Welcomed by beautiful winter conditions, Nar Nar Goon made the trip down the highway to play a red hot first half of football against the Panthers.
Kilcunda-Bass were dominated by a well-structured Nar Nar Goon attack in the first two terms. The Goons were after first use, attacking the ball. The physically fit side made courageous yet simple endeavours to go after the ball when it was in dispute.
K-B worked hard to move the ball forward, but fell short the kick before goals.
The Goons often rebounded – they attacked convincingly, relying on either a switch of play or strong mid-field leads.
Scoring a late two goals in the first quarter, the Panthers were lucky to stay amongst the competition.
The second term presented a fairly even amount of possession, but as much as Bass struggled to penetrate attacking 50, Nar Nar Goon entered with poise – kicking four goals, two points in the second term, while the Panthers were scoreless.
Trent Armour and Jake Blackwood were two of the Goons most consistent, playing on the ball they teamed well and were instrumental in the first half.
Nar Nar Goon’s core side have been playing together for six seasons, which was clear through their well spread leadership and multiple ball winners.
K-B’s Riley Cousins was effective throughout the game, proving his value particularly when things weren’t going the locals’ way.
In the middle, Goon ruckman Eamon Trigg was both powerful and athletic, and fierce competition.
The Panthers’ Ned Bradley fought bravely in opposition and wasn’t prepared to lower his colours.
Impressive young footballer Jack Rosenow made an impact around the ground with class. He kicked a nice goal and has shown great signs of development this season.
Damien Holmes was the senior leader K-B needed, Holmes played well through the four quarters.
Kilcunda-Bass’ primary goal kicker Tyson Gibson was very valuable as he kicked five straight. Heavy lifter Jake Weightman was the barometer in the second half as the Panthers began to show signs of wanting the ball more than their opponent. K-B began to show signs of old, their dominance attacking the ball evident in the Goons’ scoreless final term.South Gippsland Sentinel TImes
Staring down the barrel at quarter-time of what could well have been a shock upset, the reigning premier Phillip Island needed to adapt against a hungry Bunyip outfit.
And that it did, eventually finding its groove and remaining undefeated to stay on top of the West Gippsland ladder, 17.14 (116) to 5.7 (37).
In a rare, goalless first term, the Yips made the Island pay on the scoreboard, slamming on the first four goals, and crucially, denying danger man, Cameron Pedersen the ability to have any real influence.
But the Island re-adjusted, giving Pedersen the supply he needed, and by half-time, the visitors had completely turned the screws, slamming on six of the seven second-quarter goals to open up a 13-point lead.
With Pedersen turning in yet another eye catching display on his way to six goals and, once again, a likely best on ground, as well as the likes of Brendan Kimber, Hayden Bruce (six goals), Marcus Wright and Zak Vernon injecting their class on the contest and starting to dominate, the Island was merciless in the second-half.
The margin quickly ballooned out to 55 at three quarter time after the Island went berserk to kick seven goals straight and keep the home side scoreless, before once again holding the Dogs goalless in the final term and slamming on a further four themselves. That's 11.6 to 0.6 in the second half alone.
With the race for the top set to go down to the wire, the vital percentage booster could prove extremely handy.
The Stars took to the Beswick Street ground on their past players day with one thing, and one thing only in mind - victory.
Hayden Stanton's young side had showed plenty of strong signs throughout the opening 10 rounds of the season but the relative inconsistency of an inexperienced group loomed large, and proved costly, at stages.
Fighting desperately to stay within realistic reach of the top five, it was vital the Stars finished off their strong early work on Saturday and came away with the four points.
And they got off to a dream start - booting the first five goals of the match until a long set shot from Kooweerup big man Mitch Collins sailed through in the opening stages of the second term.
At quarter-time, Ben Collins and his men knew they had plenty of work to do.
Despite having a number of promising forward entries early, they failed to capitalise and the Stars took the momentum and ran with it.
The Demons' forwards, and a number of their key barometers across the ground, looked flat early in a worrying sign for the visitors.
By contrast, the Stars were in the fight up to their eyeballs.
Collins urged his charges to lift their intensity and desperation in the second, and that's exactly what they did - roaring back with five goals to two to trail by just a point at the main break, 6.4 (40) to 5.9 (39).
