Straight kicking was the order of the day for Bairnsdale on Saturday afternoon as it held off a less accurate Morwell side to notch its first win of the season, 14.3 (87) to 8.7 (55).
Bairnsdale kicked six goals straight to the Tigers’ 1.2 in the first quarter, and went into half-time with a stunning eight straight to lead by 11 points.
The Redlegs’ lead was extended to 22 points by the final change, and they held the Tigers to just two behinds in the fourth quarter to win by 32 points.
Shaun Wyatt and Brayden McCarrey led the way for Bairnsdale on the scoreboard with three goals each. Defenders Keenan Hynes and Brayden Radford helped keep the Tigers’ forwards at bay.Gippsland Times
Ladder leaders Moe remain undefeated after a stunning come-from-behind victory over old foes Traralgon under lights on Saturday night.
The Maroons were on track to seal their first win of the 2019 season and led at every break but were held goalless in the final term to be overrun by eight points, 9.7 (61) to 8.5 (53).
The home side burst out of the blocks with a five-goal-to-one opening term to set themselves up with a healthy 25-point lead at the first break.
The margin was cut back to eight points at half-time and stretched out to three goals in Traralgon’s favour at the last change before an onslaught of four straight goals helped Moe over the line.
Ash Dugan was the only multiple goalscorer for the Lions in the win with two while singles went to Jacob Wood, Dylan Farrell, Cambell Staff, Darnell Grech and Tyson Biffin.
For the Maroons, Kody Wilson, Troy Forrest and Dylan Loprese kicked two apiece and Riley Loprese and Jackson McMahon one each.
Among the best for the unbeaten Moe side were Bernie Vince, Mitch Stanlake and Tom Long.Latrobe Valley Express
A typically willing and hard fought game, but nothing untoward, between neighbourhood rivals fell Drouin’s way when it outlasted Warragul at Western Park on Sunday.
The Hawks won 10-10 to 8-9 after a terrific battle before a good crowd that got full value for money.
Earlier rain disappeared for the match and the breeze had little impact.
Drouin was never headed after the Gulls posted the first score of the match, a behind, but that was all it had on the board at quarter time.
Much of the play in the opening five minutes had been between Warragul’s half forward line and the middle of the ground.
But the Gulls couldn’t break through Drouin’s tackling and pressure.
The Hawks had lost David Miller (broken arm) and Ryan Taylor, who began in the ruck, for the game within the first 10 minutes.
A snap goal from Todd Beck at the six-minute mark got the Hawks underway and with Bob McCallum, who’d started forward going into the ruck after Taylor was injured, they took charge of the term.
Goals to Eddie Morris, Josh Seri and Bailey Beck in the final six minutes of the quarter took Drouin to a handy and, as it proved at the finish, a match-winning 4-2 to 0-1 lead.
A tight and tough first 10 minutes opened the second term with neither side able to make headway until Warragul’s Jake Nuttall goaled from a free kick, reward for a great tackle, and a strong Nic Mulqueen mark resulted in another.
Drouin’s Tom Barr, having a top game on a wing and through the middle of the ground, steadied things for his side with a fine running goal and when Chris Robinson won a marking contest and kicked truly from 45 metres just before the half time siren the Hawks were able to take a 6-5 to 2-2 lead into the break. However, the Gulls certainly weren’t done. Coach Ben Hughes started the third term with a goal less than 30 seconds from the start.
Seri answered that for Drouin, then Matthew Ross, Tom Kelly and Hughes again strung together three goals to get the Gulls within five points.
Warragul had dominated centre clearances during that period.
Drouin had also become a bit sloppy in its work around the ground but regrouped enough to create chances.
It added three behinds before Todd Beck marked and goaled at the 25-minute mark to have his side in front 8-7 to 6-6 at the threequarter time break. It was touch and go in the last quarter. Warragul had its chances, especially in the final eight to 10 minutes, but didn’t capitalise.
A well-structured attack by the Gulls to create an overlap was finished off by a Luke Di Ciero goal to get with seven points.
Rhys Salter, Drouin’s acting captain on the day, answered that with a superb left foot goal on the run from an angle. But Warragul was still coming. A booming kick from Mitch Nobelius, on the end of the ball fed out from a congested contest, brought the margin back to seven points with plenty of time still left.
Drouin was in survival mode and lacked forward options when it did have chances to attack.
The result was sealed with less than a minute to go when Seri was left the only player forward of the centre for Drouin and no opponent within 40 metres,
He swooped on a long clearing kick, ran 60 metres and goaled from the square.
Pre-game Gulls’ coach Ben Hughes said one poor quarter had cost his side in each of the opening two games.
It did again on Sunday, the first term, and after then they were playing catch up football.
Warragul named its best as Sam Whibley, who battled hard against McCallum for hitouts, defenders Nic Stevenson and Jake Hughes, rover Kim Drew, Shaun Beecroft and Jack Nutall.
Another of the back group, James Davidson, also deserved recognition and Matthew Ross was busy and always dangerous when forward.
For Drouin, its player awards went to Barr and Bailey Beck, both excellent over four quarters, key defenders Brendan Dower and Liam Anderson for restricting potential Warragul match-winners Ben Hughes and Matt Rennie to a total of two goals, and Salter.
But there is no denying the major contributions of McCallum, Morris and newcomer this year Chris Robinson. They stood up when it really mattered. McCallum dominated ruck contests, particularly in the second half; Robinson won plenty of the ball, tackled hard and was in the thick of the contests, and on-baller Eddie Morris was – well – Eddie Morris.
As one astute observer with plenty of playing experience at the highest level of football remarked after the game:- “had Morris been playing for Warragul (instead of Drouin) the Gulls would have won by four goals”.
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Bairnsdale v Morwell match review published by the Gippsland Times. To view original article in full online click here.
Traralgon v Moe match review published by Latrobe Valley Express. To view original article in full online click here.
Warragul v Drouin match review published by Warragul & Drouin Gazette. To view original article in full online subscribe to WDG here.