TWO North Gippsland football matches came to a premature conclusion on Saturday because of below zero temperatures.
The matches in the south of Wellington Shire were abandoned as players struggled with the wintry blast.
At Yarram, the Demons’ match against Traralgon-Tyers United was called off 17 minutes into the third term with five players suffering hyperthermia, while Woodside’s home game against Sale was abandoned with eight minutes remaining in the final quarter.
The teams leading at the time, Yarram and Sale City, were awarded victories.
Yarram was leading TTU 4.7 (31) to 1.1 (7) when their match was abandoned.
Chris Pettitt, Jay McDonald and Justin Staley were the Demons’ best players, while Mark Stolk, Guy Sinclair and Rhys Martin stood out for the Bombers.
Ladder leader Sale City showed its flag bid was back on track, with a classy 9.16 (70) to 3.3 (21) win at Woodside.
Playing coach David Piasente celebrated the birth of his third child with four goals on his return to the side, with Jacob Schuback also slotting four.
Josh Tollner, Harry Kaandorp and Justin McLay were best for the Bulldogs, while Ben Johnson, Brent Kerr and Daniel Missen fought hard for the Wildcats, who slipped outside the top three for the first time since round six.
ROSEDALE’S hopes of defending its crown are in deep water, following defeat by Churchill.
Saturday’s Arctic conditions contributed to an extraordinary final scoreline of 4.9 (33) to the Blues’ 1.12 (18) at a sodden Rosedale Recreation Reserve, and left the reigning premiers two games outside the top five with three rounds to play.
Realistically, the Blues must now win their final three games including tussles with ladder leader Sale City and top three hopeful Woodside and rely on results of multiple games involving the Wildcats, Heyfield or Yarram going their way if they are to play any part in finals.
Goals understandably proved a rare commodity throughout the day, with Churchill registering the only major of the first half in the opening term and leading by that margin at the main break.
Four of the game’s five goals arrived in the third term, with the visiting Cougars bagging three of them from six scoring shots, while Rosedale could only manage one from five.
The home side won the final term, but only by four behinds to two.
Ben Skinner starred for the Cougars, who had plenty of contributors, including Dean Degroot, Joey Whykes and coach Allan Chandler.
Rosedale playing coach Sam Bristow set the example for his side, with Sam Tudor, Brad Caldwell and Rohan Diamond providing plenty of support.
The win all but cemented Churchill a top three finish and coveted double chance in finals.
HEYFIELD continued its late charge towards finals with a 45-point win against Glengarry.
The Kangaroos had seven single goal-kickers in the 7.13 (55) to 1.4 (10) win and were best served by Ryan Bean, James Beha and Nick Dowse.
Leigh O’Mara booted the Magpies’ only goal of the game and was joined in the best by Travis Patten and Chris Wangman.
The game was part of AFL Gippsland Mental Health Round, with Bean awarded the Alliance Medal for his performance.
COWWARR didn’t let the conditions stop it from recording a big win against Gormandale.
Kyle Stammers (four goals), Ben Coffey and Brett Street (three each) did much of the damage in the 16.12 (108) to 5.8 (38) victory.
Sean Alexander, Braden Johnston and Shane Morgan led the way for the Saints, while Ryan Burns, Josh Kurrle and Chris Potalej worked hard for the Tigers.