Leongatha have hit ominous form ahead of finals and a tilt at premiership defence with a mammoth 131-point smashing of Bairnsdale in round 17 on Saturday, 25.18 (168) to 5.7 (37).

Cade Maskell’s individual bag of nine goals was more than the Redlegs could manage on home turf, and Parrots coach Paul Carbis said it was a relief to return to form after round 16’s loss to Drouin.

“It was pretty much a team effort, which is what we’re looking for,” Carbis said.

“We didn’t have it the week prior against Drouin but our focus going in was getting back to our style and not worrying about the opposition.

“We were pretty keen on having the right team focus yesterday and that’s what we did.”

Carbis said “only a handful of players” played their roles against the Hawks but was pleased with the input of all 22 on Saturday.

“When only a few put their hand up you’re not going to win many games like that,” he said.

“But we had 22 guys do their bit from the get-go against Bairnsdale and that was the really pleasing part.”

Cade Maskell, who kicked four points before he kicked his first goal in the second term, was served well by fellow forwards Chris Dunne and James Lloyd, who kicked four and three, respectively.

“It was pretty wild conditions, [the] first half wasn’t too bad and we put our foot down in the second before the rain and hail came,” Carbis said.

Ruckman Ben Willis and defender Colin Sanbrook were again among the best for the Parrots and Carbis said mounting pressure through the midfield helped keep the Redlegs to just five goals.

“The pleasing thing was the way we moved the ball. We were a lot more composed and moved it better and a couple of our supporters said it was really good to watch,” he said.

The defending premiers will host Sale in the final round of the home and away season in what could be a preview of the qualifying final next weekend.

Kate Withers - Latrobe Valley Express


Maffra kicked 12 goals to two in the second half to hamper Traralgon’s quest for a spot in the Gippsland League football finals.

The Eagles won a scrappy match at home on Saturday by 78 points, 16.15 (111) to 5.3 (33).

The Eagles remain on top of the ladder, ahead of Leongatha and Sale on percentage. With the Parrots and Magpies playing each other in the final round this Saturday, the Eagles will have to defeat Moe to claim the minor premiership.

Traralgon is still in fifth position, with a better percentage keeping them there ahead of Warragul. The Maroons will have to defeat Morwell on Saturday to secure their spot in the finals.

In his 200th senior game, midfielder Kel Porter was best-on-ground, relishing the damp conditions.

Kieran Jones had the better of the ruck contests, giving his teammates first use of the ball at stoppages.

Porter and Jones were major factors in the Eagles’ dominance of the centre clearance count.

Mitch Bennett out-scored Traralgon off his own boot, finishing with seven goals, while teammate Kade Renooy kicked three.

Lachlan Channing also provided a strong link between the midfield and forward line.

Sam Pleming and James Huts were outstanding in defence, making many contested marks and spoiling Traralgon making attempts.

The Eagles were restricted early, as the Maroons kicked the first goal through Jackson McMahon six minutes in.

Twenty minutes into the term, Ed Carr took a mark going with the flight of the ball at half-back.

This began a chain of possessions which ended by with Bennett kicking the Eagles’ first goal.

The Eagles controlled the second half of the first quarter, but couldn’t adjust their kicking for goal with the cross breeze.

A Porter spoil and gather set-up Bennett’s second goal to give the Eagles a 10-point advantage at quarter-time.

The margin increased slightly to 11 points by the main break after both sides kicked two goals during the second term.

Opposition pressure and a short shower saw neither team being able to create fluent passages of play.

A heavier downpour at half-time made things more interesting.

The Maroons kicked the opening goal of the third term to reduce the deficit to six points.

Daniel Bedggood kicked a goal after receiving a favourable bounce to restore the Eagles’ 12-point advantage.

The ball was in the Eagles’ forward half for most of the quarter, driven by consecutive centre clearances, as Bennett added two goals and Renooy one to see the home side leading by 31 points at the final change.

Maffra ran out the match strongly in the fourth quarter, kicking eight goals to one, adding vital percentage points.

Haydn Hector worked hard to stem the tide in the midfield for the Maroons, while half-forward Conor Little and full back Adam Jaensch had their moments.

David Braithwaite - Gippsland Times


Drouin have continued on with the form that helped them to an upset win over Leongatha in round 16 with a 49-point victory over Morwell on Saturday, 14.13 (97) to 7.6 (48).

The Tigers were up and about in the opening stages of the game and led by one straight kick at quarter-time, but fell away in the second and conceded six goals while failing to convert any of their own. The Hawks swam with the tide in the third term and added another two goals to lead by a game-winning 39 points at the final change.

Josh Seri was the leading man for Drouin and finished the day with five goals while playing-coach Jordan Kingi kicked three and Tom Barr, Ed Morris and David Olsen two each.

Kate Withers - Latrobe Valley Express


SALE controlled a determined Warragul to finish a 10-point victor during round 17 of Gippsland League football.

