In footy you sometimes have to win ugly, and that was the case for Meeniyan-Dumbalk United on Saturday. With the weather in Meeniyan making attractive football impossible, the Demons ground out a low-scoring 44-35 win over Tarwin. Coach Steve Wright was pleased with his team’s approach in the tough conditions. “With the weather the way it was, the game was a battle,” he said.
“It was really about playing basic footy – knock the ball on, keep it going your way, and I thought we did that well.” The game started scrappy in the first quarter and remained that way throughout. MDU’s grit in the contest and will to move the ball forward paid off with Steve Hawkins taking advantage and kicking all three of his team’s goals in the opening term. This gave the Demons a 20-6 lead at the first break.
“Hawkins’ run and chase was excellent,” coach Wright said. “He kicked four of our total six for the game so it was an excellent effort.” Goals dried up quickly in the conditions though and MDU were kept goalless in the second term, while Tarwin managed to put a major on the board and trail 22-16 at half-time. Despite a third term from the home side in which they gained a 14-point lead, they were held goalless again in the final term. “Tarwin played better footy in the second and fourth quarters,” coach Wright said. “It was just one of those days where it was hard to kick goals though and most of the scoring was down one end.” The Demons managed to hold firm and grab a tough win regardless of their low scoring, with players like Hawkins, Corry and Kennedy in strong form.
Coach Wright was satisfied with his team’s persistence and effort in the conditions, which for him was the key to their tough win. “I was happy with the enthusiasm of the team,” he said.
“On days like that you can come in with an attitude that it’s too cold and wet and all a bit hard, but I thought our effort was excellent.”The Great Southern Star
Stony Creek captain Dylan Zuidema played his 300th game for his side on Saturday but instead of celebrating with a win, visitors Foster spoiled the party. The Tigers played stifling defence, holding the home side to just two points over the first three quarters on their way to a 62-24 win. Foster coach Brad Rooney was impressed with his team’s defensive effort. “Our structures held up really well in a tight, wet game,” he said. “After quarter-time I thought our midfield shut them down so they couldn’t progress the ball and locked it in our half.” As a result of this work, the visiting side pulled away to a 25-2 half-time advantage. While much of the team was contributing, the Tigers who led the way throughout the first half and the rest of the game were David Cook and Alex Kane.
“David did a mountain of work through the midfield, using it really well in the conditions, and Alex Kane’s hands at centre-half forward were brilliant,” coach Rooney said. “The overall teamwork was impressive though; we’re getting better and better as a unit every week.”
While Foster had been dominant, Stony Creek still had confidence they could get back into the game in the third term. Efforts from Marriott and Atkins didn’t pay off for the side however, and Foster pulled away to take a remarkable 56-2 lead into the final break. Maroons coach Scott Anderson conceded his opposition were too good on the day. “We thought that if we managed to kick a couple in the third, we’d be a chance but they came out and blitzed us,” he said. “They’re a bloody good side, they were just too good for us.” His team was finally able to put some majors on the board in the final term through Byrnes, Sinclair and Marriott, providing a small celebration for the team’s captain on his 300th. “We had the breeze in the fourth term and wanted to get a bit of a score for Dylan’s 300th game,” coach Anderson said. “We were happy that we could do that.”The Great Southern Star
Fish Creek travelled to Toora on Saturday and for the first time this season we experienced a real winter’s day at the footy with plenty of rain and wind.
With Fish Creek assistant coach John Danckert promoted to the top job for the day the Kangaroos’ plan was simple, push the ball forward at all costs and combined with some inspirational addresses from Danckert he had his charges primed all day long.
Bonus for the Roos was the addition of their co-captain Justin Smith after a number of weeks on the sidelines with injury, while on the other side of the coin the Magpies have had a frustrating year with injury that has given coach Mitchell some real headaches along the way. The game underway and it was Fish Creek that looked the goods early with goals to Shaw and Smith getting their side off to a good start. The Pies answered however with two quick goals of their own to Herrington and Grant and the game was in full swing in the difficult and trying conditions. Toora lost Strobel and Murphy to injury in the opening quarter and this would make their day even harder as the game continued. Quarter time and it was the Kangaroos up by eight points. The second quarter was very similar with scoring limited and both sides battling the opposition and the weather as the rain come down again.
It was already becoming tough for the supporters to tell who was who with the ground chopping up after the two earlier games. One goal apiece to both sides in the second and at the main break it was nine points in favour of the Roos. The second half was all one-way traffic with the Roos putting on a dominant performance that not only kept the Magpies scoreless in the second half but also added seven goals five of their own. A five-goal third quarter set up the big win with the Kangaroo captains Smith and Harfield Park leading the way. Key forwards Buckland, Cooper and Shaw were all very dangerous up forward and they were well supported by a determined backline led by Macri, Hargrave, Danckert and Ireland. The young brigade of Howard, Wilson, McGannon and Stefani were all involved as well in what was a great team effort by Fish Creek that blanketed the Toora side as they continued to force the ball forward into the Fish Creek attacking zone. For the Magpies an ankle injury to one of their prime movers Pavlou didn’t help their cause as they were reduced to 18 men for much of the last half, without any rotations the conditions and fresher Fish Creek team combined to allow the Kangaroos to get right on top eventually running out big winners by 56 points.Jason Harding - South Gippsland Sentinel Times
LADDER AFTER ROUND 12
LEADING GOAL KICKERS AFTER ROUND 12
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Toora v Fish Creek match review written by Jason Harding reporting for South Gippsland Sentinel Times. To view original article in full online subscribe to SGST here.