Sale outclassed Drouin, returning to the Gippsland League football winners’ list with a 97-point victory.
In calm conditions, but on a heavy surface at Drouin on Saturday, the Magpies won 20.12 (132) to 5.5 (35).
Drouin has been struck hard with injuries, fielding a side which had lost a lot of the midfield potency from earlier this season.
Names such as Morris, Robinson and Kingi were missing.
The Magpies have had to deal with injuries of their own – an unfortunate incident had left Zac Hurley requiring surgery on his wrist, adding to the number of other players who have been missing.
The inclusion of Kane Martin was paying dividends early, the midfielder copped a heavy tag as usual but, with his experience and aggression, was providing a headache despite the close attention.
Sale’s aggression and pressure was proving too much for the Hawks as their defensive exits and lack of bigger bodies around the stoppages became evident early in the contest. Despite the five-goal to one quarter, the Sale defence was made to work hard with Chris Laverty putting on some great defensive efforts.
The Magpies did not let up in the second quarter, and despite having the majority of play, a defiant Drouin put numbers in the back half with the repeat entries forcing Sale to play either too wide, shallow or at times a little too unselfish for the it to fully capitalise in the forward 50.
The Hawks were kept to only one goal in the first half as the Magpies entered the main break with a 48-point lead.
The Magpies again controlled play in the second half.
Jack Lipman was gaining first use of the ball, while Jordan Dessent and Martin’s work in tight was terrific. Their ability to free up Jayden Allison, Jack McLaren and Wil Leslie was notable.
Sale key forwards John Gooch and Brad Dessent loomed ominously, but it was the fleet-footedness of Jack Allman, Kyle Simpson and Jack McLindin which was benefitting the most from the forwards contests.
Drouin kicked two late goals, but the 68-point margin at three-quarter-time was never getting reeled in with the conditions.
The Magpies dominated the final quarter, kicking seven goals to push the margin towards 100, as the mature hard bodies of the Magpies was too much for the lesserexperienced Hawks.
Jordan Dessent was tough in tight, feeding the ball out at will, while Martin’s skills were on show.
Both Leslie and McLaren were electric on the outside, while Allison worked nicely into the game after recovering from a serious hamstring issue.
Mitch Dowse and the rejuvenated Jackson Glenane’s pressure and attack at the ball was highlighted across the middle and forward half of the ground.
Brad Dessent (five goals) and Gooch (five goals) were prominent up forward, with the structure, pressure and work rate of small forwards in Jarrod Freeman, McLindin, Simpson and Jack Allman also a highlight.
The Magpies’ defence controlled the Hawks tightly, but also to setup play.
Daine Mcguiness performed well, while Nic Dowse, Declan Barnett and Luke Williams’ transitional play was important.
The returning Shane Fyfe and the experience of Laverty shone through, helping the younger players set-up well behind the ball.
The story of the day at Leongatha on Saturday was the run that eighth placed Morwell took at Leongatha during the third quarter, turning a 22-point, half-time deficit into a one-point lead by the last change.
It prompted an old-fashioned spray from the coach Paul Carbis. “If you think that after getting three goals in front, the result is going to take care of itself, well it’s not,” Carbis said in a controlled but targeted rant.
He said there had been no attempt to put pressure on the opposition ball carriers or at the contest and no support “bumper bars” offered when Leongatha players had the ball.
He focused attention on the “clearances” and “contested possession” stats where the Parrots had slipped behind in the third quarter.
“And don’t worry about the umpires. If we’re in first it won’t matter.”
And he was right. Although there were some doubtful decisions by the umpires in the third quarter, several of them leading directly to Morwell goals, and one howler when a clear mark by Ben Willis wasn’t paid on the Tiger forward line, the reality was that Leongatha’s players had lifted their heads.
And Morwell had a couple of really good players able to exploit the Parrots’ lack of commitment to the contest.
Kuiy Jiath (4) had pace to burn through the centre of the ground, Tyler Hillier (9) was another who troubled the Parrots in that quarter, Ryan Tatterson (8) on the ball and Daniel Musil (21) coming into the ruck after injury to big Isaac Abas and taking a few good grabs around the ground all hurt the Parrots.
And it was frankly good to see one of the powerhouse cities of the Gippsland League well represented by their club – the competition needs it.
Ultimately Leongatha responded like a good team does and there was a lot to like about they way they finished the match off. Tom Marriott set the standard when he burst through the pack and drove the ball forward early, but Nick Nagel hit the post. Benny Willis was getting first hands on the ball in the ruck and Hayden Brown, making a welcome return from long-term injury, showed the way by hitting the packs hard.
