RELATED: Sixth win for Sale
IT took Maffra some time to shake off Warragul, but when the Eagles did, they were a class above.
With scores level in time-on of the first quarter, Maffra kicked 23 of the next 30 goals to win by 99 points.
The 25.9 (159) to 9.6 (60) victory keeps the undefeated Eagles a win ahead of Sale on the Gippsland League football ladder.
Captain Dan Bedggood returned from injury to kick seven goals.
Bedggood led a potent forward line, with Kade Renooy kicking six goals and Mitch Bennett and Ben Brunt five each.
Dan O’Brien and Kel Porter got the Eagles going in the midfield, linking with Winston Gieschen off half-back.
James Huts played well on Warragul full forward Brayden Fowler.
Attempting to win their first match at Maffra since 1997, the Gulls looked to press the Eagles to slow down the home side’s running game. It worked in the first quarter, but hampered the Gulls’ ability to apply early scoreboard pressure.
The Eagles had more of the ball, but in coach Wayne Butcher’s words at quarter-time, didn’t “own the corridor”.
They moved the ball to the wing, but didn’t look to centre it to set-up an attack. Taking the long way to get around the Warragul press, Maffra’s efforts were eventually rewarded when Porter set-up Renooy’s opening goal.
Bennett kicked the Eagles’ second goal following a good pick-up and snap.
The Gulls were back on level terms after goals from Luke Di Ciero and Nate Paredes, the latter coming after Paredes’ roving effort and his kick from the boundary took a kind bounce.
Goals from Hudson Holmes and Bennett gave the Eagles a 13-point lead at quarter-time.
Ty Morrow’s goal in the fifth minute of the second term cut the margin to six points, before Bennett, Brunt and Bedggood booted goals for the Eagles.
Warragul’s tactics left some Maffra players frustrated at times, with Fowler kicking goal for the visitors from a 50 metre penalty, but Bedggood kicked the final two goals of the quarter to give the Eagles a 31-point lead at the main break.
After receiving a knock during the second term, Danny Butcher didn’t return to the park for the second half, but the Eagles took control of the match on the scoreboard.
The Eagles kicked five goals to one during third quarter, including two each from Renooy and Brunt, to lead by 54 points. The goals kept coming in the final term, with Maffra kicking nine majors and Warragul four.
Fowler and Di Ciero finished with three goals each for the Gulls, while Jake Hughes played well across half-back and Kim Drew on the ball.
Maroons win at Moe
TRARALGON returned to the top five after defeating Moe by 39 points.
Leading by three points after a tight three quarters, the visiting Maroons kicked six answered goals in the fourth term to win 13.9 (87) to 6.12 (48).
Only percentage separates the Maroons and fourth-placed Moe on the ladder.
Traralgon coach Mark Collison returned to the side to help the Maroons wrest control of the midfield battle, while Nick Lowden kicked three goals.
The Lions haven’t defeated Traralgon at home since 2011.
LEONGATHA extended its winning run against Drouin to 16 matches.
Chris Dunne kicked eight goals and James Lloyd four in the Parrots’ 18.12 (120) to 13.7 (85) win.
The Parrots were challenged by the home side, and led by 12 points at three-quarter-time, before kicking five goals to two in the final term.
MORWELL recorded its first win of the season, defeating Wonthaggi by 39 points.
The Tigers moved off the bottom of the ladder to eighth place after their 14.12 (96) to 8.9 (57) win on the road.
The Power now occupies bottom place, trailing Morwell and Drouin on percentage.
Leading by five points at half-time, the Tigers kicked nine goals to five in the second half.
Ryan Tatterson and Anthony Rosato were Morwell’s best players, with Brandon McDonald, Tyler Hillier and Max Linton kicking three goals each.