MAFFRA remains on top of the Gippsland League football ladder despite a nine-point loss to Leongatha at home on Saturday.
The Eagles are only ahead of the Parrots on the ladder following their 9.8 (62) to 7.11 (53) defeat.
The win extends the Parrots’ unbeaten run to nine games.
Coach Paul Carbis went into the weekend “with no expectations” and said his side “had nothing to lose”.
“The pleasing things was our start.
We really started well, converted and they missed a couple which put us up early and from then on it was a pretty close contest and we were able to keep in front for the rest of the day,” he said.
The Parrots signalled their intent early, to lead by 16 points at the first break.
Leongatha’s engine room, Carbis said, was “on top early” and the likes of Luke Bowman, Hayden Brown, Ryan Olden and Josh Hopkins were making the going tough for Maffra.
“Our midfield gave us first use and set us up in really trying conditions. The wind and rain came and went, but our objective was to get first use and our midfield did that for us … they have been super the last few weeks,” Carbis said.
The Eagles reduced the deficit to nine points by the final change, with Danny Butcher, Jack Johnstone, Ed Carr, Dan O’Brien leading the fightback in the midfield.
The Parrots held their ground in the final term to give Maffra its second loss of the season.
“It was really scrappy in the last quarter. They kicked a goal in the first 10 minutes and it was just a battle thereafter but thankfully we kicked on at about 20 minutes,” Carbis said.
“There were a lot of stoppages and we were counting down for the siren to go, so it was a really good win for us.”
Cade Maskell bagged three goals for the second week in a row in a leading performance for the defending premiers and was helped by the efforts of Luke Bowman who kicked two goals.
Maffra defender James Huts prevented further damage on the scoreboard.
At the other end, Tom Jolly and Jim Reeves kicked two goals each for the Eagles.
MOE led Bairnsdale at each change to return home with a 26-point victory on Sunday.
A run of five unanswered goals gave the Lions a 29-point edge at the final break which proved enough to put the result beyond doubt, as the Lions won 11.11 (77) to 6.15 (51).
Inaccuracy was Bairnsdale’s enemy in the end. The Redlegs were matched with Moe on scoring shots, but were undone by six goals and 15 behinds from 22 attempts.
Eight Lions kicked goals, led by Sam Cougle with four goals.
Among the better players for Moe were Tyson Biffin, Thomas Long and Joel Bragagnolo, while Russel Cowan, Callan McKeon and Brayden Radford contributed well for Bairnsdale.
Brayden McCarrey led the way on the scoreboard for the Redlegs and slotted three majors.
The Lions are well-placed in the run home to finals and have the luxury of two game’s breathing space ahead of Traralgon in fifth place.
For the seventh-placed Redlegs, the loss makes its hard for them to make the finals, as they trail Traralgon and Warragul by six points with matches to come against Maffra, Sale and Leongatha.
THE split round continues next Saturday with Sale at home against Morwell, and Traralgon hosting Wonthaggi. The round ends on Sunday with Warragul hosting Drouin.