THE Mid Gippsland Football-Netball League ticked past the first half of the season at the weekend.

All clubs benefited from a weekend off courtesy of the King’s Birthday holiday at the weekend prior, as Round 9 action got underway.


Mirboo North 3.5 (23) def by Morwell East 14.13 (97)

EVERY winning streak starts with just the one victory, and Mirboo North would have been more than satisfied with their win over Hill End just a fortnight ago.

However, the Tigers were sent crashing back to earth on the weekend after their meeting with premiership contender Morwell East, losing 14.12 (96) to 3.5 (23) at home.

The win wasn’t as easy as the score line suggests, but it was a small step in the club’s longer journey of being a real force at the commencement of finals.

Morwell East coach Paul Henry praised the effort with more wins still to come.

“It was a tough old day at Mirboo. They made us earn it that’s for sure. After pretty much three weeks off, it was good to be back playing footy, and great to get the four points,” he said.

The match was always going to be a celebration of one of Mirboo North’s favourite sons, no matter the result, but even given the loss there were indeed moments that pleased Mirboo North coach, Damian Turner.

“(It was a) big day for us. We celebrated Shane Peters’ 250th game and life membership. Our young squad came and gave their absolute all against a strong hard running Morwell East outfit,” he said.

“I feel we made it hard for them in patches of the game, which was really pleasing as we were pretty undermanned this week. In the end, their polish and class was too much.”


Newborough 13.7 (87) def Boolarra 7.8 (50)

NEWBOROUGH took their chance to put an opposition side to the sword and derail another teams quest for finals, defeating an enthusiastic Boolarra 13.9 (87) to 7.8 (50).

The visiting Demons started the game only one victory behind the sixth-placed Bulldogs, knowing full well that a win against the odds would be the perfect platform from which to surge even further up the ladder.

Although there was a time an upset may have appeared on the cards, it was the home side that achieved what they had set out to do.

Newborough coach Craig Skinner highlighted the difficulty of the “see-sawing” game.

“(I) was happy with how we were playing even though the scoreboard wasn’t ticking over to show that,” he said.

“Pat Charles and Brendan Mason said hello at the start of the game and shook hands at the end with 75 touches between them. Brendan being awarded the Rod Taylor Medal.”

The Bulldogs certainly are not breaking any records or causing any headlines as they did in the previous two seasons, cruising through the year only to fall short on the most important days, but you can’t help but be impressed with their resilience and ability to put themselves in the running for a third ‘shot at the stumps’.

Boolarra coach Brendan Mason said the Demons needed a four quarter effort to be within reach.

“The weekend was another game where we were in (it) until three quarter time and then fell away,” he said.

“Newborough are well structured and well drilled and that showed as the game went on.”

Boolarra are one of a handful of teams so very close to hitting that tipping point where they will start to win those ’50/50′ games, and when they do, there is no question the Demons will be causing more and more headaches for opposition sides.


Thorpdale 22.14 (146) def Hill End 5.5 (35)

PRIOR to Round 9, the Blues had found themselves in dangerous territory, one game outside the league’s top six and with very little room for error.

Playing the winless Hill End was possibly a godsend in some ways, as the home side needed both premiership points and percentage to keep their dream of a finals rush alive.

The Blues secured both, and in doing so, put their season back on track, beating the Rovers 22.14 (146) to 5.5 (35).

Thorpdale co-coach Ray Pickering commented that is was great to be back on the winner’s list.

“(We played) some of our best team football of the season so far,” he said.

“Massive week for the club this week travelling to a firing Morwell East on their deck, hopefully our boys can continue to improve going into the second half of the season and put some pressure on some teams in the top six.”

The Blues are sure to force their way into the top six, or at least die trying, but last year’s finalists will need to be at their best to achieve a favourable result with deeper competition than yesteryear.

Finals may not be on the agenda for the Rovers, but Hill End coach, Ambu Uliando thinks there is plenty to salvage out of the year.

“On the weekend the second quarter let us down, other than that we played three competitive quarters, and now I look forward to playing at home next week,” he said.

Hill End host Tarwin, a team they will believe they can beat to bring up their first win of the season.


Tarwin 2.9 (21) def by Yinnar 15.10 (100)

IT was Tarwin’s turn to step up to the plate in the hope of knocking off an in-form Yinnar side.

They were still hoping at the end of the game, losing 15.10 (100) to 2.9 (21).

The Sharks, well rested, well coached and on their home deck, could not overcome a classy Magpies outfit, who used the opportunity to fine tune what has already been an impressive first half of the year.

The Magpies may well have their sights set on a change of scenery in 2025, but they also need to be careful of not taking their eye of what is required in a very hot competition in 2024.

Yinnar coach, Sam McCulloch praised the team’s performance from top to bottom.

“Very happy with the contribution from right across the board. We managed to get a handy buffer by halftime, Tarwin got on top in the third quarter but didn’t capitalise on their inside 50’s. We were happy with the way we responded in the last and ran the game out well,” he said.

Tarwin coach, Jason Kennedy said that despite patches of strong play throughout the game, Yinnar ran away with the win.

“The boys battled hard all day in regards to effort,” he said.

“After losing Matt Williams in the warm-up and having no rotations in the second half, it was always going to be a tough game.

“We gave it a red hot crack in the third quarter but couldn’t convert our chances and inside 50s. When playing against a top team you need to take the opportunities.”

The Sharks are starting to lose touch and are ninth on the ladder, but it only takes two or three weeks of success in such an even competition for a team’s outlook and possibilities to quickly change.


Toora 5.3 (33) def by Foster 11.11 (77)

AS much improvement as Toora has made in 2024, the scalp of a finals contender still remains out of their grasp.

Their weekend match at home against a quality opposition in Foster provided yet another opportunity to be rewarded for all of their hard work, but it was one that the Tigers were never going to give away, easily winning 11.11 (77) to 5.3 (33).

The Tigers were just going about their weekly business and getting the job done in workmanlike fashion, as they have for most of the year.

Foster coach, Sam Davies confirmed the ugliness in their win.

“I’d be asking for my admission fee back if I were a spectator, that wasn’t pretty at all but sometimes you just have to win ugly,” he said.

“There are a few positives to take out of the game but generally it’ll be a box ticked and quickly move on.”

Foster appears as though they are on the right track, and there is also evidence that the Tigers can lift to a higher level when required, and it will be required in the weeks ahead.

Toora on the other hand showed good signs, but coach Jack Weston said those times were far too short and also too few.

“It was frustrating to again be in the game for periods and not get the reward for effort. Enough moments to suggest the next win is not too far away,” he said.


STONY CREEK, FISH CREEK and MDU had the bye.