MID GIPPSLAND FL ROUND 7 MATCH REVIEWS – by Laurie Williams
Tarwin’s trip over the hills brought some joy after the big trip, the win over Morwell East the highlight of the round. Hill End amassed their second highest score over Thorpdale while Foster annihilated their 2019 Grand Final opponent Stony Creek. Fish Creek did a number on Boolarra, Yinnar continued to win in the battle of the Magpies and MDU had a comfort win over Newborough.
MORWELL EAST v TARWIN
Morwell East were expecting to do well against Tarwin who have had a mixed bag so far, the East lost playmaker Rob Michaelides prior to the match which was a big blow to the team. The Sharks in their first venture to Morwell East jumped away from the East, steady play on the big East oval allowed Tarwin plenty of room and their playmakers of Matt Williams and Kaj Patterson were constantly pushing forward. Morwell East without Michaelides were lost although Joel Soutar was back as they failed to goal in the first quarter. Tarwin with more purpose were able to build up a reasonable scoreline converting most times after getting the ball within the fifty. The East’s Shaun Barnes was again getting plenty of kicks, albeit from defence as Tarwin consistently put the Hawks under pressure. Morwell East overcame their demons in the second with three goals but Tarwin were allowed to add another goal and by half time the Sharks were hanging onto a 17 point lead. A double fifty against Morwell East just after the break gave Tarwin a good break with a goal to Oliver McLean. Morwell East were pressured and failed to find the middle with five successive behinds while Tarwin were able to importantly add goals, two goals to Kaj Patterson stretched the lead and the Sharks were becoming more confident. A melee developed just before three quarter as players were flung onto the ground with a lot of pushing and shoving, but no punching. Tarwin were in excess of 30 point leaders at the three quarter break. In the last Tarwin to the southern end found it difficult to score goals and five behinds resulted as Morwell East pushed hard in defence. The East at the mid part of the term suddenly found form and scored three goals within three minutes in a defiant comeback but were still well behind but it did shake up Tarwin who were caught napping. Tarwin’s defensive line of Cade Brown, Matt Zagni and Brenton Taber were keeping the Hawks at bay with long kicks and tight play. Tarwin got one back around the 20 minute mark but then the East replied through Joel Soutar but it was too late to make a real difference. Morwell East had the advantage of having 11 free kicks to three in the last quarter but Tarwin kept a good lead and when Ryan Santon goaled near the siren it was all over for the East as they went down 8-11 to 11-12. Matt Williams Ryan Santon, Kaj Patterson and Tom Van der Kolk were good for the Sharks while Brandon Francis, Eric Semmler, Shaun Barnes and Daniel Hutchinson battled hard for the East.
HILL END v THORPDALE
Hill End had to replace full forward Chase Saunders in their match against Thorpdale and with a narrowing list to choose from it was the coach Mick Santo who filled the goal square. He had been out of the game for long while but instantly made his presence felt between the sticks. Saunders needed one more goal to reach 100 goals for the Enders (in 23 matches) but this will now have to wait. Hill End amassed their second highest tally against Thorpdale which was in 2019. A six goal to two first and second quarters set the pattern for a big score and Hill End proceeded to blow Thorpdale away in the third with a succession of Hill End players stepping up to score goals, Mick Santo and Dylan Brooks amongst them as they added 10-5 to Thorpdale’s sole point. Hill End somewhat slowed down in the final term as Thorpdale never gave up to keep Hill End under pressure but the Hillmen eventually running out winners by 127 points. Mick Santo scored seven goals in a huge comeback and Dylan Brooks belted five in a top display. Hayden Calway topped the Hill End best with good support from Dylan Brooks, Dane Fawcett and Jack Hudson. Thorpdale top scorer was Matt Powell with four, to go to second spot on the goal table with 21 for the season. Their best being Matt Powell, Shannon Pickering, Joel Monger and Jarrah Burgess.
FOSTER v STONY CREEK
Wind the clock back to the Grand Final of 2019 when these two battled it out for the last Alberton FL premiership which was won by Foster 8-7 to 7-6. The same two teams met again on Saturday but the result was a far bigger tally than people would have expected, Foster smashing Stony Creek by 168 points, one of their biggest wins over the Creek. There is a lot of history between these two ex-Alberton FL teams with close matches throughout the years but Saturday’s result was unbelievable as the Tigers completely over-ran the Lions in the big Cat battle. Even by half time the message was clear as Foster had almost 100 points on the board to six. After half time Foster took control adding another 14 goals to their impressive first half and in doing that kept Stony Creek to one behind for the half. There were plenty of goalkickers for Foster as they lined up to take their turn, Reece Geary topped the poll just failing to get double figures (9) and Troy Van Dyke scored four, nine other players getting listed as goalkickers. Ossy Brennan kicked 100 percent of Stony’s goals. Looking for best players for Foster was difficult as everyone pitched in to produce a good team effort. For the Creek it’s been a difficult ride so far to be on the bottom without a win.
BOOLARRA v FISH CREEK
Fish Creek were big winners over Boolarra giving the Demons a good old hiding to the tune of 140 points. Fish Creek won in most positions after breaking open in the first quarter with a 7-4 to 1-0 tally and by half time had almost doubled the score. It was all one way traffic as Fish Creek took Boolarra apart with strong play and a strong determination. Up forward the Roos had Jordan Shaw would showed expert marksmanship finishing with nine goals but unselfishly gave four away to teammates in better positions. The only light for Boolarra Aidyn Sheers with four goals but there was only one other contributor to the scoreline with best player Brendon Mason pinging one through. Fish Creek could have written down ten good players with Shaw and Brady Mitchell (7 goals) in the mix but it was Matthew Watkins, Ethan Park and Angus Stucki who deserved the honours.
MDU v NEWBOROUGH
MDU and Newborough battled it out in the close one with the Demons taking the game by 26 points but there was early signs that the Bulldogs could get off the bottom of the table as they led the Demons at the first break although there was very little between the two teams. MDU got going in the second term with Thomas Brew and Tim Harris Jnr showing passages of good play, T Findlay was showing promise while for the Dogs Joel Mitchell and coach Peter Ainsworth were both active players. There were a host of goalkickers as MDU put on a six goal term. Newborough added three to make the margin over 14 points at the big break. The second half belonged to MDU as they added 6-2 to the Doggies 3-8, a half where Newborough threw away chances with inaccurate shooting for goals. There is no excuse for trained players to miss in front goals, which must frustrate coaches of all grades. Newborough fired back in the last with 3-3 but MDU went one better with 4-1 to run out good winners their first ever over Newborough. Joel Mitchell finished with five goals for Newborough while nine players contributed to MDU’s tally with Jason Kennedy the best with three.
YINNAR v TOORA
Yinnar won their match over Toora in the battle of the Magpies but there were some anxious moments for Yinnar as their forwards went walkabout in the second term, they should have been at least eight or nine goals in front by half time but the scoreboard read a miserable tally of 4-11 to 1-3. Yinnar played with more purpose after half time and led comfortably at three quarter. The last term was a goal fest as both teams traded goals keeping the goal umpires earning their pay. Yinnar with enough in the bank scored four while Toora upstaged their opponents with a 5-3 last term but it wasn’t enough to vary the final margin too much as Yinnar ran out winners by 33 points. Michael Burge scored five for Yinnar and was voted as best, other stars for Yinnar were Blake VanderMeer, Brendan Chapman and Ben Cheffers while for the other Magpies, Matt Baxter scored four also winning the best player gong along with Luke Manders, Ben Willder and Peter Grant.
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