Eagles prevail against premiers

Jack Johnstone takes a strong mark in the forward line.

Jack Johnstone takes a strong mark in the forward line.

MAFFRA maintained its hold on third spot on the Gippsland League football ladder after defeating reigning premier Leongatha by 23 points on Saturday.

Playing at home, the Eagles won 12.16 (88) to 10.5 (65) to move within a game of top side Sale, who had the bye this weekend along with Bairnsdale.

The Eagles are still ahead of Moe and Drouin on percentage, but are now two wins ahead of fifth-placed Leongatha, which is still yet to field its first choice team because of injury.

The Eagles kept the Parrots score-less in the first quarter, but missed the chance to put the match away early, kicking only two goals from eight scoring shots for the term.

Turnovers created by pressure were not rewarded on many occasions, the exception came in the fourth minute when Alex Carr booted the first goal of the match.

Maffra mistakes late in the quarter threatened to gift the visitors a goal, but the Eagles' defence was solid.

Daniel Bedggood outmanoeuvred his opponent in a one-on-one contest to kick the Eagles' second goal just before the quarter-time siren, giving the hosts an 18-point lead.

Lachlan Wright kicked the Parrots' first major early in the second term, before goals from Jack Johnstone, Bedggood and Mitch Bennet gave the Eagles a 31-point lead midway through the quarter.

The teams added two goals each to end the quarter, with the Eagles 33 points ahead at the main break.

The match was put out of the Parrots' reach during the third quarter, when the Eagles kicked five goals to three to lead by 41 points at the final change of ends.

The Parrots had the better of the fourth quarter, kicking all four goals to reduce the margin, but the damage had been done.

Mitch Bennet finished with four goals, while Bedggood, who booted three, was dangerous in the forward line in the absence of John Butcher.

The combination of Danny Butcher and Ed Carr gave the Eagles the edge in the midfield, with Kade Rennoy work well off half-back.

James Read held down centre half-back strongly, while Kieran Jones more than gave a good account for himself against Ben Willis in a great ruck contest.

Cameron Olden worked hard in the midfield of the Parrots, while Colin Sanbrook, Josh Schelling and Chris Verboon did well under pressure in defence.

DROUIN continued its good run of form, defeating Traralgon by seven points.

The match ended 15 minutes into the final term because of a broken leg to Traralgon defender Chris Thuring, with the Hawks awarded the victory 7.9 (51) to 6.8 (44).

While the Hawks consolidated their place in the top five, the Maroons were unable to bridge the two-game gap to the top half of the ladder.

Little separated the side throughout the match, although the visiting Hawks led at each break.

Chris Robinson and Tom Barr performed well in the midfield for Drouin, while Jackson McMahon was Traralgon's best player.

MOE kicked away from Morwell in the final quarter to win by 38 points at Ted Summerton Reserve.

The Lions had the better of the Tigers for most of the match, but needed to boot four unanswered goals in the final term to make sure of victory, 14.15 (99) to 9.7 (61).

James Blaser led the way for Moe in the midfield, while Tom Fleming was solid off half-back. Tiger Anthony Rosato took the battle up to the Lions in the midfield.

The result leaves Morwell on the bottom of the ladder.

WARRAGUL moved off the foot of the table with a six-point win over Wonthaggi.

Trailing the visitors by 10 points at three-quarter-time, the Gulls kicked three unanswered goals in the final term to win 10.9 (69) to 9.9 (63).

A goal from Tom Kelly with three seconds left gave the Gulls victory.

Ben Hughes kicked three goals for the Gulls, while best-on-ground Matt Rennie booted two.

Toma Huther's ruck work gave the Power the edge in the midfield for much of the match.

The Power and Gulls are now level on three wins each of the season.

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