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Hosting the ladder leaders, Tarwin always had a big task in front of them, but with coach Mark Garnham strapping on the boots, anything was possible. Tarwin went in with low numbers, after losing a few players the week prior, combined with numbers away at the weekend. This meant a handful of up and coming players were given a seniors’ opportunity, including the ranks of multi-premiership player Mark Garnham who ran out with son Dylan. The pair and the team battled it out. But Foster’s firepower was too much for the Sharks.

It’s not often a key defender stands out in their team’s 13-goal win, but this was the case for Foster centre-half back Michael Howell on Saturday.

Howell committed a lockdown job on key Tarwin forward Nick Dickinson and was one of the catalysts behind his side’s 120-41 win at Tarwin Lower Recreation Reserve. Tigers coach Brad Rooney was thrilled with his defender’s performance. “He did a great job for us and was really important,” he said.

“He kept Dickinson outside the 50 and completely shut him down, which was big.” The away side got off to a near-perfect start, dominating in the middle, keeping the Sharks to 1.3 for the quarter and scoring 6.7 for themselves through brilliant play from Cook, McGowan and Neville. “It was good to start fast, and I thought we kicked pretty accurately, which has been a problem for us,” coach Rooney said. “We were impressive around the ground, but in the middle we got on top and shut them out early.”

The game continued down the same path after the first term, with Foster withstanding Tarwin attacks, applying intense pressure and getting the ball to McGowan, who had an impressive five goals eight behinds for the game.

By the final break, the Tigers had an insurmountable 104-33 lead. “Winning the ball inside and flicking it out to our runners, as well as our forward pressure were really pleasing aspects of our game,” coach Rooney said. “This made it easier for us to force turnovers and score.”

Despite an injury to captain Nathan Grylls, the Tigers were able to close out the game in style, with Howell continuing to keep Dickinson scoreless and McGowan feasting on the Tarwin defence.

Standing tall for the Sharks was Paul Hinkley, playing the game from full back his defence was hard to fault. Foster ran out the four quarters and it was in the premiership term that they showed their talent.

Troy Van Dyke was impressive for his first senior game of the year, he kicked two and was crafty around the ground. Foster’s David Cook played a big role moving forward and when he was needed in defence. Coach Garnham finished the game worst for wear as he received an accidental eye gouge and separate head butt, leaving him with two black eyes.

It’s impressive to see what this coach is prepared to do for the Tarwin side. Tarwin’s lack of big men has made it challenging in the ruck. Stepping up, Dan Fraser is gaining form and experience. The signs are looking good for Tarwin’s future. The likes of Matthew Williams showing that they are ready to make the step from being a good player to becoming a good leader, prepared to put his body on the line. Tarwin is set to get back key players Joel Norton, Nic Battersby and Tom Evan as they line up against Toora this week.

The Great Southern Star and Jason Harding - South Gippsland Sentinel Times

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FISH Creek recorded a solid 73-46 win against Meeniyan-Dumbalk United over the weekend after two consecutive losses.

Backline general Chad Macri, returning from injury, and Jake Buckland, who had been out of the game for 12 months, were welcome returns to the side.

The Kangaroos turned the ball over early and allowed MDU the better start, with the visitors kicking the first goal through Brown seven minutes in.

The home team responded quickly though, Stefani and Wilson working well to get the ball to Cooper for a goal.

The remainder of the quarter was even with both teams competing hard and playing efficient footy; Fish Creek taking a slim three-point lead into the first break. The home side turned it on in the second term, forcing the ball forward at every opportunity, allowing Shaw to snap home two of his four goals. Their defensive pressure increased too, keeping their opponents scoreless for the quarter and building the foundation for a 25-point lead at the main break.

MDU lifted their game in the third quarter, winning more of the contest and scoring a quick goal through Tom Corrie. Fish Creek kept their intensity up however, and were able to withstand any MDU run. The endeavour in the middle from the Roos was fantastic and led to MDU turnovers and Fish Creek goals. A late goal to the home team capped off what was an entertaining quarter and saw them lead 5824 at three-quarter time.

The Kangaroos started the fourth quarter the stronger of the two sides, pressing hard early, but kicking inaccurately. The Demons were able to string together a few goals midway through the quarter in response, reducing the lead to 25 points. The home side then recollected itself, with Shaw slotting home his fourth goal and giving his team a 27-point win despite its poor 9.19 kicking in front of goal.

The Great Southern Star

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Running out with the concern of a fellow footballer injured isn’t what any club wants. Young Toora reserves footballer Callan Walker received an accidental knock going for the ball late in the third term and was knocked out cold for an extended period of time. An ambulance attended the ground, taking him to Traralgon for scans he was later found to be okay.

The end of the game was abandoned and the senior match didn’t start off the best either. Both sides lost a player in the first five minutes, and both struggled kicking in front of goal – apprehension likely due to players’ concern. Once the floating feeling of doubt began to lift in the second, it was Stony Creek’s Nolan brothers paired with the fearless Darcy Atkins who brought play up to pace. The flying Magpie Pat Grant lifted Toora to new heights, his athletic ability using surrounding players as step ladders was impressive to watch.

Toora worked hard in the second and though it cost them their bench, they were in contention.

Coming into the third term without a bench it was a big ask for Toora. Jon Pintus and Linden Dyson were two of Toora’s most consistent, working hard especially without any interchange. As Stony thought they were moving clear in the third, they gave away two 50-metre penalties that let Toora back within striking range. Young John Phillips played a big role at centre half back for Stony, the young backman earning his spot with the senior side. It was the work of Stony’s Atkins and Cameron McKenzie out of the middle that split the teams apart.

Atkins moved through packs lacking fear and more often than not gaining possession. Mathew Baxter’s inaccuracy was a challenge for Toora fans, he finished with two but could have kicked at least two more. Stony Creek took the honours in the end winning by a comfortable 27 points.

Jason Harding - South Gippsland Sentinel Times

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Tarwin v Foster match review contain excerpts from articles published by The Great Southern Star and South Gippsland Sentinel Times. To view original articles in full online see details below.

Fish Creek v MDU match review published by The Great Southern Star. To view original article in full online subscribe to TGSS here.

Toora v Stony Creek match review published by South Gippsland Sentinel Times. To view original article in full online subscribe to South Gippsland Sentinel Times here.

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