It wasn‘t Warragul‘s day at Bairnsdale on Saturday.
In a match that had the Gulls’ and Bairnsdale’s chance of remaining in contention to push for a place in the finals, Warragul was jumped at the start. The Redlegs had four goals on the board in the first nine minutes. After five changes at selection on Thursday night, two of them Matthew Ross and Leigh Sheehan forced changes, to the side that lost by a point to Sale the previous week, Warragul also had to find a late replacement for Tyssen Morrow who became a father on Friday night.
Then during the game star onballer Nate Paredes was knocked out and carried from the ground on a stretcher, and Dylan Proctor was also lost after re-injuring a hamstring. When Warragul did settle following Baimsdale’s early goal rush it frittered away chances to bridge the gap with inaccurate kicking for goal. All of that helped add up to 16-13 to 9-16 defeat.
The Gulls were generally a match for Bairnsdale in the second and third quarters but a return of 4-8 for that period had them 40 points down at the three quarter time break. They rallied in the final quarter kicking four of the first five goals before the Redlegs steadied and kicked the last three.
Over the course of the game Bairnsdale was able to too frequently break Warragul tackles and the Gulls made their forwards tasks more difficult than needed with slow movement of the ball into attack.
They led the inside-50 metre arc count but couldn‘t capitalise. Baimsdale defender Simon Deery continued his excellent form for the season and was a stumbling block for four quarters. He swept across the defensive lines to intercept Warragul’s forward moves, something he continued to do even when the Gulls tried to play him man-on-man. The losses of Paredes and Proctor caused some reshuflling in the Warragul line-up but a couple of other changes were made to try lift the side.
They included moving defender Matt Rennie into the midfield and Nic Stevenson to the forward line and as a back up for Jake Hortsman in the ruck. Young on-baller Kim Drew was again in great form and when forward and others among Warragul’s better players were Tom Kelly, Rennie, Sam Russell on his retum after a lengthy injury absence, Luke Di Ciero and Tom Muir.
Drew, with two, was the only multiple goal scorer. The other goals were singles from Muir, Luke Di Ciero, Rennie, Tom Kelly, Paredes, Horstman and Scott Kelly. With three wins from nine games at the midway point of the season finals are a distant thought to Warragul. The focus will be firmly on producing its best more consistently, during games as well as from week to week.
A nice spread of goal kickers helped Bairnsdale to the seven-goal win with Link Robinson and Ricky Tatnell leading the way with three each while Ethan East, Kieran Vickery and Brayden McCarrey each kicked two.
Warragul & Drouin Gazette and Latrobe Valley Express

Maffra were given an almighty fright by Moe in round nine before hitting their straps in the second half to secure win number nine of season 2018, 13.18 (96) to 10.11 (72).

Moe nearly pulled off what all others have failed to do this year, but relinquished a four-point half-time lead.

Lions playing-coach James Blaser did his best to get his side over the line, leading by example with a five-goal haul while Scott Van Dyk kicked two.

Mitch Bennett again reared as a danger man for Maffra and kicked four goals for the third consecutive week to take his tally to 38 for the season to sit square with Leongatha's Chris Dunne on the league goal kicking ladder with an average of 4.2 a game.

Jack Johnstone also chipped in with three goals for the hot premiership favourites while Ben Brunt, Kade Renooy and Daniel Bedggood all kicked two.

Maffra will face a formidable opponent in Sale this weekend while Moe will travel to take on Drouin.

Kate Withers

Latrobe Valley Express

Traralgon set the tone early in their round nine meeting with Morwell and built on a 14-point quarter-time lead to run out 27-point victors on Saturday, 11.16 (82) to 8.7 (55).

Lee Stockdale enjoyed his most fruitful day out since round five, bagging three goals for the Maroons at Morwell Recreation Reserve while Rohan Hildebrand kicked two.

The visitors had the lion's share of the forward 50 entries in the second half and could have put the result beyond doubt with 13 scoring shots for four goals.

Traralgon move a game clear on the senior ladder with five wins for the season, even with Moe and a game clear of Bairnsdale.

For Morwell, the loss brings an end to a run of consecutive wins after they went through none and six to start the season.

The Tigers wore purple strips in the senior football and A grade netball contests in support of Maddie Riewoldt's Vision.

Traralgon come up against Bairnsdale this weekend in round 10 while Morwell will enjoy another home game when they host Warragul.

Kate Withers

Latrobe Valley Express

A fast finishing Sale left to much work to do, not being able to cage the Leongatha Parrots in Round 9 Gippsland League action.

Leongatha winning 14.10.94 to Sale 12.11.83.

A good crowd courtesy of the break in local district football was greeted by a high quality, tough game of football as both sides showed why they will be likely finalists at the end of the home and away season.

Whilst much was made of who was missing for Leongatha in the preview, Sale had four important inclusions in Kane Martin returning from a knee injury, Jamie Sweeney from work commitments, Zac Hurley from Gippsland Power and Jack Mclindin from an upper leg injury.

A fast start ensured and the Sale pressure was working well, Jack Mapleson intercepted a Leongatha kick in, going back and kicking truly. The Sale efforts were creating opportunities but it was a case of what could have been rather than what was.

Jamie Sweeney settled in well, intercepting Leongatha forward entries but it was the Parrots who held a one point lead at the quarter time break. Coach Shane Fyfe praised the players but wanted them to be more aggressive with there ball use going forward.

