Month: September 2016

Gippsland League Grand Final preview: Eternal Glory Awaits Grand Final Victor – by Liam Durkin 

​For the most part, you would have to say the competitions two best teams have made it to this year’s Senior grand final, as Maffra and Leongatha will both be going hell for leather tomorrow afternoon from 2.30pm at Moe’s Ted Summerton Reserve. The Parrots surprise semi-final loss to the Eagles may serve as the wakeup call they needed, and there has been word around the traps that Maffra may have ran their race in that particular game and will be caught out on the return. Nonetheless, every grand final represents a 50-50 chance for both teams competing, and if ever there is a game that throws up surprises or unlikely heroes it is a grand final.  On paper at least, Leongatha look to have all bases covered. A high scoring forward line complimented with a hard working midfield, many of whom are able to drift forward and have scoreboard impact themselves. Meanwhile, their defence have been able to carry the ball freely throughout the season, with every player on the ground wearing the green and gold seeming to know exactly where to be and what to be doing at any given time dependent upon the situation of the match. During the year at Moe as we were coming up to play Leongatha we outlined what made them such a strong team, and one of the immediate comments from...

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Gippsland League Preliminary Final preview: No more second chances – by Liam Durkin

The Maffra Eagles have won through to their first Senior Grand Final since 2012, after upstaging Leongatha in the semi-final last week. The Parrots will meet Traralgon after the Maroons accounted for Drouin with relative ease in their corresponding fixture, with Maffra awaiting the winner for the big dance. Traralgon coaches would have been more than pleased to see star recruit Jason Winderlich slot through half a dozen last week, and after an unflattering season the former Essendon forward may well have clicked into gear at the right time of the season. Lee Stockdale has also been causing some headaches for opposition defenders, with the pocket rocket returning his best season in front of goal, so far accumulating 54 majors. The Maroons will be benefited by the fact the Preliminary Final is to be played on their home ground, whilst Leongatha will be apprehensive at the prospect of bowing out in straight sets after going through the season unbeaten. Traralgon have imposed a media ban on their players, with local radio unable to get any interviews after the match last weekend, in what could prove to be either a cunning move or a pedantic show of petulance in the coming weeks. Game play from both sides should be high, and it will be interesting to see the pace of this game as both teams play virtually the same run...

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| #MGFL Feature | Yallourn Nth Deserve Their Moment – by Liam Durkin 

​There was a burst of applause as the singers repeated the last lines of John Wolfe’s song ‘Yallourn’ in the Tyers hall in 1996. The audience, also singers and performers, were members of the Gippsland Acoustic Music Club who meet on the first Sunday of the month. But this February moment in 1996 was special. The presenters from Radio National’s ‘Music Deli’ had come to record club members performing songs about Gippsland. The recording took place at the club’s venue, Tyers, a small town with a view over the Latrobe Valley. From the hall it is possible to see the Yallourn power station to the west, marking the site where the town in the song use to be, the Hazelwood power station near Morwell to the south, and the Loy Yang power station near Traralgon in the east, all components of the former empire of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria. With such panorama over the Latrobe Valley, it was appropriate that most of the songs performed that day were about the power industry, the Valley landscape, and working for the State Electricity Commission (the SEC). More poignant were the songs about Yallourn, a series of laments for the town built by the SEC as a showpiece in the 1920’s, but which was now submerged in the blackness of its open cut mine. The audience was familiar with that...

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Gippsland League Semi Finals preview: Gippsland League Down to Four – by Liam Durkin

The Semi- Finals kick off this weekend, with Leongatha taking on Maffra for a place in the Grand Final, and Traralgon playing Drouin in a do-or-die elimination. Having finished the year on top of the ladder, Leongatha have had the opportunity to recuperate and will be eager to book themselves a place in this year’s Grand Final when they meet Maffra at Morwell on Sunday. The Eagles have been in good form of late, and will welcome their underdog status, which may well prove enough impetus for them to perform over their more fancied opponents. After an undefeated year, Leongatha will know whole heartedly that anything less than a Grand Final appearance will be a failure of a season, and will be aiming to keep their winning record alive for at least another week. Maffra have named an extended bench and will no doubt wait to see if they will require the services of a second ruckman in Macklin Raine. The Eagles Reserve grade team was surprisingly upstaged quite comfortably by Traralgon in the Qualifying final last week, which would have made the selectors jobs just a little more difficult as they may have been forced into making changes for the betterment of the Senior side at the expense of the Reserves. That said, any Senior team holds precedence over its Seconds, but from a some players perspective, if...

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Qualifying/Elimination Final preview: Now the Fun Begins – by Liam Durkin

After crawling our way through eighteen rounds we now find ourselves at the finals. Leongatha have gone through the season undefeated and will take an extended break from the rest of the pack. The Parrots Seniors and Reserves haven’t dropped a match all season, which may well be the first time in league history that this has been achieved. They will play the winner of Maffra and Traralgon for a spot in the big dance, whilst Warragul and Drouin will battle it out in the Western Derby in a do or die Elimination final – the first time the neighbouring rivals have met in a final since 1925. At Morwell this Saturday one team will edge closer to playing in a grand final, whilst another will face the unwanted prospect of ensuring they are not bundled out in straight sets. Maffra and Traralgon have been Leongatha’s closest challenge all season and historically both teams lift a gear during September. It will be an interesting week at the selection table for the Eagles after resting a number of key players for the last home and away game against Warragul. Favourite son Hayden Burgiel may well be in the mix for a call up, yet senior coach Wayne Butcher will be apprehensive about changing the composition of his side too dramatically given the importance of a finals win. Both sides feature...

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