After kicking five of the last six goals before the break, the Demons had turned the game on its head - thanks largely to the likes of Nathan Muratore (with his penetrating kicking), Matt Voss (with his creativity), and Joel Gibson and Mitch Cammarano (with their hardness at the contest).
The Demons lifted their defensive intensity noticeably in the second - piling on the tackles, particularly in comparison to their first quarter effort.
Troy Dolan's impact in his negating role on Garfield gun ball user Tanner Stanton was telling at stages, but to their credit, the Stars made another concerted push in the third - booting five goals to two to take a telling 22-point lead into the final change.
Marsh (two goals) was vital to their cause, along with the likes of Jayden Goumas, Daniel Helmore (three goals), and the leadership of Nick Macente.
The Demons took their first lead of the contest at the 8:30 mark of the third, courtesy of the Voss boys - Matt and Nathan - combining for a telling major, but less than three minutes later Marsh made his biggest impact at the other end of the ground for the Stars.
He kicked truly after taking a brilliant grab inside forward 50, and capitalised again for the second time in as many minutes.
Zane Harper's goal soon after only added to the momentum suddenly piling on the Demons once again - with the Stars now leading by 15 points.
Despite there being a number of missed, gettable opportunities inside forward 50 from both sides, the Stars seemed able to keep their focus for a little longer - to push themselves that little bit harder.
When Jason Wells goaled late in the term to reduce the deficit to just 15 points for Kooweerup, Garfield responded with a startling coast-to-coast, back-breaking goal - finished off by the most unlikely of goal-kickers, favourite son and regular defender Angus Mitchell. It typified the Demons' frustration. With a quarter left to play in the contest, Hayden Stanton urged his men to keep up their own intensity at the coalface.
Full of nothing but praise for both his young guns, and more experienced heads - such as Versatile tall Michael Wallace’s efforts were telling at key moments against the Demons.
Marsh - he spoke, tellingly, about belief.
It's often the hardest thing to maintain for young sides, but this group was maturing in front of Stanton's eyes - and, tellingly, a strong contingent of its past players watching on over the boundary, including the likes of Ben and Andy Soumilas.
"We're better in the jungle!" Hayden said of his side's fight, in the closing moments of his three quarter-time address.
Koowee booted three majors in the last, but some more costly lapses in concentration tellingly crept in - keeping victory just out of reach.
The Stars, meanwhile, grabbed their chance with both hands - and with it, keeping their season very much alive.
Inverloch-Kongwak is coming of age as of late and their huge win over Warragul on Saturday may suggest they have turned the corner.
The side were in dominant form at Inverloch Recreation Reserve, getting the jump with a 32-6 quarter time lead and never looking back. Coach Tom McQualter was pleased by the performance of some of his young guys.
“I’m really excited about Oscar Toussaint and Lachy Scott in the middle. They’re both so clean and they break the game open for us,” he said.
“Cusack in defence took about 12 marks and had his best game for us as well.” IK were dominant in the middle, winning contested footy through Toussaint, Scott and Hawking and delivering it into the forward line for Van Driel, Gibbins and Beattie-Powell, who had 10 goals between them, to take advantage.
“I’m pleased we competed hard on the inside and opened the game up with switches to give our forwards good looks at it,” coach McQualter said. “Our key forwards Tristan (Van Driel) and Sam (Gibbins) presented really well all day and finished off well, which was good to see.” The home side’s play was too overwhelming for the visiting Industrials and they took a 65-13 lead into half-time.
Like many games as of late though, the Sea Eagles experienced a rough patch in the first half of the third quarter, allowing the away side a chance to find their feet.
“The ability to maintain the appropriate intensity for a full game, we don’t have it at the moment,” coach McQualter said. “That lapse didn’t hurt us this week, but that’s the lapse against Phillip Island that cost us four goals and cost us the game.” Despite the rough patch, IK were able to take a 43-point lead into the final break and continue their dominance in the final term to record an important win after two straight losses.The Great Southern Star
The buds of future success were on display for Korumburra-Bena as they held off an improved Dalyston in their round 11 clash last Saturday.
In fine conditions the Giants, fielding 16 players under the age of 21, claimed their third victory of the season despite the Magpies throwing everything at them in the final term.
Dalyston in recent times has been plagued by injury and were pleased to inject four quality inclusions, Wylie, Whittaker, Wilson and Flynn Brosnan back into their line-up and they started the game with confidence.
