All was going to plan for Catani on the road against Buln Buln on Saturday.

A 17-point quarter time lead was following the script many would have predicted.

But things quickly turned for the Blues, who struggled mightily after quarter-time.

The Lyrebirds lifted in the second quarter and, surprisingly, the Blues never responded as they were dominated in the final three quarters. The Lyrebirds scored nine goals to three after quarter time to inflict the Blues’ fifth loss of the season, 10.11 (71) to 6.10 (46).

Paul Pattison and Brett Williams battled valiantly for the Blues, while Simon Dawson and Mathew Notman (four goals) were dominant for the Lyrebirds.

The loss – Catani’s second in a row – highlights the team’s struggles this season and the goals are not coming as easy as they were at the business end of last season.

Hayley Wildes

Pakenham Gazette

Ellinbank bounced back strongly from its defeat at the hands of Neerim-Neerim South, easily disposing of a Lang Lang team languishing at the bottom of the ladder, 16-21 (117) to 2-8 (20).

The win ensures the Eagles will maintain pace with fifth-placed Poowong, with the gap now less than two percentage points. Better conversion could have pushed the margin beyond 100-points and perhaps a return to the top five.

The Eagles kicked 2-7 in the first quarter and finished with 4-10 in the final term. With their early inaccuracy keeping the Tigers in the match, the Eagles kicked five goals in each the second and third quarter to ensure the match was in their keeping.

Shaun Phelan kicked four goals, while Tim Mashado chipped in with three majors. Adam Cook, coach Ben Wragg, Jake Harper and Michael Urie also helped the Eagles take control.

Troy McPherson, Josh Brown, Scott Fairburn, Clint Fulton and Brad Michie battled against the odds for the Tigers.

Warragul & Drouin Gazette

Longwarry comfortably accounted for Neerim-Neerim South.

The Crows scored consistently where the Cats could only manage one goal in each quarter, setting up a comfortable win for the home side 13-7 (85) to 4-8 (32).

Daniel Fry kicked four goals for Longwarry, while Russell Lehman, Danny Wells, Kane. Oldham, Troy Lehman, Ben Cuckson and Casey Wells also helped the Crows maintain control.

Aiden Dibsdale, Nicholas Castle Ashley Lockett, Dane Fawcett, Chris Saunders and Aaron Fawcett were the better players for the Cats.

Warragul & Drouin Gazette

Poowong travelled to Nilma-Darnum for the Reserves and Seniors.
The weather improved from early morning and the ground was in good condition. Poowong had five players unavailable with work, holidays and injuries including four from last week’s game. They were replaced by Josh McNally and Mitch van'T Hof from the U18's and Jake Cochrane and Steven Joyce from the Reserves. Poowong kicked to the Warragul end of the ground. The Magpies were out to win to maintain their position in the five, and Nilma-Darnum was looking to improve on its performances over the last few games.
Poowong was moving the ball well and its first goal came from half back flanker Jayden Sullivan, who rolled forward and marked at centre half forward. Nilma-Damum replied with a goal from a snap before a free kick to Jai Newcombe resulted in Poowong’s second. Jake Cochrane took a mark but his kick fell short, landing in the square from the clearance. Mitch Harris passed to Thomas Wyatt who kicked Poowong’s third. Jai Newcombe kicked a point before Nilma added a point. A great mark at centre half back by Nilma’s defence and a good pass resulted in a long kick rolling through for full points. Tom Wyatt picked up the ball on the run down forward and added Poowong’s fourth before the quarter time siren. The quarter time score was Poowong 4.1.25 Nilma Damum 2.1.13.
The second quarter started with the ball moving quickly. Both sides rushed a point, then Poowong added another point before Jai Newcombe took a good mark under pressure and kicked Poowong’s fifth. Poowong added a further point before a good pass from Jayden Sullivan to Jake Hazendonk resulted in Poowong’s sixth. A long kick in was marked by Josh McNully resulting in a goal and then Jake Hazendonk picked up the ball from a boundary throw in and slotted Poowong‘s eighth. Poowong was moving the ball quickly with Lachie Green, Jai Newcombe, Matt Cozio, Jameel Knecht, Thomas Wyatt and Jake Hazendonk together with Jayden Sullivan and Alex Doria who were covering a lot of ground.
All playing well it looked like Poowong may kick away after half time as it was holding a 38 point lead 8.4.52 to Nilma Damum 2.2.14.
Nilma came out for the third quarter determined to change the game’s direction and Poowong helped it with some very poor decisions from the defence. Nilma was suddenly taking some strong marks and delivering the ball quickly into the forward line and in 10 minutes had kicked three goals and a point. Poowong was struggling to finish off and managed a point before Nilma added a fourth goal from a free kick. Poowong managed another three points before three quarter time to take a 17 point lead into the final quarter. The three quarter time score was Poowong 8.8.56 to Nilma Darnum 6.3.39.
Poowong managed to break the game open in the last term following a point. Chris Robinson kicked a great goal from the boundary. Nilma fought back for a point before a free kick to Jai Newcombe resulted in his third and Poowong’s 10th. Poowong was moving the ball around the ground but could not finish off - with points to Trevor Hooker, Jake Cochrane and Mitch Harris before Jake Hazendonk kicked his third after a series of passes. The final siren sounded with a 38 point win to Poowong. The score was Poowong 11.12.78 to Nilma Damum 6.4.40.
Poowong had a lot of the ball but did not finish off in the second half and with costly handling errors in defence, allowed Nilma back into the game and lifted its confidence.
The Great Southern Star