The teams exchanged goals, Cam Olden after a soft free kick and 50 metre penalty and Jude Leak getting the answer for Morwell. But the signs were good for Leongatha with the likes of Rhett Kelly, Cam Stone, Tom Marriott, Luke Bowman and the Parrots’ defenders especially Josh Schelling showing much more commitment to the contest.
Actually, the defence had been Leongatha’s saving grace all day; Col Sanbrook, Chris Verboon and Sean Westaway all excellent and Cade Maskell kicking three firsthalf goals and remaining creative up forward all day.
Young Aaron Turton gave glimpses of his prodigious talent, including a searching run down the ground in the third term, Matt Borschman and Tim Sauvarin at times, and Nick Nagel up forward; there was a lot to like about the Parrots in what was an entertaining game.
Leongatha eventually took control resulting five last-quarter goals to one including two to Nagel and Olden and one to Cam Stone.South Gippsland Sentinel Times
The Lions kept their winning run home to finals intact, making it seven on the trot with a comfortable win over Bairnsdale on Saturday, 15.16 (106) to 9.9 (63).
The home side established a slender three-point lead at the first break with two goals from five scoring shots.
The margin blew out to 30 points at half-time as the Lions added another six goals and three behinds to the Redlegs' two straight goals.
Bairnsdale pegged back the lead to 28 points at three-quarter-time but another four goals and four behinds to the Lions in the run home helped them run out 43-point winners.
Tristan Gum enjoyed his best game for the year and finished with four goals for Moe in the win.
A trio of others - James Blaser, Hayden Prestidge and Dylan Farrell - all made major contributions and kicked two goals each.
Jacob Wood, Spencer White, Peter Ainsworth, Tom Long and Ash Dugan all kicked singles.
For Bairnsdale, Ethan East kicked three, Kieran Vickery two and singles went to four others.
Maffra returned from Warragul with a 49-point win and top spot on the Gippsland League football ladder still in its keeping.
Tested at Western Park in recent years, the Eagles began well to set-up their 15.16 (106) to 8.9 (57) victory.
Jack Johnstone and Lachlan Channing troubled the Gulls across half-forward, working well with onballers Alex and Ed Carr and Danny Butcher.
James Huts stood-out at full back.
Without captain and leading goal kicker Daniel Bedggood, the Eagles had eight players boot majors, led by Alex Carr, who kicked four when he drifted forward.
The visitors kicked five goals to one in the first quarter to lead by 26 points at quarter-time. The Gulls reduced the deficit to 13 by half-time after kicking four goals to two in the second term.
It would take some work for the Eagles to shake off the Gulls after both sides only managed a goal each for the third quarter.
Leading by 16 points at the final change, the Eagles kicked seven goals to two in the final quarter.
Defenders James Davidson and Brad Hefford were the best players for Warragul.
Sitting second-bottom on the ladder, the Power went into Saturday’s game aiming for an upset against a Traralgon side vying for a finals spot and came away triumphant.
The home side played strong defence and were efficient enough up front to give themselves an impressive 71-44 win on Saturday and stay clear of bottom spot.
The Power started the game well in the contest, applying strong pressure to their opponents and winning the ball well.
They were not able to use the footy as well as they would have hoped though, and while they led Traralgon 13-12 at the first break, they would have been relieved their opponents kicked an inaccurate 1.6 for the term.
It was a different story in the second quarter though, which saw Wonthaggi take complete control.
Thomas Davey was dominant on the ball for the home side, and Nathan Jones made his presence felt on the scoreboard.
The Power piled on four majors and only allowed Traralgon two to go in at the main break up 16 points.
The Maroons were competitive in the third, turning up their pressure on the ball and creating good chances.
Hector and Johnson were dominant for the away side and began to pull their team back in it before a big goal from Jones created some space and saw Wonthaggi go into the final break with a 50-36 lead.
Despite positive play and some scoreboard pressure from the away side, the Power strength ened their lead in the final quarter. The home team was too strong in the middle of the park and consistently locked it in their attacking 50, giving players like Jones and Staley more opportunities to add to the lead. When the final siren sounded Wonthaggi emerged 71-44 winners, giving their fans something to cheer about after struggling throughout the season.The Great Southern Star
LADDER AFTER ROUND 14
LEADING GOAL KICKERS AFTER ROUND 14
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Leongatha v Morwell match review published by South Gippsland Sentinel Times. To view original article in full online subscribe to SGST here.
Wonthaggi v Traralgon match review published by The Great Southern Star. To view original article in full online subscribe to TGSS here.
Moe v Bairnsdale match review written by Kate Withers reporting for Latrobe Valley Express. To view original article in full online click here.
Drouin v Sale and Warragul v Maffra match reviews written by Sam Anstee and David Braithwaite reporting for Gippsland Times. To view original articles in full online click here.