Churchill put on a show for spectators in the annual Indigenous round fixture against Woodside at the weekend, running out comfortable winners on Saturday, 14.23 (107) to 7.9 (51).

The Wildcats went with the Cougars in the first term and trailed by just eight points at quarter-time but were blown out of the water in a four-goal-to-one second term to be 29 points in the red at half-time.

The margin was three goals in favour of Churchill at the final break but the home side put their foot to the floor with six goals in the last quarter to finish 56-point victors.

Brendan Holt led the way on the score board for the Cougars with three goals while Ben Kearns, Trav Brighton and Tristan Turpin kicked two, respectively.

The win consolidates third spot on the North Gippsland league senior ladder for Churchill with three games’ breathing room from defending premiers Sale City in fourth.

Kate Withers

Latrobe Valley Express

After trudging through season 2018 for 13 weeks without a win, Cowwarr have made it two-in-a-row with a stunning performance to put away defending premiers Sale City on Saturday, 14.10 (94) to 8.8 (56).

The Saints impressed from the first bounce and went into quarter-time with a handy 17-point lead before well and truly staking their claim on the game in the second with a four-goal-to-two term.

Shane Morgan’s stellar seven-goal haul on the back of three against Glengarry last week was a highlight for the Saints in what coach Brett McMaster described as a “morale-boosting” win.

“I was just really pleased. Obviously the week before we played some good footy and we sort of hoped we could do it again and probably thought we could,” McMaster said.

“Our pressure was great from the start and I think once the boys got a sniff it sort of gathered its own momentum from there.”

Despite having to wait until round 14 to notch their first win, McMaster said belief was never in short supply among the Saints playing group.

“It’s sort of been interesting. We’ve always felt like we’ve played better than results suggested and the best part is the easiest thing to at this stage would be to fall away,” he said.

“To the boys’ credit, they’ve been really good in their effort to keep trying to improve, working hard and we’re starting to see the reward for it.

“We’re pretty proud of the fact we haven’t done that.”

First-gamers Braxton Busse (midfield) and Andy McLean (ruck) were “really good” according to McMaster and stepped up in the absence of Will Runciman, Lachie McCallum and Sam Moran.

“I think there’s a bit more confidence among the group now,” McMaster said.

“It’s hard to get players to believe they’re doing things well when you don’t get the end results, and the message is that we are playing some good footy, and we’ve just got to have that self belief which is really there now.”

Kate Withers

Latrobe Valley Express

It was business as usual for league giants Yarram in the first half of the split round 15 as they made light work of Glengarry on Saturday, 17.22 (124) to 3.3 (21).

The Demons burst out of the blocks with their signature fiery start and tore away to lead by 39-points at the first break.

President Anthony Rodaughan said Glengarry, though “undermanned”, were “valiant” across the ground and “successfully clogged the game up for a quarter-and-a-half”.

Ben Vardy (flu) and Will Bodman (blister) were late withdrawals and made way for Jake Anderson and Wellesley Jenkins while playing-coach Matt Scholz missed out for the second week through illness.

“We perhaps overused the ball a bit at times and could have been quicker, kicked longer and got more goals, but keeping them to minimum score and going through the motions without injuries was very solid,” Rodaughan said.

Griffin Underwood again stood up to fill the role of coach in Scholz’s absence and was in “rare form all over the ground”, Dan Vardy was “influential” and the Demons’ engine room “ground Glengarry down through pressure and strength of numbers”.

Underwood was again among the best, as was Louis Rodaughan and Jake McFarland who all stood out for the Demons in their beyondblue fixture to raise awareness for mental health.

Yarram will now have a week of reprieve while the split round wraps up and return to take on defending premiers Sale City in a grand final rematch where the Demons should be near-unbackable favourites.

“We’re actually looking at ramping up training a bit. We want to make sure we get to the start of the finals in good shape,” Rodaughan said.

Kate Withers

Latrobe Valley Express


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