MID GIPPSLAND FNL ROUND 15 MATCH REVIEWS – by Laurie Williams
With no MGFNL matches for just over a month, round 15 was eventually played, albeit without crowds and it threw up many some interesting results. With Covid restrictions many of the ex-Alberton clubs struggled to field teams with Tarwin and Foster having to forfeit their reserves. It was a day of upsets as Boolarra upended a more fancied Foster team where both were missing key players due the metro lockdown. Newborough finished their season with a huge win while Morwell East started slowly but recovered with a good win over MDU. Fish Creek and Yinnar put on a thriller with the Roos just getting home by 5 points and Mirboo North with an record list of goalkickers easily defeated Toora by over 20 goals.
MORWELL EAST v MDU
It was strange to see only 20 cars around the fence at Morwell East where the home side welcomed MDU for their first official game at the Hawkery. Celebrations were in store for Steve Buhagiar who umpired his 1000th game. Tommy Brew had the first goal on the board for MDU within a few minutes while Morwell East struggled to get forward being met by a Crash of Rhinos as MDU bottled up the East’s forward line. The East started to get their game going in the second but it was a hard slog as many unfit players from both sides were cramping and running out of puff. By half time the East had recovered and were leading by 8 points but after the spell came out a different team in the third to get their act together, Daniel Hutchinson was on target with good goals while the East were running the ball well. MDU fell away and were overpowered by the East who kept the Demons to only two minors for the term. By three quarter the East led by 36 points and increased this to 57 points at the finish. Daniel Hutchinson finished with 5 goals while Rob Michaelides finish with three. Tom Brew bagged a couple for MDU. Brendon Francis, Rob Michaelides, Eric Semmler and Jarrod Lont were all good for the East while for Keiron Bohn, Joel Sinclair, Mick Smith and Erik O’Loughlin gave their all for the Demons. Morwell East 12-9 d MDU 3-6.
FISH CREEK v YINNAR
The Kangaroos were undermanned with 13 regular players missing from their line-up as they faced a determined Yinnar side. The match worthy of a good crowd but that wasn’t possible under current rules. Fish Creek ended up winning by five points in a match where the lead changed five times in the last quarter. Fish Creek led at every change but it was only a three point advantage at ¾ time and Yinnar hit the front just minutes into the last term. It was goal for goal as both teams tried to gain the lead. Yinnar had many chances in the last but a poster and a four minors didn’t help their cause. Fish Creek’s replacement players stepped up to the mark and made it a competitive match against Yinnar. The win giving Fish Creek third place at the expense of Foster who bowed out against Boolarra. Twenty-six goals were scored in a tough but free flowing contest, Darcy Berryman finished with five for Fish Creek which included the winning goal at the 31 minute mark of the last term. Yinnar’s Matt Mosley bagged four and Harrison McColl three. For the Creek Keiron Dorling, Ethan Park, Gus Staley and Lachlan Marr were best while for Yinnar Zac Schill, Daniel Yates, Danny Campbell and Jarrod Henderson were given as best. Fish Creek 14-8 d Yinnar 12-15
NEWBOROUGH v STONY CREEK
Newborough finish their senior season on a high note with a big win over Stony Creek, scoring their second highest win for the season. The Dogs were led by star forward Joel Mitchell with the youngster bagging 11 goals in another top display to put him on top of the goalkicking list and now will have an anxious wait for a week to see if he has won the league ‘s top scorer. It was a fitting finale for the Dogs and coach Peter Ainsworth although finishing 12th wasn’t on the cards for Newborough. The Bulldogs were in form early against a weakened Stony Creek team who have struggled all year, to boot eight goals in the first quarter to set up a good buffer. Newborough increased their goal tally each quarter to run out good winners in their shortened season. With his 11 goals Joel Mitchell was voted as best but had good support from Josh Bland, Jake Bowden and coach Peter Ainsworth. For Stony Creek it’s been a sad season and if there was a wooden-spoon then Stony Creek would become the not so proud owners in their first season of Mid Gippy football. Tom Stone, Sam Marriott, John Phillips and Ben Heath toiled hard for Stony Creek. Newborough 20-9 d Stony Creek 5-6
BOOLARRA v FOSTER
Boolarra pulled off the biggest surprise of the round by beating Foster in a game where Foster, a finals contender went into the game as favourites. Covid restrictions left both teams under strength as metro players were disallowed from playing. Boolarra with two milestone players in Ken Towt (400 senior games) and Matt Windsor (100 senior games) were just that much better than Foster who led the match at half time by five points. Boolarra came good in the third with four goals to Foster’s 2 behinds and this was enough for the Demons to hang on to an 18 point buffer going into the last term. It was a tug of war in the final quarter, Boolarra missed chances with 1-5 while Foster couldn’t do much better with 1-3 to give Boolarra a 20 point first win bragging rights over Foster. Vince Corbett and Aidyn Sheers both scored two goals for Boolarra and for the Tigers Zane Duursma bagged two. The Mason boys, Brendan and Joel were voted the best two for the Demons with James Holmes and Josh Hussey in good support. For the Tigers it was a hard battle with a depleted side but Josh Toner, Ted Holmann, Oliver Callcott and Brad Coates were all prominent. Due to missing players Foster had to forfeit to Boolarra in the reserves. Boolarra 7-12 d Foster 4-10
MIRBOO NORTH v TOORA
In a one sided match Mirboo North gave Toora a touch up to secure second position on the ladder. In a situation where players were missing due to Covid restrictions and Metro lockdown both teams were below regular standard. Mirboo North had Coach Josh Taylor, Liam Nash and Hudson Kerr playing in the two’s to make up numbers, usually the two’s make up for senior players but the roles were reversed this time round. Toora were also undermanned and were easily beaten by the Tigers. A goal-less first half didn’t auger well for Toora while the Tigers scored 9-9. After half time Mirboo North consolidated their position, Josh Taylor setting the example with four goals but the club but he shared the rest of the goals with a record 15 players getting on the score-list as Mirboo North tallied 22-21 to Toora’s 3-4. Best for the Tigers were Mitchell Wightman, Harley Foat, Joel Lambourn, Oakley and Hudson Kerr. For Toora, Harley Hoppner was again to the fore with another best player award supported by Leigh Biemans, Daniel Mock and Tom Kelly.
HILL END v TARWIN
Hill End got away from Tarwin after a slow first half, the Sharks were competitive against a lower strength Hill End side who missed regular players including star forward Chase Saunders. The Hillmen were ahead at half time by 15 points after the Sharks had rallied in the second quarter with five goal burst. After the break Hill End got moving Dylan Brooks a good sub on the forward line and with coach Mike Santo in good support were able to score seven goals to wrap up the match by three quarter. The Hillmen went through the motions in the last quarter adding a further six goals to record a solid win against a team that was below regular strength. Dylan Brooks and Mike Santo both scored four goals for the Enders with best being given as Nathan Balfour, Ben Kerrigan, Bayley Paul and Luke Mulqueen. For Tarwin Kaj Patterson, Ben Ellen, Dylan Garnham and Tom Van der Kolk were best. Hill End 20-13 d Tarwin 6-7. Due to lack of players Tarwin were forced to forfeit their reserves.
At this stage Morwell East has been selected as the venue for the Grand Final.
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