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MAFFRA kicked 14 goals to two in the second half to thump Bairnsdale by 111 points at home to remain on top of the Gippsland League football ladder.
The margin was Maffra’s biggest over the Redlegs in 253 matches since 1901. The previous biggest was 109 in 2016.
The 25.18 (168) to 9.3 (57) victory moved the Eagles level with the Redlegs on the number of wins in meetings between the clubs.
The Eagles dominated the midfield, with Alex Carr, Danny Butcher and Ed Carr superb, linking well with Lachlan Channing and Hudson Holmes across the half-forward line.
Captain Daniel Bedggood and Tom Jolly both kicked five goals, while Andrew Petrou booted three.
The Maffra defence, led by Sam Pleming, was strong, particularly after quarter-time.
The Eagles welcomed back midfielders Kel Porter and Michael Coleman for Saturday’s match, played under sunny skies at Maffra.
The home side kicked the first three goals of the match — two of them from 50 metre penalties — within the opening 10 minutes.
Brayden McCarrey pegged a goal back for the Redlegs, only for the Eagles to reply through a long goal from Josh Davis to end a chain of handpasses.
Under pressure from a chasing opponent, Alex Carr sent to the ball from the boundary to Bedggood, who took a good mark and goaled to give the Eagles a 26-point lead.
Mistakes were creeping into the Maffra game, with Liam Giove booting a goal following a turnover.
A lack of structure in defence was hurting the Eagles, giving the Redlegs opportunities to score.
Goals from Kade Renooy, Channing and Ben Brent settled the Eagles, but McCarrey and Matt Corbett (after the siren) kicked majors to reduce the margin to 25 points at the first break. The Redlegs got to within 13 points early in the second term following back-to-back goals.
Butcher was the beneficiary of another 50m penalty to kick the steadying goal for the Eagles, before Jolly kicked another goal.
McCarrey goaled for the Redlegs and Holmes the Eagles, giving the home side a 29-point advantage at the main break.
The Eagles took control of the contest in the third quarter, kicking nine goals to one. Three goals came from the boot of Bedggood.
The Redlegs struggled to hand a way through Maffra’s tightened defence and pressure from the Eagles’ midfielders.
Leading by 85 points at three-quarter-time, the Eagles kept the foot on the accelerator, adding five goals to one in the final term.
The win boosted the Eagles’ already strong percentage by seven points, which could be crucial in the race for the minor premiership with Leongatha.
The loss leaves Bairnsdale a long shot to make the finals, 10 points outside the top five with four round remaining.
Nick Sing and Russell Cowan worked hard for the Redlegs against the flow in the midfield.
Brayden McCarrey kicked three goals, and, along with Ricky Tatnell and Ethan East, had their good moments in attack.
At the other end of the ground, Simon Deery was solid in defence, but lack support from teammates.
Moe Lions maul Tigers
MOE recorded its biggest ever win over Gippsland League rival Morwell on Saturday.
The Lions won 30.14 (194) to 9.6 (60) — it was their highest score against the Tigers and biggest margin (134 points) in 189 meetings since 1932.
The win cements fourth spot for Moe on the ladder.
By half-time the Lions had earned a 10-goal lead and the game was won, but they didn’t take the foot off the pedal.
A seven-goal-to-one third quarter blew the margin out past 100 points and pushed the result into demoralising territory for the Tigers.
Twelve players hit the scoreboard for the Lions with Harrison Pepper’s five-goal haul the best of the day.
Jacob Wood was dominant across half-forward, with Jai Massese in control across half-back.
LEONGATHA made the trip to Warragul look easy, and returning home with the premiership points after winning 14.15 (99) to 5.10 (40).
A six-goal-to-none first term set the Parrots up well.
Forward Chris Dunne was back to his menacing best, bagging five goals for the Parrots, and was helped out by Cade Maskell’s four majors.
“Chris Verboon and Colin Sanbrook down back were terrific,” Parrots coach Paul Carbis said.
“Cameron Stone and Sam Forrester on the wing were pivotal for us. Ben Willis in the ruck was fantastic and Chris Dunne and Cade Maskell up forward really stepped up with our two big guys out.”
TRARALGON bounced back and bolstered its chances of a top five finish with a win at Drouin.
The Maroons won 14.15 (99) to 12.14 (86), with Jay Neagle and Chris Urie each kicing three goals.
Onballer Lee Stockdale and defender Tim Northe stood-out for the Maroons, who have now won their past 18 matches against the Hawks.
Traralgon sits in fifth spot, with just 17 percentage points separating it from Warragul in sixth.
— with Kate Withers