A FIVE-GOAL to one first quarter set-up Churchill’s 24-point victory over reigning North Gippsland football premier Sale City.
The Cougars led at every change at Stephenson Park on Saturday to win 9.10 (64) to 5.10 (40) and retain third spot on the ladder.
After two losses in three matches, the Bulldogs have fallen from fourth to sixth place on the ladder.
Joseph Whykes and Nathan McRae stood-out for the Cougars, with Ben Kearns kicking three goals, with two each from Blake Slater and Brayden Kokshoorn.
Josh Barton, Abe Schuback and Jayden Sleeman were the Bulldogs’ best.
GORMANDALE appeared on track to clinch the upset of the round over Rosedale before the Blues kicked into gear in the second half to run out 29-point winners.
The Tigers held a slender two-point lead at the main break, but it wasn’t enough to deter a hard-nosed outfit like Rosedale, which won 9.15 (69) to 6.2 (38).
Blues coach Sam Bristow labelled the conditions at Gormandale as “tough” and was buoyed with his side’s ability to stick to the game plan in the wet.
“I was pleased just that we stuck to tasks for four quarters in tough conditions ... trying to play wet weather footy and get the head over the ball,” he said.
“Everyone knew about the conditions, but it got worse and worse and we just stuck to our tasks. It was just a slog and we knew it was a going to be a hard game.”
The Blues turned the tide in the third term and scored 2.6 to give them a crucial 10-point buffer heading into the final quarter.
Rohan Diamond was “really good”, according to Bristow, while Matt Royal kicked five goals and was “dangerous” all day.
Chase Saunders loomed large for the Tigers, kicking three goals.
“Gormandale still fought it out for the whole game but (when) you get a break it’s always hard to get them back,” Bristow said.
The Blues are carrying “a lot of stiff and sore bodies” after consecutive weeks playing in the wet but are likely to welcome back Isaac Love and Brad Caldwell — who both missed Saturday — for this weekend’s clash with Churchill.
LADDER leader Yarram continues to keep the rest of the competition at arm’s lengths with another commanding win, this time at the expense of Heyfield.
The Demons set the tone early with a four-goal-to-none opening term to lead by 24 points at quarter-time. The home side went on to win by 47 points, 10.18 (78) to 4.7 (31).
Yarram coach Matt Scholz said the conditions at home were trying, particularly in the second term, when his side kicked seven behinds.
“The wind played a major part in the game and caused us to be a bit inaccurate in front of goal but we started really well and kept that lead and managed to finished well,” he said.
Jake Anderson (foot) and Louis Rodaughan (corked leg) were late omissions, but Scholz said the Demons’ skills “picked up from the last couple of weeks” which allowed him to “try a few different things” around the ground.
“We changed a few players around in different positions [to] see how they reacted,” he said.
“We moved Jacob Davis around and moved around Will Bodman and a few others.”
One thing that did not change, however, was Yarram’s avenues to goal and eight players hit the scoreboard for majors.
“It was good to see that we did have those numbers of goalkickers and it’s very pleasing coming into the busy end of the season,” Scholz said.
“I thought Jarryd Swift was really good, David Coulthard was really good and Griffin Underwood as well.”
The win ensures two games remain between Yarram and second-placed Traralgon-Tyers United, who the Demons face this weekend in a round 14 blockbuster.
Scholz’s high ankle sprain is “looking good” and will be assessed at training this week, while Anderson and Rodaughan may also be up for selection.
WOODSIDE handed Glengarry a demoralising 93-point drubbing, 17.16 (118) to 3.7 (25).
The Magpies were not without a shot in the early stages and went into the first break with a reachable 19-point deficit, but their hopes were short-lived. The Wildcats piled on six unanswered goals in the second term to blow the lead out to 59 points.
Ryan Foat finished with five goals for the Wildcats, while Cameron Whiteoak, coach Todd Bryant and Brad Smith kicked three each.
The 15-goal win is sure to put a pep in the step of the Wildcats ahead of their season-defining clash with Sale City this weekend.
IT was business as usual for Traralgon-Tyers United as the Bombers cantered to their 11th win of the season against Cowwarr, 13.18 (96) to 3.5 (23).
The Bombers piled on five goals to lead by 34 points at the first break and kept the listless Saints score-less in the process.
Seven behinds in the second term were the result of some misfired shots on goal for TTU, but the window of opportunity was still shut for Cowwarr by the main break as the Saints trailed by 45 points.