Having played predominately across the backline Darcy Wilson was thrown forward and his strong tackle a minute into the contest paid immediate dividends with a 50 metre penalty for good measure and the Pies had the start they were after.
The Giants kicking to the town end were keen to respond and Jye Celebrine kicked truly with a snap to nail their first.
Both teams were keen to play a fast style of football and the Pies looked potent as Ben Lewis fired the ball to Wilson who knocked it into the path of Jarvis Kilgour who dobbed their second. And in turn the teams traded goals with Celebrine for the Giants and Corey Wakefield for Dalyston kicking the next couple and the crowd knew that they would be in for a great afternoon’s entertainment.
Next Jordy Hill baulked his opponent delightfully and his centring pass found Rhys Dixon straight in front.
Crucially for the home team the final ten minutes of the quarter saw them seize a 16 point advantage with captain Ben Fitzpatrick sliding through his team’s fourth entering time on and Ash Snooks converting a free kick paid right on the siren.
At the change of ends, Dalyston’s captain, Blake Carew capped off the good work of Jarvis Kilgour and Tom Boxell to kick a steadying goal from the boundary.
Korumburra-Bena forward Bailey Patterson’s pace proved critical in the next phase as he added the next two goals. The first as he reached the fall of the contested ball in the goal square to toe through Josh Hill’s long shot.
The second, as result of clean skills, as he swept up a loose ball to spot up Dixon who returned the favour and allowed Patterson to finish from 20 metres out.
Then it was Dalyston’s turn at the old onetwo combination as Carew and Wilson shared the ball twice each in a chain of possession for Wilson to finish for his second.
Patterson again was influential with a deft pass releasing Will Little to run the Giants into goal. For the Magpies, Tylah Osbaldeston and the Brosnan twins were endeavouring to hold tight in defence but Rhys Dixon nailed Darcy in a gripping tackle to inflict more scoreboard pressure. A late goal by Jarvis Kilgour was trumped once again by a quick reply through Josh Hill and Korumburra-Bena held a 27-point lead at half time.
The third term opened with both teams determined to continue with their free-flowing play which resulted in early scoring opportunities. Giant’s ruckman Manny Jakwot showed his athleticism turning his man to find Dixon in the pocket for his third goal.
And the Magpies retaliated with Jarvis Kilgour finishing off Blake Carew’s long attempt to the goal square with a clever snap at the feet of the pack.
Unfortunately, soon after he missed the chance for his fourth goal and the ball was swept to the Burra end where Snooks was the recipient of a free and a 50 to instantly stem the revival.
Again, goals were interchanged with Dalyston scoring from a strong mark to Wilson, Dixon connecting with a Tyler Newton shank for the Giants and then Carew in response making good use of a Jack Legione pass. The tempo had been fast paced and both sides began to show signs of fatigue in a seesawing contest. The tackling and pressure applied caused constant turnovers and neither team were able to find a target as the quarter closed out.
With a four-goal differential the Giants still held the reins going into the final stanza though quite aware that they had coughed up a similar margin in their round 7 loss to Bunyip. The Magpies were endeavouring to make the running early in the last. Silver to Wylie and then Carew but the Giant’s stifled Wilson chance in the goal square.
Ryan Silver again denied the next K-B offensive but the ball was plugged in a stoppage deep in Magpie territory and still no score resulted. At the ten-minute mark finally Dalyston broke through with a goal to Ryan Minahan. And when Wilson marked strongly in the teeth of goals for his personal fourth Dalyston remained a live chance.
But Korumburra gritted their teeth and with Alex Johnston leading their defence they held off any further Magpie efforts. One last goal was created as Rhys Dixon booted the ball into their open forward arc allowing Brad Monson to dribble through the final score of the game providing the Giants their 19-point win.South Gippsland Sentinel Times
OUR CURRENT LEAGUE PARTNER IS PHOENIX SCREENPRINTING
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Garfield v Koo Wee Rup and Bunyip v Phillip Island match reviews written by Russell Bennett reporting for Pakenham Gazette. To view original articles in full online subscribe to Pakenham Gazette here.
Korumburra-Bena v Dalyston and Kilcunda-Bass v Nar Nar Goon match reviews published by South Gippsland Sentinel Times. To view original articles in full online subscribe to SGST here.
Inverloch-Kongwak v Warragul Industrials match review published by The Great Southern Star. To view original article in full online subscribe to TGSS here.