By LIAM DURKIN
THOSE within North Gippy circles can probably guess where Tom Hayes was when this was required to be submitted on Monday.
In his absence, here you go.
TRARALGON Tyers United moved one step closer to the North Gippsland Football-Netball League premiership at the weekend.
The Bombers continued their unbeaten season, qualifying for the Grand Final after defeating Woodside by 18 points.
Taking to Stephenson Park, the Bombers and Wildcats traded momentum, but ultimately, TTU proved why they are the best team in the competition, winning 13.9 (87) to 10.9 (69).
In a free-flowing game, eight goals were kicked in the first quarter alone, while come the main break, it was even-Stevens at 7.4 (46) apiece.
The Bombers put together a stronger third term, scoring four goals to two, giving them a handy 14 point lead at the last change.
Given the game was decided by 18 points, that lead proved vital in clock management.
Brad Kelleher led the scoring for the winners with six, and received good support from Kade Duncan, Mitch Mustoe, Liam Willaton and Frazar Brouns.
Tom Fleming was best-on-ground, in what was a hectic week for the left footer, after being at the centre of a tribunal hearing involving Churchill’s Dillon Leys answering a rough conduct charge.
Leys was, somewhat astonishingly, handed a four week suspended sentence for his part.
Perhaps even more astonishing was the sight of Ricky Cochrane in the TTU reserves at the weekend.
Cochrane, who won the Mid Gippsland Football-Netball League best and fairest last season, perhaps showed just how hard it is to get into the Bombers line-up at the moment.
While he is reportedly not at full match fitness, what a luxury it must be for TTU coach Jamie Aitken to not be forced to play someone of that calibre on reputation alone.
In the Woodside camp, Ben Johnson, Michael Stockdale, Cam Whiteoal, Alfred Jessup, Michael O’Sullivan and Matt Dyke were given the nod as best players.
The Wildcats will now use their double-chance, and play Heyfield in the preliminary final.
HEYFIELD took care of Churchill with absolute ease.
The Kangaroos barely gave the Cougars a look-in, winning a highly inaccurate game 16.17 (113) to 5.22 (52) at Glengarry.
Churchill may not have had their kicking boots on, but it matters little now as they are eliminated, and will have six months to practice.
Following their insane elimination final win the previous week, the Cougars may have been emotionally gassed for the follow-up.
The game was all but over halfway through the second quarter, after Heyfield registered 10 scoring shots to four in the first term.
Churchill came back from four goals down at three quarter time last week, however, there would be no repeat performance this time around.
The Kangaroos extended their lead as the game went on, and kept the Cougars goalless in the final term.
Once again it was the mostly young brigade that did the damage for Heyfield – Tom Marchesi, Asher Eastham, Rob McMillan, Kail Hole, Liam Heasley and Tyson Birss among the top contributors.
Conversely, Churchill was best served mainly by veterans Brendan Holt, Nick Celima and Jordan Fenech, along with Bailey Flanigan, Tom Sevenson and Joel Mason.
The loss made it consecutive semi-final exits for Churchill.