JUST another twist in the tale.

How many more will 2024 have in store?

After four rounds we are still left looking for answers in the North Gippsland football competition.

Only Woodside and Yarram remain undefeated, and my guess is no one had both of these teams leading the way on their bingo card.

Last year’s grand finalist in Woodside have shuffled along to a win-loss record of 4-0, while the Demons are the surprise packet, sitting in third at 3-0.

Meanwhile on the opposite end of things, Churchill find themselves 1-3 after four rounds, something they wouldn’t have experienced in quite a long time, if not, ever.

Everything in between might as well be decided with the toss of a coin, that’s how unpredictable things are at this stage.


Churchill 8.8 (56) def by TTU 16.19 (115)

THE Crocka Cup belongs to TTU.

The Bombers put on a classy display at Gaskin Park to send the Cougars into a spiral to start the 2024 season, winning 16.19 (115) to 8.8 (56).

With the added services of ex-AFL footballers Heath Shaw and Stephen Milne, their efforts still weren’t enough to drag the home side over the line.

TTU was back to their best by putting Churchill to the sword in the opening term, kicking 6.5 (41) to 1.2 (8).

The Crocka Cup means so much to Churchill, as the clubs remember the life of David ‘Crocka’ Williams, the 259-game Churchill legend, and father of seven-time Churchill best-and-fairest, Chris ‘Squid’ Williams.

Churchill mounted their comeback, and weren’t going to go down without a fight, kicking 5.3 (33) of their own to TTU’s 2.4 (16), leaving the Cougars down by just 16 points at the half.

We had a game on our hands.

TTU had their chance once again to add to their advantage after halftime, adding four goals to two, seeing the margin past five goals as the third term came to a close.

Churchill were unable to get a grip on the match in the final quarter, as the Bombers kicked four goals, keeping the Cougars goalless to stretch the margin out to 59 points by the final siren.

An all-round performance by the Bombers saw 12 players kick a major. Flynn Shields (two goals) claimed the Crocka Medal, while Michael Jacobsen, Hayden Willaton, Jake Cashmore, Mitchell Mustoe and Stuart Goddard were the best for the Crocka Cup holders.

For Churchill, Chris ‘Squid’ Williams did his dad proud, alongside Bailey Flanigan, Shaw, Brendan Holt, Jordan Fenech and Ryan Lowrie.

Milne kicked two goals in his first game of the year. He visited the Gippsland region last year, playing a one-off game for Yarragon in the Ellinbank and District Football-Netball League.

As for Shaw, he has made himself a regular for East Keilor in the Essendon and District Football League. He has lined up for them since 2021, but has not yet played for them so far in 2024.

The two ex-AFL players stuck around at Gaskin Park that night for a sportsman night, hosted by Sale Greyhound Club’s Rob Popplestone.

Those at the club’s function rooms were treated to some great stories from the two, including a Q&A portion and auctions of signed memorabilia.

TTU host Yarram this weekend, which is shaping up as an all-important fixture, while Churchill rest with their first bye of the season.


Rosedale 8.10 (58) def by Yallourn Yallourn North 12.7 (79)

THE Jets found a way.

Yallourn Yallourn North registered their second win of the season, seeing off Rosedale, 12.7 (79) to 8.10 (58).

Both sides had their fair share of momentum in the opening half, with YYN up by nine points at quarter time. Rosedale then launched a comeback to lead by two points at the half.

Rosedale was fresh off the high after scoring their first win of the season over Sale City last weekend, but they were unable to keep up with the Jets for the entire four quarters in this encounter.

YYN put on another five goals to two in the third quarter to establish a 17-point buffer at three quarter time.

The final term had some added ferocity, making it harder to score for either side. Rosedale kicked another, but the Jets kicked two, to close out 21-point winners.

YYN coach Tom Hutton was pleased with the win over a “talented, young side”.

“We probably lacked a little urgency and intensity in the first half, which we spoke about at halftime, and it was good to see the way the boys responded to start the third term,” Hutton said.

“Although we ended up putting some good passages of play together, it was pretty scrappy for the most part, and gives us plenty to work on.”

For YYN, Dean Macdonald (seven goals), Ben Morrow, Dylan Bath, Lachlan Rees, Josh Keyhoe and Dylan Bentley provided the winning touch.

Rosedale’s best was Spencer Fox, Riley Boyle, Luke Stuckey, Mitchell Caruana, as well as Jay and Rohan Diamond.

YYN will look for back-to-back wins this weekend, hosting Glengarry – who’s only win has come against Gormandale.

Rosedale will travel to Cowwarr hoping to return to the winner’s list.


Yarram 11.12 (78) def Heyfield 7.12 (54)

SOMEONE had to have their first taste of defeat.

