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Foster demolished MDU at home on Saturday, with a 100-point thrashing. The game started positively for the home side and they never looked back, kicking straight and taking a commanding lead. “It seemed like we broke their spirit a touch in the first quarter and a half,” coach Ben Rooney said.

It wasn’t just the offensive side of things which had the home side so far ahead though, with the team’s defence on top of their game and consistently suffocating the MDU forwards.

After leading 28-7 at quartertime, Foster held their opponents to just two behinds for the next two quarters, taking a huge 100-9 lead into the final break. “We just reinforced doing the basics well on defence,” coach Rooney said.

“Obviously tackle pressure creates turnovers and we were lucky enough to score off the back of those.”

With stand-in captain Brendan Neville accumulating a lot of ball in the midfield to go with his three goals and McGowan and Granger both taking advantage of their team’s dominance with five majors each, Foster were unstoppable. They continued to put their foot on the gas in the fourth and eventually came away with an impressive 100-point win. The consistent and even performance by the Tigers had their coach satisfied at the final siren. “It was probably Brendan Neville’s best game of the year, and McGowan and Granger were strong too,” he said. “The most impressive thing is we’ve got so many contributors all over the ground.” MDU will need to dig deep to bounce back in their next game, as they take on an inspired Tarwin team.

Foster extend their lead at the top and will take on second spot Stony Creek next round, a game coach Rooney will prepare them well for. “I’ve just got to keep challenging them in different ways and helping them stay ready and consistent,” he said.

The Great Southern Star

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Resilience has been a theme for Tarwin this year, with the club struggling through much of the season.

The team personified this on Saturday, when a last-gasp goal by William Edmonds saw the Sharks hold on to a two-point upset win over Toora.

Stand-in coach Simon McRae was satisfied with his team’s ability to withstand Toora’s attacks.

“Not letting the ball get through in these conditions was the main thing,” he said.

“We talked about our tackle pressure; it was really on and led to repeat entries for us which were a big bonus.”

The game started tight, scrappy and congested in the poor conditions and neither side could gain proper separation.

Tarwin’s Nick Dickinson and teammate Paul Hinkley were prominent for their side early and throughout the game.

Dickinson’s early goals and Hinkley’s contest work led to a 33-27 half-time lead. “Dickinson was really good for us up front and then later on down back,” coach McRae said. “We were great across the board though, which was valuable.”

The third term was much of the same for both teams, with the weather making clean football nigh on impossible.

The Magpies became more involved as time went on and, while they were down eight at threequarter time, strong play from Maurilli-Pullin and Kelsey Pavlou ensured they were always a chance.

The away side managed to peg the Sharks back after they kicked away to begin the final term, and eventually took a late four-point lead by pressuring their opponents and capitalising off their mistakes.

“We need to work on turnovers and simple skill errors,” coach McRae said. “The risky 30-metre kicks we missed hurt us in some important parts of the game.” The home side were able to regain their composure though, and with just a few minutes left, a persistent push into the forward 50 paid off, with Edmonds crumbing a spilled ball and snapping home the winner.

“The fact we kept getting the ball forward at all costs paid off,” coach McRae said. Tarwin now see finals as a real possibility after their upset win and will go into their next game against MDU with confidence and having worked on the essentials, something coach McRae prioritises. “We’ll work on hitting targets and sticking tackle because as soon as we’re successful at that the rest takes care of itself.”

The Great Southern Star

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Stony Creek was away at Fish Creek on Saturday and with the two earlier games split it was go ing to be the senior match that decided who would take home the Jack Charlton Memorial Cup. Both sides cracking in hard at the footy it wasn’t long before Stony Creek’s Marriott had the opening goal only a minute and a half in. Aside from this it was a very even start with pressure on for both teams and a good crowd watching on in anticipation. An undisciplined act from Marriott gave the Kangaroos a free kick and a 100m penalty to gift them their first goal to Manne who would have a great battle with Zuidema right throughout the day.

Minutes later The Kangaroos took the lead with the play of the day when Straw went long from a kick in that found Manne inside the centre square, the ball went to Ireland on the run who kicked long into the Fish Creek forward 50 where Buckland marked and goaled for his team and the Kangas where up and about. Only a minute later however Stony Creek received a free kick that resulted in a goal for McKenzie who was very lively right throughout the day for the Lions. At quarter time the scores were locked at 2.2 apiece.

The Kangaroos got on top in the second quarter putting on five goals to two and at the end of the day this would be the difference. The lowlight was a knee injury mid-way through the term that would end the day for one of the Fish Creek leaders Cooper. Goals to McGannon and Buckland for Fish Creek before Sigeti answered for Stony Creek. Another great team goal to Fish Creek through a chain of handballs that ended with a beautiful snap from Shaw gave the Kangaroos some breathing space. Stony would answer again however after a strong mark and goal to Dylan Zuidema. A problem that the Stony coach will need to address is their some time undisciplined play and when J Nolan gave away Stony Creek’s second 100m penalty for the day again Manne got an easy goal to send his side into the long break 18 points up.

The second half saw the rain arrive and the game would become a slog for both sides where goal scoring would dry right up. Stony got the start they needed when big forward Sigeti won a free kick that had the first goal of the half only three minutes in. Fishy would settle however and as conditions become slippery and with Stony doing most of the attacking through the first half of the quarter the entire Fish Creek backline stood tall repelling attack after attack from the Lions. The tide started to turn midway through and the Kangaroos started to take some of the ascendency back.

At the 17 1⁄2 minute mark it was Ireland who gathered the ball deep in his F50, his poise and elusive play resulted in a very nice goal that rewarded his side for their good play. At 3 quarter time the margin remained the same as it was at the half, 18 points in Fish Creek’s favour.

The final quarter was set to be a beauty and it did not disappoint one bit, Fish Creek reduced to no bench with injuries to Danckert and Watkins in addition to Coo per all of whom had to watch on from the sidelines as their team dug deep to hold the desperate Lions team at bay right throughout the final term. The skills in the conditions re mained good and the quality of the game regardless of the souring weather was exactly what the supporters wanted to see. Neither side giving in it was a battle right to the final siren and with a goal less last quarter it was the Kangaroos ended up running out 21 point winners. Fish Creek’s Sam McGannon has been playing some great footy.

South Gippsland Sentinel Times

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Tarwin v Toora match review published by The Great Southern Star. To view original article in full online click here.

Foster v MDU and Fish Creek v Stony Creek match reviews published by South Gippsland Sentinel Times. To view original articles in full online subscribe to SGST here.

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