Yinnar advanced to the second semi-final after their dramatic win over YYN in trying conditions at Mirboo North on Saturday in the Qualifying Final.

Conditions varied throughout the day with sunny periods, rain and wind causing both teams discomfort. Yinnar proved better in the end but they had to come from behind to snatch an 11 point win. Even a scoreboard malfunction in the last term didn’t deter Yinnar in their endeavours to continue to go forward to meet Trafalgar.

Sam McCulloch in his 100th game for Yinnar scored the first major but Josh Keyhoe levelled only minutes later. Even in the windy conditions both teams were on target and by the first break it was a 3-0 each ball game with Dean McDonald bringing up his 95th goal for the season.

Yinnar played better in the second term and used the ball a lot better than YYN who lost control of the ball far too often in turn overs. Brendan Chapman and Jimmy Dowling were good for Yinnar and the battle between Jaime Aitken and Dean McDonald was an even tussle with Aitken limiting the class forward to three hard earned goals.  YYN were out of the blocks with an Anthony Young goal and took the lead and a further goal to Dean McDonald blew the lead out to 12 points. Matt Dyke was strong for Yinnar and Mick Stockdale was impressive in his first final with Yinnar. Keenan Hughes and Josh Keyhoe were also good for the Bombers. Yinnar bounced back again with a goal and it was a nine goal straight shootout.

It took Tyler Chisholm to break the behind drought bringing up the first 15 minutes into the term. Nathan Rowley scored for Yinnar and the Magpies hit the front, a further goal to Liam Visser saw Yinnar hit the big break a goal up. It was tough in the trenches with rain falling and darkness descending but the lights were yet to make an appearance. Nathan Rowley extended Yinnar’s lead giving them the biggest break of the match. Barrie Burnett switched positions and this gave the Bombers more drive, Lachlan Little and Elliot DeCarli with a goal each wrested back the lead to YYN but a couple of minor scores saw both teams 7-3 at the three quarter break.

Two minutes in Josh Keyhoe scored his second for YYN and it was game on again as the lead swung YYN’s way. Dean McDonald executed a perfect soccer shot to score his third and the Bombers were looking the goods. The lights were eventually turned on and this arked up Yinnar who scored two goals in as many minutes to get back the lead. Scoreboard confusion reigned for a few moments but eventually they got it right and with minutes to go the Pies were only a point up. Yinnar in an attacking mode score more minors until Liam Visser kicked the most important goal of the match with only a minute to play which gave Yinnar an 11 point victory.

Laurie Williams (Independent observer)


1/4 time: Mirboo North 4.3.27 Thorpdale 1.0.6

1/2 time: Mirboo North 6.4.40 Thorpdale 2.5.17

3/4 time: Mirboo North 11.9.75 Thorpdale 2.6.18


Conditions for Sunday’s elimination final were worse after overnight rain made conditions difficult, a strong breeze to the northern end made it difficult kicking into the wind. Unfortunately for Thorpdale they had their big guns missing, Josh Collie, Ed Greene and Cam Hillbrick three players with over 100 goals were sidelined and this reflected Thorpdale’s lack of fire power up front.

Mirboo North with the wind were able to score a “double-goal” within the first eight minutes, Jack Robinson scored for the Tigers then got a whack after the kick and Matt Holland stepped up and took the free giving the Tigers a charity goal. Further goals to Mitch Wightman and Zac Kilgower gave the Tigers a decent start. Thorpdale struggled up forward but Phil Bennett was allowed some freedom, shrugging off a tackle to score Thorpdale’s first major.

With the wind Thorpdale were expected to score more freely but the ball got stuck in their forward line and with no established forward players they lost control with frequent “ball-ups”. Mirboo North were strong across the back. Gavin Lowe was good for Thorpdale using his height but Thorpdale’s disposal at times was terrible and Mirboo North were using Thorpdale’s poor play to their advantage. Mirboo North’s coach Josh Taylor was an inspirational leader at both ends of the ground. Mirboo North added two goals against the wind and at half time led 6-4 to 2-5.

Mirboo North increased their intensity for the last half, Tim Traill started to fire up forward with two more goals and Daniel Taylor also bagged a couple as Mirboo North pushed their advantage. Thorpdale’s Corey Celima and Daniel Hammond were good but lacked support. Mirboo North using the wind to their advantage and by three-quarter time the lead had blown out to 57 points. Thorpdale made an effort in the last term with a couple of goals but the end was near for Thorpdale as their season came crashing down with Mirboo North running out comfortable winners 12-10 to 5-8.

Laurie Williams (Independent observer)


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