Third term lapse costly

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A LACK of intensity during the third term cost Maffra victory against Gippsland League football premier Morwell.

Heading into the third term level on the scoreboard, the Eagles were unable to keep up with the Tigers, who booted four goals to one to take a match-winning 20-point lead into the final change.

The Eagles responded strongly in the final term, kicking three goals to one, but fell six points short at the siren, 11.10 (76) to 10.10 (70).

The loss pushed the Eagles down to fourth place on the ladder, ahead of Bairnsdale on percentage.

Saturday’s match, between the second and third-placed teams on the ladder, had the feel of the final. The pressure applied by both teams, particularly during the first half, was immense, causing turnovers.

During the first term, the Tigers, through ruckman Tom Crosby, had the better of the stoppages, winning possession to set-up goals. The visitors led by five points at quarter-time.

The Eagles fought back during the second term to head into half-time on level points.

Midway through the third term, the Tigers led by 24 points after kicking four goals. A late major from Brad Caldwell, one of his three for the day, reduced the margin to 20 by the three-quarter-time.

Onballers Kel Porter and Jackson Scott helped lift the Eagles during the final term, but their challenge fell short. Owen Booth also rose to the occasion in the ruck.

Darren Sheen was a danger in attack for the Eagles, finishing with five goals. Caldwell and Dan O’Brien were also prominent in the forward line.

Joel Lambourn moved the ball well out of defence.

For the Tigers, Daniel Hutchison booted three goals, while Tim Ryan and Tarkyn Lockyer used the ball well and made the most of Crosby’s ruckwork.

The Eagles will have next weekend off during the first half of the split round. They will head to Traralgon on August 2 needing to win to stay in the race for a top three finish.