EIGHT rounds into a season is generally enough time to start to make some assumptions about what we might expect come the business end of the season, but there is always one or two teams that can pop their head up and make you second guess what might actually present itself come finals time.

Round 8 was no exception.


Yinnar 14.10 (94) def Thorpdale 12.5 (77)

TOP of the ladder Yinnar welcomed one of the seven clubs that were hot on their tails as they sat at the top of the MGFNL ladder and aimed to give themselves some breathing space by brushing past yet another contender in the shape of a Thorpdale team.

The assignment was never going to be an easy one, given the importance of success to the Blues, but after some tough time throughout the afternoon, the Magpies proved they are more than worthy of their premiership favouritism, Yinnar 14.9 (93) to Thorpdale’s 12.5 (77).

Yinnar coach, Sam McCulloch said, “It was a physical game in which we managed to get on top in the second quarter and come in at half time with a handy lead.”

“The game ebbed and flowed in the second half with plenty of momentum swings. Happy with the way we were able to steady each time. Thorpdale came at us and come away with a win at home in front of a good crowd.”

As good as Yinnar were, Thorpdale too showed they maybe a little down, but far from gone as they continue their quest to climb a few spots up the MGFNL ladder.

Thorpdale coach, Jason Winderlich said: “For us it was another gutsy performance without getting the four points against top of the table Yinnar on their home deck. We were able to challenge them all day which was pleasing, even winning the second half.”

“With eight first-choice senior players out for an extended period of time, we are exposing some players to senior football which will benefit the squad in the long term.”

“If I was Gippsland Power I would be asking young Luke Cheffers to come and play a few games! A big thanks to Yinnar, who have a healthy squad for lending some players to ensure there was a reserves game played. Looking forward to the long weekend off!”

Beneath the unquestionable desire every club has to win, it is still pleasing to see that Yinnar like most in the competition, are happy to lend a hand when needed, even to the opposition, for the benefit of the game and the league.


Hill End 13.6 (84) def by Mirboo North 13.15 (93)

TO some at the top, it might be difficult to understand just how important this clash was between two teams that were yet to win a game, eight rounds into a season.

The Rovers however on their home deck knew that this could well be their best and heaven forbid only chance to snatch a victory and celebrate the hard work the Hillmen had done to this stage of the year, but Mirboo North turned up to be the party poopers by claiming their first premiership points of the season.

Mirboo North emerged as victors, 13.15 (93) to Hill End’s 13.6 (84).

Mirboo North coach, Damian Turner said, “What a great game of football. Huge moments from both sides – could definitely relate it to finals type football, albeit each team playing for their first win.”

“Hill End have some great talent, and Ambu’s boys never went away, credit to them. Very proud of our boys, we stuck at it, and it was really pleasing that some of our young brigade stood up in the last quarter when we needed someone!”

As disappointing, maybe even devastating the loss was for the home side, there was still a lot to like about the way the Rovers went about their business.

Hill End coach, Ambu Uliando said, “It was a close game all day. Mirboo too good at the end but to the teams credit Hill End played a tough game.”

If nothing else, the Hillmen should believe a win is coming and it may come at the most unexpected time, if they continue to give the one hundred percent for their coach and club.


Boolarra 9.8 (62) def Toora 7.9 (51)

BOOLARRA had been buoyed by their one kick win over Stony Creek just a week prior, but backing up that performance with yet another against a visiting Toora team was the key to the Demons continuing to push for a position further up the MGFNL ladder.

Their 11-point victory kept the dream alive as we now approach the halfway mark of the year, but the final score line doesn’t tell the whole story of 120 minutes prior, Boolarra 9.8 (62) to Toora’s 7.9 (51).

Boolarra coach, Brendan Mason said, “We were outplayed for the first half, Jack has his guys playing some pretty good footy. Credit to our boys we held them goalless in the second half and found a way to get across the line.”

The Magpies were good for parts of the game, but in this competition it is rarely enough to get the points.

Toora coach, Jack Weston said, “I asked our boys to play with a bit of freedom and we did for a half and had the game under control at half time, unfortunately we went away from this after half time and after allowing Boolarra back in we couldn’t arrest back the momentum and went down.”

