If Longwarry were to stamp themselves as one of the top teams in the competition, they simply needed to get the job done at home over a younger Buln Buln side. Despite the plucky Lyrebirds keeping in touch throughout the first half, the Crows did just that by kicking away to a comfortable victory 14-17 (101) to 8-7 (55).
Kicking the only three majors of the third term opened up the handy buffer, with the Lyrebirds producing a competitive final term. It’s further evidence the young Lyrebirds team are taking a step backwards to move forward, although supporters would have been impressed with the effort to push one of the top teams in the competition for three quarters.
Building to a solid four quarter effort will be next on the agenda for the young side. Braydon McHugh kicked five goals for the Crows, while Cory Lenders chipped in with four majors. Ruckman Nick Redley provided first use, with the likes of Riley Rundell, Russell Lehman and Jack Anning taking full advantage.
Adam Rakip, James Taylor, Jack Martyn, Ryan Bishop and Matt Gray led a competitive effort from Buln Buln, while Jake Pierrehumbert took confidence from his appearance in the community championship match to also feature among the better players.Warragul and Drouin Gazette
Nyora managed to maintain their unbeaten record, with a thrilling one point win over the visiting Nilma-Darnum.
The game was a tight tussle early, with the ball in dispute more often than not. It wasn't until around 13 minutes into the quarter that we saw the first goal of the game, courtesy of a 50m pentalty to Nyora's Adam Tagliaferro who made no mistake from 30m out. The momentum then swung the way of the Saints, who then kicked another three goals. Nilma-Darnum had their fair share of the ball, but Nyora's defence stood tall, repelling the Bombers' attack across their defensive 50m arc. Nilma-Darnum managed a set shot late in the quarter, but failed to register a score. This ill fated attempt at goal rebounded straight back down the other end which resulted in a goal to Saints spearhead Ilan Osman. Nyora looked a class above, taking a 25 point lead at the 1/4 time break.
Nilma-Darnum would get their first goal of the game 5 minutes into the second quarter courtesy of a free kick in the forward pocket. After this, both teams peppered at the goals with minimal result. The standard of play was tough and contested, with a lot of stoppages. Nyora and Nilma-Darnum would add one goal each to their score before half time. The Saints still carried a handy 22 point lead into the main break.
The third quarter was all Nyora early, but they were getting little reward for effort. When the ball wasn't yo-yo-ing between the two 50m arcs, the Saints were the only ones who could manage to get a shot on goal, but only managed four behinds. It wasn't until 13 minutes in that Nyora broke the goal drought and suddenly they had jumped out to the biggest lead of the game, to the tune of 31 points. Things were starting to look ominous for the Bombers, but something stirred inside them. A goal from a free kick inside their forward 50 a few minutes later brought them back within 25 points and Nyora started to lose their composure. A string of free kicks lead to scoring opportunities for Nilma-Darnum. They added another 1.1 and at the last break, they found themselves only 19 points behind.
In the last term, Nilma-Darnum came out guns blazing. They started to take risks and believed in each other. Suddenly Nyora were on the back foot and chasing tail. The Bombers kicked the first goal of the final quarter within the first three minutes and they had a sniff for the first time in the match. Nyora tried to respond, with the next 5 minutes of play becoming a tight, contested arm wrestle between the two midfields. It wasn't until around the 8 minute mark that the Bombers' hard work had paid off and they willed through a goal. The feeling in the crowd had shifted now and some worried faces began to appear on the Nyora faithful. Five more minutes of tough, contested footy followed until a dashing shot on goal sailed through for Nilma Darnum and all of sudden the Bombers found themselves one point in arrears. The intensity lifted in both sides as bodies clashed and bones crunched. All players wanted the footy as much as each other with no one willing to back down. A shot on goal by Nilma Darnum 17 minutes into the the final term just missed the desired result and we had scores level. The Bombers were on top and Nyora were on the ropes. Another shot on goal from Nilma-Darnum also missed a few minutes later and the Bombers were in front for the first time in the game. Nyora were finding it hard to move the ball out of defensive 50 and when they did, it was coming straight back again. Then with a last ditch effort, the Saints found a final gear. Through what appeared to be sheer determination, Nyora moved the ball with purpose into their forward 50 with what had been their best scoring opportunity since early in the last quarter. The ball was rushed through and scores were level again. Nilma-Darnum had thrown everything they had at Nyora in that final quarter and it seemed they had run of puff to get the ball back to their forwards. Another behind to Nyora registered a minute before the final siren went and the Saints had climbed out of jail again, with their 2018 unbeaten record in tact.
In can be said that coach Matt Shorey does have his players on the right track, despite their current 3-4 record. Nilma-Darnum looked out of this game in the first half. Their disposal was not as clean as their opponents and they were predictable going forward. Once they started taking the game on and utilised some run and carry, the players grew in confidence and efforts were rewarded.
For Nyora, there is an air of belief. Belief in the plan and each other. Playing coach Fia Tootoo was a pillar of strength for majority of the game down back. They had an even spread of contributors across the midfield lead by captain Dylan Heylen and a formidable forward line in Ilan Osman and Ben Schultz.
Good teams may not win pretty every week, but they know how to win when it matters. Nyora have shown they fit in this category for season 2018. Nilma-Darnum are not quite at the same level yet, but they are not far off and will be one team to watch for the remainder of the season.Gippsland Footy admin
Lang Lang was simply no match for the Warragul Industrials at Western Park.
The Dusties set the tone with a five goal to one opening term and continued to pile on the pain in the remaining three quarters, eventually running out 21.21 (147) to 1.4 (10) winners.
The Tigers were outscored 1-113 after quarter time, highlighting the complete domination the Dusties enjoyed.
Stu Casey and Will McGindle were valiant in what was a dirty day for Lang Lang, while Jack Blakey (seven goals) and Tyson Bale ran riot for Warragul.Hayley Wildes
Match reviews taken from Pakenham Gazette, The Great Southern Star and Warragul & Drouin Gazette. Original articles can be viewed online via subscription only
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