Leongatha were creating constant entries and the efforts of the Sale defence were outstanding, a big clash from Mitchell Thacker going back with the flight typified what the game meant for both teams. When Thacker hit the ground hard, concerns grew but thankfully he returned to the ground in a brave effort to play out the match.

Nic Dowse spoiled to great effect and a passage of play from Thacker who kicked out to Collins then inside to Wallace was capped off by a perfect forward entry kick to Gooch from Kane Martin.

It was Sale’s only goal for the quarter as Leongatha through strong clearance work extended the lead to twenty four points at the main break.

To stay in the match Sale had to hit the scoreboard early but it took until the tenth minute mark for Sale to goal. John Gooch kicked consecutive goals from snap shots to bring the margin under three goals, again it was Leongatha who responded, with a goal to just keep the Magpies at bay.

A free kick resulted in a gifted goal to Mckay and it was Leongatha who were on the back foot. Sale controlled the play but just couldn’t break through to get the margin in single figures.

A big tackle from Gooch on the wing bought a real strong feeling to the game but a late goal from the Parrots saw the margin hover at seventeen points at the three quarter time break.

As Fyfe again complemented players for there intensity he urged them to take it to the next level emphasising the need to win the contested ball and lay more tackles.

It was to no avail, the margin quickly blew out to forty two points midway in the last it was not a question of who was to win, it was Leongatha by how much.

A free kick to Gooch got a steadier for the Magpies and then a good running goal by Chris Laverty gave the Magpies hope, another goal to Mckay and suddenly the impossible seemed possible.

A long entry by Lipman saw Jordan Dessent mark and kick truly.

With the margin getting inside two goals it was whether Sale could do everything right in the short time to steal a victory.

The tension in the crowd rose, Fyfe drifted forward, the ball fell into his arms, he hand balled over the top to the running Mclindin but the ball rolled through for a behind. Ouch.

When Sale managed to get the ball back from the Leongatha forward line Mitch Dowse took a mark fifteen metres out, a goal would give the Magpies one centre clearance to get a shot on goal and win the game. Dowse sent the shot astray and the Magpies hopes were gone.

The Parrots took it to the other end and scored a behind with the siren sounding shortly after, Leongatha holding on to win by eleven points.

Whilst the players would be disappointed with the wasted late opportunities, it would be simplistic to highlight these because it was a matter of too little too late.

Leongatha overworked the Magpies in the middle parts of the match to really set up the victory, this is what the Magpies will be focusing on in review.

In weeks gone by selection of the best players was very straight forward but the match on Saturday was tough, indicative that the Magpies weren’t quite at there best.

Kane Martin was good on ball, his clean skills and decision making a highlight, whilst Chris Laverty showed his composure and experience in a variety of roles down back and through the middle.

Andrew Quirk, Jamie Sweeney and Nic Dowse were all strong down back, showing desperation and poise in defence. Jayden Allison and Jordan Dessent played solid games on ball and John Gooch looks to be hitting his best form as he kicked five goals.

The loss saw the Parrots jump to second and Sale go to third, two games clear of Moe in fourth. With the toughest task in Gippsland League football awaiting the Magpies in Maffra, the Magpies will look to rebound and put a strong performance together next Saturday.

Sam Anstee

Gippsland Times

WONTHAGGI Power secured their third victory for 2018 with a tough 12-point win over Drouin at home on Saturday.
There was plenty of feeling early on with several little spot fires breaking out in the first quarter. Power big men Toma Huther and Jordan Staley were particularly keen to get involved in the scrap, with the ruck battle between Huther and Drouin star Bob McCallum being very physical all afternoon.
The ensuing melee led to a 50-metre penalty handing Drouin and McCallum the first goal. Wonthaggi needed to regain their discipline as silly free kicks kept letting Drouin off the hook. A strong mark and goal from skipper Aiden Lindsay gave the Power their first, followed up by a great piece of foot candy from Luke O’Connor to give them the lead heading into quarter time.
The Power were dealt a cruel blow midway through the first with key forward Troy Harley straining his hamstring and taking, no further part in the game. Power coach Stuart Gilmour instructed his troops not to buy into the niggle of the Hawks and do the damage where it counts, on the scoreboard.
The players responded beautifully with Lachie Jones nailing a goal in the first minute of the second term. Goals to Staley, Pat Ryan and Tom Davey helped build the Power’s lead to 23-points at the long break. The rain began to spit during the third quarter, dropping the skill level and causing stoppage after stoppage. As usual Kane McCarthy was brilliant around the packs, putting his head in the hole and racking up big clearance numbers for the Power.
Just the one third quarter goal to Tom Murray kept the Power’s lead to 24-points at the final change. But the Hawks weren't done yet. Goals to Michael Laszczyk and Ed Morris brought the lead back to just 12-points. The Power gritted their teeth and found a settling goal in the latter stages through Logan West who did a terrific job up forward in the absence of Harley and gave Huther a chop out in the ruck. McCallum slotted his third goal right on the final siren after Huther had some choice words for his opposing number, reminding him of earlier in the afternoon.
South Gippsland Sentinel Times

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Match reviews by Kate Withers reporting for Latrobe Valley Express can be viewed in it's original content online here http://www.latrobevalleyexpress.com.au/story/5462546/maroons-see-off-tigers/?cs=1588

Sale v Leongatha match review written by Sam Anstee. To view original review online visit http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sqiehg

Match reviews by Warragul & Drouin Gazette and South Gippsland Sentinel Times are available to view online via subscription only.

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