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Saturday’s result between Ellinbank and Lang Lang in the Ellinbank District Football League potentially left more questions than answers.

The Eagles, who have been a much improved outfit under Ben Wragg, may have shown they have the potential to be one of the top teams in the competition with their comfortable 10 goal win over a Tiger outfit that had recruited well.

Albeit the Tigers were missing some of their off-season recruits, including the Greene brothers. Whether that is the difference, and if the Tigers and gel and improve remains to be seen.

The Eagles burst out of the blocks to stun their opposition, kicking five goals to one in the first term to open a handy buffer.

Two goals to one in a torrid second term ensured the Eagles maintained a handy buffer at the long break, and they went on with it in the second half.

Four goals to one in the third term saw the margin blow out to nine goals and a first up result for the Tigers looked unlikely.

The Eagles scored two goals to one in the final term to close it out, with Tim Mashado using his speed to good affect to finish with four goals while Mitchell Cowan chipped in with three majors.

Josh Peterson showed his worth as a handy addition, providing drive and setting up attacks with his usual precision possession.

Hayden Stagg, Francis D’Agostino, Adam Cook and Michael Urie also featured among the better players for the Eagles.

With four individual goal scorers and only scoring one goal in each power, the Tigers will need to find more avenues to score. They will hope recruit Aaron Rose can find more goals in coming weeks.

Recruits Travis Kitchin and Luke Collie were supported by Liam O’Connor, previous best and fairest winner Sam Kendall, Lachlan Barwick and Andrew Thompson.

The Tigers eventually fell well-short of the mark of their fancied opponents, with Ellinbank winning 13-14 (92) to 4-8 (32).

Davyd Reid - Warragul & Drouin Gazette

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Season 2018 grand finalist Longwarry showed it means business, kicking away in the final term to comfortably account for a Neerim-Neerim South team that had star players Chris Urie, Calum Shiels, Tyssen Morrow and Josh Morrison at their disposal.

The match had promised to be a close contest between two sides expected to be the top end of the ladder this season, and for the most part that’s what occurred.

Along with its key players returning, new recruit Matthew Laskey filled a need in the forward line with his three goals instrumental in helping the Cats curtail the influence of last season’s grand finalists.

While the Crows shot out to a 13-point buffer at the first change, the Cats hung in for much of the match with a 15-point deficit at the final change not insurmountable for an improved Cats team.

Longwarry’s inaccurate return of 3-9 in the third term had helped keep the Cats in the contest.

Desperate to get their season off to a winning start, the Crows responded accordingly and turned it around in the final term.

Five goals to two behinds saw the final score blow out to 12-20 (92) to 6-10 (46), which is perhaps not an accurate reflection of the close nature of the contest.

Longwarry coach Daniel Fry and Braydon McHugh stood up in front of goal when it counted, each finishing with three goals.

Kane Oldham and Danny Wells used their speed to good effect as the Crows ran the game out. Talls Nick Redley and Ben Cuckson were influential, as was Jack Muirhead.

It was the usual suspects showing their class for the Cats, led by Urie, Shiels, Aiden Dibsdale, Dean Stringer, Nathan Bayne and Tyler Pratt.

Davyd Reid - Warragul & Drouin Gazette

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After a 2018 premiership, combined with Buln Buln losing a number of good players this year mainly to Warragul, momentum was in Nyora’s favour running out. Straight kicking from both sides, the home team Nyora were three goals to two at the first break. Some sloppy kicking in the second, Buln Buln were still in contention at half time, as Nyora kicked three goals and three points in the third.

Buln Buln kept to the trend of one goal per quarter and were 27 points down going into the final term. Finishing with some flight, the visiting Lyrebirds held Nyora to just one goal in the final term, making it a 28-point victory to the locals. The score line showed what was a more potent attack of Nyora, but a promising script for the Lyrebirds. Hayden Barker was in good form, he kicked a bold three goals for Buln Buln.

Premiership player Ilan ‘Ossie’ Osman was one of the Saints best, he kicked four goals. “I lost track of how many marks Ossie took, he was taking grabs all over the forward half,” says Nyora President Gavin Doig. “Brad Arnold was one of our big recruits coming into this year, he was really impressive this week.” Nyora is trying to get by with a reduced number of junior players, so if you want to join – get in contact. “It looks like we’ll have 18 blokes playing under 18s this year which is good news, but it’s been a struggle,” says Doig.


South Gippsland Sentinel Times

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The seniors kicked to the Drouin Road end with the ground in excellent condition, Poowong opened the season with a point but it was Catani who scored the first major followed up by a kick out of bounds.

A good mark by Mitch Cochrane led to Poowong’s first goal of the season but Catani replied with a goal and they were looking dangerous, but Jack Hazendonk and Tom Wyatt replied with good goals from loose balls.

Catani immediately replied followed by a point from a snap. Poowong’s Trevor Hooker kicked a great goal from the boundary and with Jai Newcombe kicking a great goal on the run Poowong were looking good, a late free kick to Catani resulted in no score. Quarter time: Poowong 5.3.33 to Catani 3.0.18.

