as they could, yet the lead traded hands as Rosedale then had a four-point lead at the main break.
Rosedale kicked away in the third term, adding 4.2 (26) to one goal, holding a four-goal lead with 30 minutes to play.
The game was put beyond doubt in the final quarter, as Rosedale ran home 39-point winners, 12.13 (85) to 7.4 (46).
For Rosedale, Darryl Mayman-French, Luke Stuckey, Bailey Reid, Spencer Fox, Harry Foat and Corey Beaver stood out.
While for the Tigers, Jai Foulkes, Jet Krimhand, Tristan Salerno, Isaac Copland, Kodie Owen and Will Flanagan were also stand outs for their side.
With nothing on the line for either team, pride remains a factor.
Rosedale could still finish above Sale City and be named the best of the rest, all that stands in their way is Cowwarr and the Bulldogs.
While for Gormandale, it looks like they could go a whole season without a win, with Heyfield next week that appears unlikely, leaving their only chance to get four points against Glengarry in the final round.
CHURCHILL had the bye.