A six-goal haul to power forward Ben Kearns helped league leaders Churchill fend off Woodside on Saturday and keep second-placed Yarram at arm’s length with a game breathing room, 14.10 (94) to 7.12 (54).
Unfortunately for the visitors the glacial conditions did little to thwart the run of the Cougars with the home side asserting its dominance from the first bounce with five goals and four behinds to the Wildcats’ two points in the first quarter.
Their 32-point lead was etched back to just 13 points at half-time with Woodside making the most of the run in the closing minutes of the second term with six goals to Churchill’s three.
Any hopes the Wildcats’ had of causing an upset were quashed in the third quarter as Kearns ran rampant and the Cougars stretched their lead to seven goals even.
The final quarter was a scrap and Woodside managed one goal from six scoring shots and Churchill one goal from five scoring shots.
Brayden Kokshoorn kicked three goals for the Cougars in the win while Joel Mason kicked two and singles went to Cain Iorangi, Ryan Lowrie and Blake Slater.
Among the best were Kearns, Luke Brereton and Jordan Fenech.
Heyfield didn't concede a goal as it defeated a hapless Gormandale by 99 points.
The visiting Kangaroos kicked seven unanswered goals in the first term to set-up their 15.15 (105) to 0.6 (6) victory.
Best-on-ground Adam Wallace and Kodie Woodland helped the Kangaroos dominate the midfield.
Scott Anderson was again solid at full back, but also drifted forward to kick a goal, while Trent Anderson and Dylan Patmore also made good contributions.
Joel Dinsdale and Jesse Jackway kicked three goals each as the Kangaroos kept their hold on fourth place.
Sale City ended a run of three consecutive losses by defeating Glengarry at Stephenson Park.
Bohdi Walker kicked five goals and Nick Grainger three in the 12.5 (77) to 4.4 (28) victory, which keep the Bulldogs in touch with the North Gippsland football top five.
The Bulldogs dominated early, kicking six goals to one in the first half to lead by 30 points at the main break.
The home side added three goals to one in both of the third and fourth terms to win by 49 points in a much-needed victory.
The Bulldogs were not troubled in the midfield, with Josh Tollner, Jacob Schuback, Elliot Hunt and Ben Chivers using the ball well in the wintry conditions.
Tom Bowman and Josh Barton were part of a near-impenetrable defence.
Jake Read and Ryan Chandler were the Magpies' best players.
Traralgon-Tyers United got out of jail in a low-scoring wintry scrap over Cowwarr at the weekend, 4.8 (32) to 3.4 (22).
The Bombers established a handy seven-point lead at the first break which would go on to hold them in good stead in appalling conditions.
The second term was much of the same and the home side managed to maintain their seven-point buffer heading into the second half.
Michael Duncan and Tim Aitken led the way for TTU in the win with two goals each while Andrew Cunningham, Nick Wozniak and Vincent Johnston scored one each for the Saints.
Among the best for the Bombers in the win were Billy Morrison, Zach Kilgower and Guy Sinclair.
Yarram kicked six goals to two in the second half to defeat Rosedale by 38 points.
The Blues missed the opportunity to bridge the gap between the second and third-placed teams on the North Gippsland football ladder on Saturday, as the Demons notched their 10th straight win with a 8.15 (63) to 4.1 (25) victory at home.
The teams were level at quarter-time, with the visitors more accurate in front of goal, booting two goals straight to the Demons' 1.6.
The Demons edged ahead by half-time, kicking the only major to lead by seven points.
The Blues were again held goal-less during the third term, as Yarram added three to extend the margin to 30 by the final change of ends, a big lead on a wet day.
The Demons kicked three goals to two in the final quarter.
Zach Richards kicked three goals for Yarram, with Jack Weston and Louis Rodaughan best for the Demons.
The Blues were best served by Matt Royal in attack, Sam Bristow in defence and midfielder Rohan Diamond.
LADDER AFTER ROUND 13
LEADING GOAL KICKERS AFTER ROUND 13
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Traralgon-Tyers United v Cowwarr and Churchill v Woodside match reviews published by Latrobe Valley Express. To view original article in full online click here.
Gormandale v Heyfield, Sale City v Glengarry and Yarram v Rosedale match reviews written by David Braithwaite reporting for Gippsland Times. To view original article in full online click here.