Top four fizzers

With finals ambitions on the line and bragging rights up for the taking, the highly anticipated clashes between North Gippsland football’s top four sides turned out to be one-sided affairs.

Sending a clear message to their would-be challenges, ladder leader Heyfield and second-placed Churchill made easy pickings of their opposition.

Blistering in their disposal of fellow premiership aspirants, attention now moves to the top of the table showdown in three weeks time between the Kangaroos and Cougars, who are considered clear front runners to claim this year’s title.

THE match between Heyfield and Rosedale failed to live up to all expectations.

The Kangaroos run away to a commanding 37-point lead by the first change. The damage was inflicted early with Mitch Dowse hit the scoreboard, his crumbing around the packs set-up a number of his four majors.

Joel Dinsdale also found the goals early as the Kangaroos found themselves first to the ball.

AFL premiership player Leigh Brown played his second match of the season for Heyfield and had an impact in the ruck early before moving into the forward pocket.

The second term was a more even affair, mainly attributed to the blustery conditions which made shots for goal a work of art for Heyfield.

Brad Scott registered the Blues’ second major, but it was matched quickly by Kodie Woodland.

Heyfield’s Jack Woodland was benefiting from the handy work of Lucas Jenkins and Shaun Humphreys in the ruck.

Woodland and Daniel Stevens made the most of their opportunities in the middle of the ground. They were kept in close check by Dale Fleming who, like the Kangaroo pair, was creating his own headaches for the opposition as he toiled hard to create something out of nothing to spark the third-placed Blues.

Fleming’s major in the second term lifted his side’s spirits, although it was short lived. The home side inflicted further damage after the main change, slamming on 12 goals to five to run home a comprehensive 83 point victor, 21.15 (141) to 8.10 (58).

Heyfield fleet-footed midfield appeared more comfortable in front of goal. Mitch Dowse was a stand-out.

His hard running from the centre of the ground setting up two stellar third term goals, with Tom McMillan and Joel Dinsdale pushing forward on several occasions to boot three goals each.

The Blues’ forward line struggled with the Kangaroos’ defence of Matt Goodwin, Scott Anderson and Brett Hudson.

While Scott kicked three goals, the Blues were held to a mere three majors in the first half and a match tally of eight.

Rosedale’s errors going forward proved costly, with the Kangaroos picking off their opponent’s attacks with ease.

In contrast, Heyfield continued to hit targets, amass possessions and make the most of their opportunities. Josh Stubbe set-up play around the ground, ruckmen Humphreys and Jenkins provided competitive opposition for Rosedale’s big men Jon Cantwell and Hayden Mowat.

The Dinsdale brothers, Brenton, Joel and Nic, impressed at both ends of the ground, with Nic and Mitch Dowse also stand-outs.

Blues defender Jed Hickey did enough to impress in the several roles he played throughout the contest, while Fleming looked to lift his side at every opportunity.

CHURCHI LL confirmed its standing as a powerhouse by beating fourth-placed Sale City by a barnstorming 73 points.

Keen to avenge their round five loss to the Bulldogs, it was a fierce and ferocious Cougar outfit which all but buried the top three hopes of the home side with the seven goal-opening term best described as blistering.

Leading by 45 points at the long change, the Cougars didn’t surrender in the second half as they continued the barrage to win 20.8 (128) to 5.9 (39).

The main protagonists in front of goal were Brendan Holt (six), Brad Knowles (five) and Nic Celima (four).

The win extends the Cougars’ winning streak to eight.

JUSTIN Staley stood tall in Woodside’s 73-point victory over Glengarry.

The Wildcats won 20.19 (139) to 10.6 (66).

Finishing with 10 goals, Staley often taunting the Magpies’ defence, which had no answer to his strength and positioning in the forward line.

The goals weren’t handed to Staley on a plate either; the majors coming from contested marks, many of them against more than one opponent. Some credit must go to his teammates as they continuingly sat the ball out in front of him to mark.

The Wildcats were well-served by Ryan Foat, Adrian Fazioli and Tom Love.

Woodside’s seventh win of the season levelled their win loss ledger at 7-7 and, more importantly, elevated it back into the top five for the first time since the second round.

IT wasn’t the celebrations Cowwarr had hoped for Shane Morgan’s 200th club match, with the Saints simply out-played by Traralgon-Tyers United.

The Bombers recorded their first win since round nine, upsetting the fifth-placed Saints 11.14 (80) to 8.20 (68).

With the Saints leading by two points at quarter-time, the Bombers that blitzed their higher ranked opponents in the second term to take a 17-point lead into the main change.

The Saints ate away at the margin during the third term, however, inaccuracy in front of goal restricted their challenge.

Matt Albanese was the Bombers’ best player, while Guy Sinclair’s performance on holding opponent Morgan at bay was instrumental in the victory.

The loss pushed the Saints to seventh position, equal on points with Woodside and Yarram.

A FIVE-goal to one third term set-up Yarram’s 15-point victory over Gormandale.

Having lost their past three matches, Saturday was crunch time for the Demons’ hopes of making the finals.

The Demons began well to lead by 23 points at quarter-time before the Tigers outscored the visitors five goals to two in the second term to draw level by the main change.

The Demons brushed Gormandale aside during the third term. Led by coach Grif Underwood and his brother Ryan, the visitors, through forwards Jarryd Swift (five goals) and Corbin Sutherland (three) established a 29-point margin.

The Tigers came again, with multiple majors to Wayne Henry and one to Luke Francis putting the home side back in the hunt. However, the Demons held on to win 13.12 (90) to 12.3 (75).

BOISDALE-Briagolong had the bye.