On Saturday at home, the Magpies ended the match with only one fit player on the bench, but held on to win 8.13 (61) to 8.3 (51).

The Magpies remain level on points with ladder leaders Maffra and Leongatha. A win next weekend at Leongatha and an unexpected loss to Maffra would see the Magpies finish the home-and-away season on top.

The Magpies made a few changes to the side which defeated Bairnsdale, including a debut to under 18s player Jack Allman, a clever forward who was not even born when coach Shane Fyfe, who was playing his 250th game, made his debut.

Greeted with cold and windy conditions at Sale Oval, the game was always going to be a tough encounter, Warragul’s win over Maffra the previous weekend left the Gulls with a chance of making the finals — if they beat Sale.

A scrappy tough first quarter opened proceedings, and it could be argued that Sale ws kicking with the wind, but changes in direction and intensity didn’t give it too much of an advantage.

John Gooch kicked Sale’s only goal, while the Gulls booted two.

A slender Gulls lead at quarter-time wasn’t Sale’s only concern. Utility Max Reeves suffered a back complaint and took no further part in the game, hampering the Magpies’ work at ground level.

Brad Dessent got the Magpies fired up to begin the second quarter — a goal from a running left foot snap into a cross breeze put the Magpies in front.

Warragul put a lot of numbers behind the football, creating a lot of congestion and forcing the Sale forwards to work hard at ground level.

At any chance of a turnover, the Gulls were quick to push hard forward, at times the Sale defenders were forced to pick up runners as Warragul looked to isolate big forward Brayden Fowler, who was in an intriguing battle with Andrew Quirk.

Jarrod Freeman’s pressure was outstanding, creating space for Brad Dessent, who at times had an obvious mismatch. A strong mark and goal by Dessent right on half-time gave each side three goals for the half.

Coach Fyfe spoke about the need to adjust, the typical style of play the Magpies wanted to initiate had to be tweaked. Kicking long to forward targets and having greater accountability around the football needed to be implemented.

While the wind continued to intensify, the hard ground conditions were taking their toll. In the third quarter, the Magpies lost small forward Jack McLindin to a back complaint and midfielder Mitch Dowse, who was worse for wear after a strong tackle.

Warragul was reading Jack Lipman’s work effectively, with the Gulls midfielders running hard forward from stoppages.

Jayden Allison kicked a goal after a free kick to put the Magpies back in front, a second goal came quickly when a long ball fell into the hands of Brad McKay.

The Gulls responded with two goals as the lead changed hands.

An Allman inside kick was marked by Jackson Glenane, who found Jordan Dessent on the 50 mark — the resulting long shot was another goal.

A few wide shots on goal gave Sale an eight-point break at three-quarter-time. The Gulls were accurate in front of goal — one behind in three quarters in windy conditions was a credit to them.

The game stepped up in intensity in the final quarter, as a large Warragul crowd contingent become more involved. With their season on the line, it was clear the Gulls were throwing everything at the Magpies.

The Magpies again created plenty of opportunities, but the numbers at the stoppages and behind the football continued to make it hard for Sale to get a clear path to put the Gulls away.

A 50 metre penalty given away by Jamie Sweeney resulted in a Warragul goal — the margin now within a straight kick.

It took a clever Kane Martin snap — the result of great pressure up forward — to seal the game.

Allison was terrific for the Magpies, he was strong inside, reliable by foot and stood up when it counted.

Experienced midfielders Jordan Dessent and Martin showed their class by hitting the scoreboard and gaining clearances.

McKay was given a different role this game, his accountability and ability to sacrifice around the stoppages was an important part of the victory.

Quirk was solid in defence, his willingness to halve the contest was duly noted.

Lipman was solid around the ground, controlling the direction of the stoppages, while Freeman’s work rate and Brad Dessent’s potency caused the Warragul back line headaches.

Sam Anstee - Gippsland Times


Moe have moved a game clear in fourth spot on the Gippsland League senior ladder with just one week to go in the season proper thanks to a 19-point win over Wonthaggi at the weekend, 9.26 (80) to 9.7 (61).

The Lions' inaccurate first quarter was a sign of things to come – but their two goals from 10 scoring shots in trying conditions in the first term was enough to have them 14 points up at the first break.

The lead was short-lived for Moe as Wonthaggi made them pay in the second term with six goals to one to sway the lead 19 points in their favour.

The game see-sawed again in the third quarter and Power – scoreless for the term – watched on as the Lions added four goals and nine behinds to carry a 14-point buffer into the last quarter. Scott and Jayden Van Dyk paired up for two goals each while singles went to five others.

Patrick Ryan did his best for Wonthaggi and bagged five goals.

Kate Withers - Latrobe Valley Express


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Maffra v Traralgon match review taken from article written by David Braithwaite reporting for Gippsland Times. To view article in full online visit

Sale v Warragul match review taken from article written by Sam Anstee reporting for Gippsland Times. To view original article in full online visit

All other match reviews taken from article written by Kate Withers reporting for Latrobe Valley Express. To view original article in full online visit

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