Momentum can be everything, not only within games, but within seasons and as Toora searches to string some games together, there is bound to be some disappointment, but you get the sense that a series of wins may be just around the corner.


MDU 14.9 (93) def Newborough 13.8 (86)

FINALS start in the final week of August, but in some ways they have already started given the evenness and the importance of each and every round.

MDU entered Round 8 in sixth position as they prepared for the fifth-placed Newborough to visit their home deck.

The Demons had been good, but needed a scalp such as the Bulldogs to add weight to their reputation as a genuine contender, and that is exactly what they got; MDU 14.9 (93) to Newborough’s 13.7 (85).

MDU coach, Nathan Allen said, “We came up against an undermanned Newborough side who showed terrific fight to get back and almost run over us. Our first half was the best display of footy we have played all year, we just didn’t quite go on with it. Little bit unlucky with no bench for a fair amount of the second half, so I was very happy to come away with the four points.”

The old saying, that a game was one of two halves was never more evident at the weekend for the visiting Bulldogs.

Newborough coach, Craig Skinner said, “The weekend was a snapshot of our season. First was our worst half for the year and the second half was our best. Meeniyan denied us the footy through hunger and desperation then had the skill to execute.”

“Nathan Whieldon and Josh Pearce started a revival that everyone joined in on and was a courageous turn around. Critical free kicks in front of goal denied us the win. Weekend off couldn’t come quick enough before we get ready for Boolarra.”

The Bulldogs, now sit sixth, with no less than three clubs on their tail just one game behind, which lends itself to the most second half of the season.


Foster 16.4 (100) def Stony Creek 11.10 (76)

FOSTER at home and coming off a weekend bye, were always going to be a tough proposition for the visiting Stony Creek, but the Lions knew too that their window of opportunity would be slowly closing unless they were able to snatch a win against the odds, against quality opposition.

Foster shut the window on the Lions winning 16.4 (100) to 11.10 (76), Stony Creek in the match up to their eyeballs before falling agonisingly close.

Stony Creek coach, Chris Verboon said, “We started well with goals in the first quarter – the result of good forward line pressure. The second quarter they found space around the stoppages and were able to get clean forward entries, with Jake Best on the end of them. We finished with more scoring shots but couldn’t convert.”

“In the end one quarter of footy is where we lost the game. We have a couple of weeks off, which has come at a good time. Plenty of sore bodies. It will be good to have a break and refresh.”

The Lions are not dead yet, but they will need to find something extra in the second half of the season, and if they can, they might prove to be a “smoky” come finals time, and prove to be a real problem for sides above them.

Foster will be one of those sides, the Tigers just continuing to do what needs to be done.

Foster coach, Sam Davies said, “It was a strong win, we played 30 minutes of really good footy, then struggled a bit with skill execution and fundamentals. Plenty to work on.”

As good as Foster are, the prospect that they may indeed get better spells dangers for those all around them.


Fish Creek 16.16 (112) def Tarwin 1.7 (13)

FISH Creek’s biggest challenge at this time of the year is possibly more about keeping its playing personnel fresh and healthy ahead of the important months that lay ahead rather than laying it all on the line right now.

That said, the Kangaroos are coming up against sides like the weekend Sharks, who are in fact ready to put it all on the line in the hope that one extra win will be enough to have them finish in finals contention, or at least what we thought might happen

The Kangaroos’ 16.16 (112) to Tarwin’s 1.7 (13) tells a completely unexpected story.

Fish Creek coach, Jarrod Walker said, “It was a great win, (it) was good for us to tick off the KPIs that we had before the game and even contributors across the ground.”

“A massive thankyou to the club umpires that officiated the game, was very fair all day. Looking forward to next week, super exciting to play a stand alone game against Meeniyan, who we have a great rivalry against, hope to get a a good crowd down.”

Tarwin coach, Jason Kennedy said, “We definitely didn’t come to play at all, it’s been a big stretch of competitive football for us, and we have had plenty of new faces and haven’t had the consistency of personnel we would like, but now with a week off, we can reset and look to some improvement in the back half of the season.”

As disappointing as the weekend loss was, the fact is that the Sharks are just one game out of the six and there remains plenty of possibilities.


MORWELL East had the bye.