AS the second half of the Mid Gippsland Football-Netball League season rolls in, this writer thinks we could not have wished for a more competitive round of football.

In every single clash during Round 10, the result could have conceivably gone either way, and whichever way it was to go, it is was sure to have an impact on the season.


Morwell East 10.12 (72) def Thorpdale 8.5 (53)

MORWELL East gave Thorpdale some real concerns on the weekend.

The Hawks’ 10.12 (72) to 8.5 (53) victory at Ronald Reserve has the Blues sitting in seventh position, out of the MGFNL top six.

Now confronted with the reality that another loss will have them in a position of quiet desperation, as they not only need to find a way to win a few games in succession, but also rely on those above them to lose, and that’s the worst possible place to be.

For the Hawks, they are right where they need to be, seemingly safe inside the top six, and only one win from the top of the table.

Their the win on the weekend against a respected opponent was an important one, according to coach Paul Henry.

“We had a massive challenge ahead of us on the weekend, after a couple of comfortable wins and back-to-back byes. Thorpy were always going to be a challenge and they are whenever we play each other. It was a tight game all the way to the end. Great effort again by our boys,” he said.

The strong Morwell East community is starting to build around the football-netball club again, and like the players and coaches are starting to get more excited about the greater challenges and possibilities that lay ahead.

Thorpdale co-coach Ray Pickering recognised the effort of his team, only that it needs to translate to better results.

“The game played out just like we thought, a tough, tight grind against a good hardened side,” he said.

“Couldn’t knock our boy’s heart and endeavour for four quarters but need to start turning close losses into wins.”


Foster 11.15 (81) def Newborough 7.7 (49)

IT is developing into one of the hottest rivalries in the MGFNL. Foster had not been beaten at home by Newborough since their entry into the MGFNL, and they had their heart and minds set on that trend continuing.

The Tigers achieved that in an 11.15 (81) to 7.7 (49) win.

Foster coach Sam Davies was thrilled with the end result.

“It was a dominant display from the boys on the weekend, really proud of the group for our four quarter effort,” he said.

Foster jumped out to a 16-point quarter time lead, before really applying the pressure in the second half. A 21-point three quarter time buffer was driven home in the final 30 minutes.

Newborough coach Craig Skinner noticed concerns within his side.

“We got beaten in a lot of areas by a better team on the weekend, We brought effort but couldn’t execute,” he said.

Last year’s grand finalists remain confident they have what it takes to play the style of football to right a few wrongs, but like many others, also remain under pressure with so many teams clawing at them from below.

The Bulldogs sit in fifth, but have three teams behind them by just one victory.


Hill End 8.9 (57) def by Tarwin 17.11 (113)

ONE half of the season gone and still searching for a win, Hill End on their home deck approached last weekend’s clash against Tarwin like it was a final.

No one doubts the Hillsmen’s desire and commitment were on display, however the visitors, who were still very much in touch with the leagues top six, refused to let the home side and their loyal supporters have too much to get excited about, winning in the end 17.11 (113) to 8.9 (57).

Tarwin coach Jason Kennedy couldn’t hide his excitement surrounding the win.

“It’s a lot better waking up Sunday morning with a win. After a tough couple of weeks we were also keen to get back on the winners list,” he said.

“The first half was reasonably close. In the second half we tightened up a few things and in the end, we ran the game out really well.”

The Sharks are currently in eighth position, but just one win away from fifth. Chances have come and gone for Tarwin already this season, but they will not be able to let too many more slip.

Hill End coach, Ambu Uliando knows their desire has not diminished, which gives them hope in the future.

“We were with them up to halftime, they ran away with it in the second half. They were just too fit for us,” he said.


Boolarra 5.7 (37) def by Fish Creek 9.4 (54)

BOOLARRA went from having to confront last year’s grand finalists in Newborough to the reigning premier Fish Creek in the space of seven days.

It is without question the toughest fortnight in MGFNL football, and Boolarra fell short on both occasions, this time in a 9.4 (58) to 5.7 (37) finish.

Fish Creek coach Jarrod Walker however mentioned it was no easy win away from home.

“A bit of an ugly win for us… couldn’t really get the game on our terms for most of the game,” he said.

“A lot of credit to Boolarra who really came to play and had great intensity all day. Still pleased that we were able to walk away with the win, and grind it out.”

The Demons’ efforts have not gone unnoticed by opposition clubs, and have certainly not been missed by coach Brendan Mason either.

“Really happy with our effort, we took it right up to the best side in the competition for most of the day,’ he said.

“A poor third quarter just let us down and Fish Creek was good enough to capitalise.”

The Demons actually won both the first and last quarters, it was just the middle of the match in which the reigning premier did enough to run away with it.

Efforts like this from Boolarra will have them winning more games than not.


Yinnar 10.11 (71) def MDU 6.13 (49)

YINNAR and MDU have had some memorable clashes in recent years, and although falling short on the Magpie’s home turf prior, the Demons arrived ready to rumble their way to a victory and a slow climb further up the league ladder.

What they confronted however was a rock solid Yinnar doing what they have done for much of 2024.

Yinnar was too strong in the end, winning 10.12 (72) to 6.12 (49).

Magpies coach Sam McCulloch said it was one or two things that had them take home the chocolates.

“It was a pretty hot start to the game. We played some of our best footy of the day in the first quarter and capitalised on our inside 50s,” he said.

“Due to a number of skill errors we made in the second quarter, MDU got back into the game but didn’t capitalise, possibly due to our pressure. It was a pretty even second half and we managed to hold onto our lead and come away with a hard fought win against a well structured and quality team.”

The Demon’s had their chances, and are so close to taking that next step of defeating a top tier side it’s not funny, but it can be frustrating for them, and if it continues, also very costly.

MDU coach Nathan Allen pointed to a poor start to the game.

“Yinnar started really well and we were never able to get close enough. They moved the ball really well and converted when they got a chance,” he said.

“Felt we owned field position for most of the game but poor skill errors and missed chances cost us in the end.”


Stony Creek 15.6 (96) def Toora 11.10 (76)

IT was surely the last roll of the dice for Stony Creek.

Three wins in the first half of the season was never going to cut it for finals football.

Sure, there has been a number of the Lion’s losses which have been by just single figure margins, but hosting Toora on the weekend, was one the home side could not let slip through their fingers.

Stony Creek got the result they were after, in a competitive game 15.6 (96) to 11.10 (76).

“It was a tight contest until the end. We have struggled throughout the year to finish games but I was really happy with our last quarter. We had blokes stand up when it counted,” Lions coach Chris Verboon said.

It may well be the confidence building win the Lions needed to take the next step in believing they are capable of much greater things

Toora too, even in losing can take plenty of positives from the result, even if coach Jack Weston took some of the blame, albeit in a sporting manner.

“Twenty one scoring shots all. If we had a coach that could kick straight and not give the opposition a six goal head start who knows. That’s footy though, credit to Chris and Stony who took their chances when we let them turn the ball over high up the ground,” Weston said.


MIRBOO North had the bye.