THE eagerly anticipated contest between North Gippsland premier Sale City and challenger Traralgon-Tyers United failed to live up to expectations after quarter-time as the Bulldogs slowly took control to win by 25 points.
Bolstered by the return of premiership pair Nick Hider and Joel Brayshaw, the Bulldogs added further ammunition to a solid line-up, but it was the Bombers who impressed in the first 20 minutes of play.
Dylan Loprese slotted through the opening goal of the contest as the Bombers’ midfield, led by the Graham brothers, Chris and Brian, stamped its authority early.
The Bulldogs’ inaccuracy in front of goal early gave the Bombers a small amount of breathing space before they registered their first through Trent McMillan.
Chris Graham got the quick response for the Bombers.
McMillan was again in the thick of the action in City’s forward 50 as he slotted though another major, with Jake Milham’s first shot for the day bending back for another Bulldog goal.
With the game continuing to be played at a frantic pace, the visitors’ fast free flowing game looking the goods against the third-placed Bombers.
A shot for goal after the quarter-time siren by Loprese reeled the margin back to nine points at the change.
Scoring dried up during the second term as both sides worked hard to break through their opponent’s strong defence.
It was TTU coach Daniel Hawking who broke the shackles to register a much needed goal, but each time the Bombers got within reach the reigning premiers responded. Running into an unmanned goal Jake Schuback booted another goal as the visitors established a handy lead at the main change.
Struggling to compete with City at the stoppages, the Bombers went back to the drawing board late in the third term following consecutive majors to Milham and Schuback.
Hawking moved to centre half-forward to set-up his side, Haydn Hector continued to work hard to set up the Bombers, while Tyler Mustoe had a strong term, but it was little to counteract City who had all the answers.
The Bombers struggled to trouble the scoreboard in the third term, their only goal for the quarter coming at the 17-minute mark through Matt Albanese.
Tempers boiled over late in the term, with Bomber Greg Booth a casualty as the umpires worked hard to diffuse a number of scuffles with players going hard in the contests.
The Bombers rallied in the final term, outscoring the visitors, but it wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs won 11.17 (83) to 8.10 (58).
McMillan was the Bulldogs’ best, Tom Wilson impressed mopping up the ball across half-back, while Jake Sellen created plenty for the visitors.
For the Bombers, Brian Graham toiled hard all day, amassing possessions, ruckman Luke Middleton is enjoying a stand-out season, while Callum Laurie-Rhodes was a work horse in the backline.
BOISDALE-Briagolong copped the full brunt of a rebounding Glengarry, who claimed its fifth win of the North Gippsland season.
The Magpies slammed on eight majors to establish a 51-point buffer in the opening term. Having struggled to kick a winning score in past weeks, the Magpies forwards were on song early and continued to impose themselves in front of goals in a one-sided second half.
The Bombers challenged, but could do little to match the superior class of their opposition, who kicked 20 goals in the second half to win 31.13 (199) to 5.9 (39).
AN 11-goal to four first half was the impetus for Churchill’s win against Woodside.
Rebounding from last week’s loss to Sale City, the Cougars began strongly, kicking five goals in the opening term. The script continued along the same way in the second term, led by Dale Paterson and Alex Tatterson in front of goal, as the Cougars booted six more goals to take a 45-point lead into half-time.
It was Churchill’s eight goal to two third term which killed the contest, with its midfield depth proving to be the difference as Christopher Williams and Joey Whykes created plenty of play, while forward Brendan Holt also made an impact.
The Cougars won 26.18 (174) to 6.8 (44).
Beau McGuinness and Josh Griffin were solid performers for the visitors.
IT was a one-sided contest at Gormandale with ladder leader Rosedale winning 28.19 (187) to 3.3 (21).
Led by Jon Cantwell with a bag of seven majors, the Blues were simply superb as they made it eight wins from nine games.
The visitors booted seven majors in the first term, before finding the going tough in a low-scoring second term. It wasn’t long before the Blues resumed the barrage in front of goal, piling on 18 majors to one in the second half to cruise home 166-point victors.
The Blues’ forwards and midfield lined up for shots at goal after half-time, boasting 12 individual goal scorers, lead by Cantwell, Dale Fleming (four) and Craig Mayman (three).
Fleming was a stand-out, while ruckman Cantwell was a solid contributor, relishing his opportunities in front of goal.
Tiger Steve Hore was instrumental on the last line of defence as he worked hard to contain the Blues’ many avenues to goal, while Steve Burgess finished the match with one major.
HEYFIELD’s seventh win of the season against Cowwarr has seen it move into third position and extended the winning streak to five.
It was one-way traffic early, as the Kangaroos made the most of their opportunities in front of goal to establish a five-goal buffer at the first change.
The home side continued their dominance in the second quarter, with the match all-but decided by the main change.
Jesse Leeds was one of 10 individual scorers for the Kangaroos, finishing the match with three majors, while Nic and Brenton Dinsdale were stand-out performers.
For the Saints, captain Luke Cooper tried to lift his side, Brett Street provided pace through the Saints’ engine room, while defender Scott Anderson worked hard to shut down the Kangaroos’ many avenues for goal.
Heyfield’s victory sets up an enticing contest next Saturday against the top of the table Rosedale.