Longwarry sent an ominous warning to the rest of the competition, defeating Catani in the game of the round.

Longwarry Coach Daniel Fry knew the Blues would come out firing, and was thrilled his side was able to come away with the four points.

“We knew they’d come out really well, obviously on the back of a loss, so we just sort of focused on winning the ball early”, Fry said. “Last year we probably would’ve thrown that game away, that’s the difference this year. We’ve got a lot more depth, so in those tight games when it comes to the fold, we seem to stand up which is really good. ”

After falling behind in the first quarter, Longwarry used a five goal to two second term to gain a 10-point lead at half time. The likes of Russell Lehman and Nick Redley were again impressive and were crucial down the stretch in a see-sawing battle. The Crows came away with the hard-fought 12.12 (84) to 10.11 (71) win.

Owen Fitzpatrick was at his best for Catani, booting six goals, whilst Paul Pattison was dominant, as per usual.

After dropping their opening game of the season, Longwarry is now on a three-game winning streak and Fry believes that loss was a blessing in disguise. “In hindsight, you never want to drop those round one games, but I think that did us the world of good, it sort of set us back into a bit of reality,” Fry said.

Hayley Wildes

Pakenham Gazette

Ellinbank kept in touch with the top five with a comfortable victory over a struggling Neerim-Neerim South, 14-4 (88) to 6-5 41).

There were worrying signs for the Eagles early, falling to a 19-point quarter time deficit following a big loss to Warragul Industrials the week prior.

Staring down the barrel of another disappointing result, the Eagles lifted as they took control for the remainder of the contest.

Eight goals to one behind followed in a ruthless second term that established a comfortable five goal lead at the main break.

While the match tightened in the second half, the Eagles’ defence went to work to restrict the Cats to just two goals across the final three quarters of the match.

Shaun Phelan led the way with three goals, heading a list of five multiple goal scorers.

Mark Vassett, Franc D’Agostino Ashley Wallace, Tim Leicester, Tim Mashado and Jayson Barwick also helped the Eagles lift after quarter time.

Nathan Bayne and Tim Beaurain were among the better players for the Cats.

Warragul & Drouin Gazette

Nilma-Damum scored its third win of the season, overcoming a determined young Buln Buln outfit 12-11 (83) to 10-9 (69).

The Bombers were forced to work hard for the win, with Buln Buln leading for most of the contest.

Four goals to two in the second term opened up a handy buffer at the long break. The Lyrebirds maintained a 14-point lead at the final change and looked to press in for Victory.

Previous Bomber outfits may have thrown in the towel, but not under new coach Matt Shorey.

Not Willing to accept defeat, the Bombers stormed home with five goals to one in the final term to steal victory.

Jack Jarred booted four goals, while Mitchell Dance chipped in with three majors.

Nicholas Murray, Dylan Cann, Nathan Campbell and Hayden Potts also helped the Bombers to an inspired finish.

James Taylor, Matt Gray, Carlton Helliwell, Mathew Notman, Thomas Axford and Jake Baker were prominent, but the Lyrebirds couldn’t sustain the effort in the final term.

Warragul & Drouin Gazette

WITH a very convincing 7 1-point victory over near neighbours Lang Lang on Saturday, to which all players contributed; defenders, forwards and on-ballers, Nyora have gone to the top of the Ellinbank League ladder where the skies the limit in 2018.

In fact, next Saturday they will feature in the match of the day when they host second placed Warragul Industrials, in a game that will almost certainly decide flag favouritism for this year. Needless to say, the Nyora club is delighted with their start to the season and the way returning players, a sprinkling of new talent and existing stocks have gelled together into a fine team.

As displayed on Saturday, with both Lang Lang and Nyora having their fair share of the ball early, Nyora was much more potent up forward having no fewer than nine goal kickers on the day. Ryan Spooner and Ilan Osman led the way with five each, with both players dangerous from distance as well as close in. Spooner was one of a large number of players taking a turn on the ball, together with the likes of Jesse Heylen, the busy Rhys Bancroft, Ben Hallas. Lachie Fievez and Chris Hodges, to name a few, with the captain Fia Tootoo leading by example with dashing runs, creative handballs and clutch marks through the centre of the ground.

Nyora constantly had more numbers at the ball and when the play broke clear, they were able to lower their eyes with passes to position while Lang Lang constantly blazed away with long bombs. One such thrust came off in the second quarter when Jack Brickwood took a specky before goaling but it was the exception rather than rule with Nyora having nine goals to two by half time. The quick response came after terrific forward pressure by Jesse Heylen who got the ball to Spooner in good position for a second quarter goal.

Tim Burns was a great option out on his wing Bob Provan was busy too, Rigby and Dixon constantly inserting themselves into the play. In fact the team did not have a passenger in one of their best all team displays in years. You'd want to try and keep a lid on it especially with a real danger game this week but Saints supporters can certainly hope for finals action this year after some years in the wilderness.

South Gippsland Sentinel Times

POOWONG travelled across to Warragul to take on the Dusties without key players Ben Hancock with a hamstring and Chris Doria unavailable with work, and the pair were missed in the 21 point loss.

The ground and conditions were excellent for football with Poowong hoping to break the ice after three narrow losses and Dusties determined for a victory also.

Poowong kicked to the highway end of Western Park and started positively. Tom Harris kicked the first goal for Poowong Which turned out to be the only goal of the term. The second quarter opened with a goal to Trevor Hooker after a couple of misses in the first term. The Dusties finally kicked their first goal of what was a tight game with the ball travelling between the backlines. This was broken when Dusties goaled followed by Jack Hazendonk kicking Poowong’s third when he received a good handball.

The third quarter was another quarter played between the backlines with goals hard to come by but Poowong unfortunately had three goals disallowed in this quarter, a goal from a hand ball was taken back, one was reversed because of language and one was believed to be touched but this can happen in football when it’s not your day.

Warragul kicked a goal after half time, then another from a free kick before a great running goal by Poowong’s Chris Robinson off the pack. Poowong could have had a good lead at three quarter time but finished the quarter eight points down 4.13.37 to 4.5.29.

Poowong opened the last quarter with a great goal to Lachie Green and they had another chance but the ball was called back with the Poowong player well clear. Dusties finished full of running though kicking three late goals to win by 21 points 7.16.58 to 5.7.37.

The game was an epic struggle but the breaks went Dusties’ way. Poowong will have to wait for another game to try and get that victory. Josh Harvey played his 100th game this round with Jameel Knecht playing his 150th last round.

South Gippsland Sentinel Times

Match review excerpts taken from Pakenham Gazette, Warragul & Drouin Gazette and South Gippsland Sentinel Times. All original articles are available to view online via subscription only.

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