At the start of the second quarter, Catani attacked hard with Paul Pattison and No 44 was in everything, but some wayward kicking led to four points in a row with Poowong adding two points, then from a free kick Catani hand balled to Paul Pattison for a goal, Poowong had a couple of snaps both out of bounds.

Catani getting two late goals one bouncing through and then a quick snap to take the lead at half time. Poowong 5.5.35 Catani 6.4.40; a five point lead.

A disappointing second quarter by Poowong after a promising start had let Catani back into the game and they had their tails up, the third quarter would be vital to both sides. Poowong started with a goal off the ground to James Doria followed by a hand pass to Tom Wyatt for another, then a good mark to Catani resulted in a goal followed by a point.

Then goals to Tom Wyatt from the boundary two goals to James Doria and one to Jack Hazendonk. Poowong had opened a good 31-point lead at three quarter time. Poowong 12.6.78 to Catani 7.5.47. Both sides worked hard in the last quarter with goals to Jack Hazendonk and James Doria and plus three points and three out of bounds, Catani added two goals and a point. A good win by Poowong but without the wayward kicking the gap could have been greater but a good opener with some good passages of play during the game.

Geoff Wyatt - South Gippsland Sentinel Times/The Great Southern Star

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Yarragon has celebrated its move to the Ellinbank District Football League with a comfortable victory over Nilma-Darnum to take the Hughes-Orgill Cup.

While Bombers kicked the first two goals of the match, Yarragon arguably controlled the tempo of the contest which was often fast and free flowing to win 13-7 (85) to 8-12 (60) and collect the cup named in honour of club stalwarts Neil Hughes and Clive Orgill.

The two clubs will play for the cup home and away for the next 20 years before the clubs decide on new club legends to honour.

The new kick in rule quickly demonstrated its potential to add speed to the game as the Bombers went coast to coast to score their first major.

An intercept from Patrick Chin in the forward half led to a second goal and the Bombers were up and about early.

Not to be outdone, the Panthers hit back quickly with a conversion from the lead before Matthew Moseley showed the first sign of his positive influence for the afternoon, winning a free kick for a hold from his follow up work to set up a running goal from Lachlan Shaw to cut the lead.

Darcy Jones sent the ball forward with Jesse Hayhow somehow managing to scramble the goal despite being tackled to see the Panthers hit the front.

Logan Deschepper converted a set shot to put the Bombers back in front in what was a frenetic first term.

A strong mark from Moseley on the wing set up the long ball, with Jones the beneficiary of the outnumber in defence.

A shot from wide in the boundary late in the term increased the lead to 11 at the first change and from that point, the Panthers were never headed.

A snap from the pocket and Jones converting from straight in front saw the Panthers maintain the advantage, with an effort to take the ball all the way to the goal square quickly seeing the margin blow out to five goals.

James Harvey found a leading target from the middle of the ground as the Panthers added another to be well and truly on top.

Another long shot at goal late in the term added a further blow to the Bombers, who no doubt will be looking to address the second term fade out as they move to next week.

The Bombers finally broke the shackles to start the third term, with Chin setting up journeyman Mark Engley for the open goal.

Chin was back in the action soon after as he was found alone in the goal square to peg another one back for the Bombers.

Just as the Bombers were looking inspired, Moseley sent the ball long for Steve Dillon to complete the mark at full forward and steady for the Panthers.

A set shot late in the term gave the Bombers some fleeting hope as they cut the deficit to 25points at the final change.

A snap from deep hit the post as the Bombers looked for a spark, only for the Panthers to score the valuable first goal of the term which sparked some momentary push and shove.

Ben Campbell, who will be with the Bombers for a full season after spending much of last year at Casey, went long to set up coach Matt Shorey for a goal.

The Panthers looked to control the tempo and play possession football at the 22 minute mark, and were again able to break the Bombers down when they ran into an open goal.

The Bombers managed a late consolation goal, with Ben Lucas in space to centre to Sean Viotto who duly converted.

The run and dash of the Panthers set up their victory, led by Devin Pollock, Lachlan Shaw, Jones, Trent Gleisner and Darren Jameson.

The Bombers showed flashes of brilliance but will be left to rue a regrettable second term. Finding some support for the likes of Chin, Engley and Shorey forward of centre may go some way into improved performance.

The best players for the Bombers were Travis Dyke, Oxley Huson, Nicholas Murray, Chin and Andrew Carey.

Davyd Reid - Warragul & Drouin Gazette

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Ellinbank v Lang Lang, Neerim-Neerim South v Longwarry and Yarragon v Nilma-Darnum match reviews written by Davyd Reid reporting for Warragul & Drouin Gazette. To view original articles in full online subscribe to WDG here.

Poowong v Catani match review written by Geoff Wyatt and published by both South Gippsland Sentinel Times and The Great Southern Star. To view original article in full subscribe to SGST here and TGSS here.

Nyora v Buln Buln match review published by South Gippsland Sentinel Times. To view original article in full online subscribe to SGST here

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