That side was Heyfield, as they fell to Yarram on their home deck at the weekend, 11.12 (78) to 7.12 (54).

There was plenty to play for, which has appeared to be a constant theme in the NGFNL this year, as no game is considered a ‘gimme’.

The Kangaroos did what they do best, putting a score on the board early. They forced the Demons to make a reply, after taking an eight-point lead at the end of the first quarter.

But just as Yarram has shown previously this season, they can work their way back into any game, and that’s what they set out doing.

During the second quarter, they didn’t just halt the Kangaroos from kicking away, but the Demons forced their hand by taking the lead at the half.

Essentially four goals to two in the second term saw the Demons lead at the main change, nonetheless, the game was very much in the air – just three points in it.

Just when Heyfield needed a response, they weren’t able to supply one, as the Yarram train continued to steam straight ahead.

Another four massive goals in the third term made things difficult for Heyfield, despite them kicking two of their own.

Just 13 points separated the sides at the final break, with Yarram still in command. But as we have seen so far this season, Heyfield can change the game with the click of a finger.

Most would’ve have expected Heyfield to launch their attack in the final quarter. They did, but it wasn’t effective at all.

Both sides had at least five scoring shots in the final term, enough to flip the script – yet it remained the same.

Yarram kicked 2.4 (16), but Heyfield was just as wasteful, kicking 0.5 (5).

Kayleb Pearce, Levi Munns, Matt Clavarino, captain Griffin Underwood, Thomas Sheedy and Jake McFarland were highlights for the winning side.

Brandan Manson, Liam Heasley, Rob McMillan, Dylan Patmore, Tyson Birss and Kail Hole were impressive for Heyfield.

Yarram face a tough opponent to keep their season flawless this weekend, travelling to Tyers to face reigning premier Traralgon Tyers United.

The Kangaroos will surely bounce back this weekend, when they host Gormandale.


Woodside 16.19 (115) def Cowwarr 11.10 (76)

A WELL-FOUGHT fight was had in Woodside.

Sure, the Wildcats moved to 4-0, but it wasn’t without a tussle against Cowwarr first, winning 16.19 (115) to 11.10 (76).

The Saints were up for the fight early, taking advantage of Woodside’s sometimes slow starts.

Cowwarr had the early advantage, scoring 4.4 (28) to 2.3 (15) in the opening term to force a reply from the home side.

A reply is exactly what came next, as Woodside worked their way back into the game with relative ease.

A monster 7.6 (48) was added to the Wildcats’ total in the second term, while the Saints managed 1.2 (8), losing their lead, going down by 27 points at the main break.

There were no shortages of scores moving into the second half, with both sides adding to the board consistently.

Cowwarr won the third term, kicking 3.3. (21) to Woodside’s 2.7 (19), but ultimately the margin remained four kicks out of reach.

Woodside put the game beyond doubt in the final quarter, kicking five majors to three to take another four points, home by 39 points.

Matt Dyke, Daniel Farmer (five goals), Josh Morgan, Mark Collison, Ryan Foat and Thomas King all contributed to the Wildcats win.

Cowwarr’s Haydn Hector, Connor Cook, Ben Coffey, Jackson Davison, Nick Twomey and Brady Hood were valiant in defeat.

Woodside are one of three teams to have the bye this weekend. Cowwarr will look to get on the winner’s list for the first time in 2024 when they host Rosedale.


Glengarry 4.6 (30) def by Sale City 14.19 (103)

SALE CITY are back on track.

The Bulldogs recovered their woes of last week, pumping Glengarry 14.19 (103) to 4.6 (30).

A free-flowing first term saw eight goals, six of which went the way of the visitors, as Sale City held a 27-point quarter time lead.

The Bulldogs kept the Magpies goalless on their home deck either side of halftime. In the meantime, Sale City went from a 47-point halftime lead to a 75-point three quarter time advantage.

With the foot coming off the pedal in the last quarter, the Magpies won the quarter, kicking 2.1 (13) to 1.5 (11), to reduce the margin ever so slightly to 73 points.

For the visitors, Hudson Tollner, Kaden McCulloch, Abe Schuback, Declan Scriven and Rudy Wilson helped the Bulldogs over the line in vice captain Mitch Evans’ 200th game.

Glengarry’s best was Ben Truin, Jordan Thomas, Callum Mitchell, Declan Massaro, Jesse Lee and Bobby Lever-Makin.

Sale City move to 2-2 and up into the top five, while Glengarry’s percentage dipped below 50 per cent.

The Bulldogs will join Woodside and Churchill with the bye in Round 5, while Glengarry travels to Yallourn North to take on the Jets.

GORMANDALE had the bye.