Playing against the benchmark team of the Ellinbank and District Football Netball League over many years, Warragul Industrials away, top team Nyora knew they had to make every scoring opportunity count. And they achieved that to the absolute letter on Saturday when they kicked 12 goals straight without a blemish until after they’d scored two of four goals in the last quarter. It was a goal-kicking clinic, especially by their talented two-pronged spearheads - Ilan Osman and Ben Schultz - both finishing with six for the day.
But it had to come to an end and it was big Schultzy who first blotted the Saints' copybook when he wheeled around after taking a mark at the 30 metre mark and tried to hook the ball back through the goals for the team’s 13th. But 13 proved unlucky for some and the charm was broken when 12.1 went up against Nyora’s name. However, while straight kicking was a part of it, Nyora really had control of the contest from the outset, kicking four goals to one by quarter time and seven goals to two by half time. And with coach Fia Tootoo still on the bench recovering from a wrist injury, it gave him a good chance to look his players over and he must have liked what he saw.
Osman and Schultz have a really good understanding with Osman tending to play the high, mobile forward role and Schultz the main leading and mark-contesting forward. Osman even hit his partner up on a couple of occasions with nice passes while the favour was returned with good contests that kept the ball in the scoring zone from Schultz.
But as much as he liked their output, coach Tootoo was delighted with how hard his small forwards were working to give them the service; players like Aiden Cumberland, Jess Heylen and Chris Hodges were among those who came to mind.
"It’s been good to be able to take a look at them from the bench in the past couple of weeks and I think it’s helped us sort a few things out on the forward line. Plus, the other thing that’s important is what everyone else is doing when they haven’t got the ball. We’ve stressed playing your role for the team and I can see what's happening there. It’s good,” said Tootoo.
But he was certainly pleased to see the hard work paying off in front of goal as well. In a good team effort all over, there was a lot to like about onballers ‘Bander’ Bancroft, Ryan ‘Spoons’ Spooner and Dylan Heylen. Spooner’s hard tackling and reading of the play was a feature of his possession count while Dylan produced one of his better games for the club. Nick Carrigy was an unsung hero in the ruck.
Down back, it was a clinical performance again as well with Nick Fairbank in the key position role and the likes of Shaun Beecroft and Adam Tagliaferro leading the way. The team still has a couple of key players to come in but they’ll be at close to full strength when they take on second-placed Longwarry at Nyora this Saturday. It’s one versus two in a match that could well decide favouritism for this year’s flag.
South Gippsland Sentinel Times


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Buln Buln v Catani match review taken from article written by Hayley Wildes reporting for Pakenham Gazette. To view original article in full online subscribe to Pakenham Gazette here

Lang Lang v Ellinbank and Longwarry v Neerim-Neerim South match reviews taken from article published by Warragul & Drouin Gazette. To view original article in full online subscribe to Warragul & Drouin Gazette here

Nilma-Darnum v Poowong match review taken from article published by The Great Southern Star. To view original article on full online subscribe to The Great Southern Star here

Warragul Industrials v Nyora match review taken from article published by South Gippsland Sentinel Times. To view original article in full online subscribe to South Gippsland Sentinel Times here

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