Moe have emerged as a force to be reckoned with in 2018 after opening their season account with an indomitable win over Drouin, 16.24 (120) to 8.7 (55).
The Lions were matched in the first term by a resolute Hawks outfit and led by just five points at quarter-time, but a four goal to two second quarter set Moe’s scorers up for a second-half barrage.
Moe stacked on seven majors in the third term and held the luckless Hawks goalless, limiting them to two behinds on their way to a 61-point lead at the last break.
The damage could have been catastrophic for Drouin in the last term if not for Moe’s inaccuracy in front of goal.
The Lions kicked two goals and a mammoth 11 behinds to hold the blowout to 65 at the final siren.
New recruit Josh Pearce (Newborough) led the way for Moe with four majors while Scott Van Dyk and Ash Dugan kicked three each and Darnell Grech bagged two.
Moe will travel to take on Sale in round two and Drouin will play host to Maffra.Kate Withers
New Maroon and former VFL player Connor Ambler has led Traralgon to an impressive on-the-road victory over Bairnsdale in the second half of the split opening round at the weekend, 15.12 (102) to 13.8 (86).
Ambler met the preseason expectations of coach Mark Collison and booted four goals in his first game for Traralgon after returning to his home club from Casey.
Josh Kiss was similarly menacing for Bairnsdale and earned the six votes for the best Redleg on the ground for his five-goal haul.
Traralgon led at every change in the 16-point win with their biggest buffer of 31 points coming at half-time.
The loss of some bottom-end talent in the off-season proved inconsequential for the Maroons in their first run of 2018 with no less than nine players scoring goals – four of them multiple.
Jackson Hall took out the six votes for best-on-ground for Traralgon and was joined on the honours list by Conor Little, Darren White and Nicholas Quenault.
Traralgon will be buoyed after its season-opener ahead of this weekend’s headlining clash with arch-rival Leongatha in a special Saturday night fixture while Bairnsdale will play host to Morwell in a twilight game.Kate Withers
NINE goals from Mitch Bennett helped Maffra defeat Sale by 58 points to complete round one of Gippsland League football on Sunday.
In warm conditions at Sale Oval, the Eagles led by eight points at half-time, but kicked away in the second half, booting 12 goals to five to win 19.15 (129) to 11.5 (71).
Best-on-ground Bennett more than made up for the absence of Darren Sheen.
James Huts was strong in a defence, and had a good match-up on Brad Dessent, who kicked three goals for the Magpies.
Kieran Jones was outstanding in the ruck, feeding the ball to midfielders Jack Johnstone and Ed Carr.
Chris Laverty, Brad McKay and Mitch Dowse were part a strong Sale midfield.
Dowse kicked two goals in his first game for the Magpies.
Zac Hurley, Jamie Sweeney and coach Shane Fyfe did well under pressure in defence for Sale. When Maffra had more of the ball during the first half, the Sale back line held strong.
John Gooch and Andrew Quirk made welcome returns to the Sale line-up, having not played last season.
There were promising signs for the Magpies, but the Eagles’ class came to the fore in the second half.
The conditions allowed for free-flowing footy, with Maffra looking to run hard, while Sale was playing with good intensity.
The margin remained at eight points at half-time, with both teams kicking three goals in the second term, including from Dessent for the Magpies.
The Eagles put the issue beyond doubt in the fourth quarter, kicking eight goals to three. Bennett added four to his match tally.
The result extends Maffra’s winning streak over Sale to seven matches, and puts the Eagles in front of their rivals overall. In 282 matches since 1901, Maffra has won 140 and Sale 139, with three drawsDavid Braithwaite
Match summary excerpts taken from articles written by Kate Withers reporting for Latrobe Valley Express and David Braithwaite reporting for Gippsland Times. For full articles visit http://www.latrobevalleyexpress.com.au/story/5331675/lions-start-with-big-win/?cs=1588 (Latrobe Valley Express) and http://www.gippslandtimes.com.au/story/5331433/eagles-second-half-surge-at-sale/?cs=1576 (Gippsland Times)
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