Eagles clip Gulls’ wings

RELATED: Magpies put on powerful performance

MAFFRA moved into third place on the Gippsland League football ladder following a 114-point thumping of Warragul.

Following a lack-lustre first term, the Eagles stepped up a gear to win 20.17 (137) to 3.5 (23) in greasy conditions at home.

Despite the absence of Ben and Michael Coleman, the Eagles dominated the centre clearances with Kel Porter, Winston Gieschen and Josh Scott using the ball well. The Eagles only conceded goals in two quarters.

Ben Batalha and Sam Walker stood-out in a defence which welcomed back Sam Bristow for his first game of the season.

While Brad Caldwell was injured, the Eagles didn’t lack in attack with Darren Sheen kicking six goals, while Gieschen drifted forward to boot three among other solid contributors.

While Gieschen kicked a goal in the opening minute, the Eagles failed to make the most of their entries into the forward line, not using possession of the ball effectively. Perhaps the Eagles were expecting goals to come easily against an inexperienced opponent.

It wasn’t until Ben Durrant set-up goals for Andrew Petrou and Daniel Bedggood that the Eagles had anything resembling a comfortable lead – 12 at quarter-time.

Stung into action by a hard quarter-time message from coach Wayne Butcher, the Eagles lifted in the second term, booting four unanswered goals to lead by 31 points at half-time.

The Eagles further stamped their authority on the contest during the third quarter, booting five goals to one for a 60-point lead at the final change. Sheen booted two goals, including one with the ball dribbling along the ground.

The final term became about boosting the Eagles’ percentage as they kicked eight unanswered majors.

A bigger test will come next weekend when the Eagles head to Morwell to play the undefeated reigning premier.

Michael Lynn, Chris Carey and Brad Scalzo were the Gulls’ best players.