LEONGATHA overcame a quarter-time deficit for the first time this Gippsland League football season to defeat Warragul by 67 points.
In the only match of the weekend, the Parrots kicked 15 goals to four after quarter-time, and didn’t concede a goal in the second half, to win 18.16 (124) to 8.8 (56).
The result leaves the Gulls’ place in the top five vulnerable, just two points ahead of sixth-placed Drouin.
Buoyed by the re-signing of coach Steven Kidd and key players Brad Scalzo, Brayden Fowler, Matt Rennie and Nath Paredes, the home team challenged the undefeated ladder leaders to lead by three points at quarter-time. It was the first time this season the Parrots were behind at the first break.
The Gulls’ half-time score of 8.6 (54) is the biggest first half score kicked against Leongatha this year. The previous biggest was kicked by Sale – 3.2 (20) – in round five.
Warragul’s final score is the second highest against Leongatha, after Wonthaggi’s 9.11 (65) in round 11.
With just 519 points conceded from 14 matches played, at an average of 37.07 points per game, Leongatha is on target to become the most efficient defence in league history.
The previous lowest points per game conceded was by the 1964 Traralgon side which was crowned premier and champion, conceding 808 points from 19 home-and-away games at an average of 42.53.
The current top five lowest average points conceded were all premiers in that season: Traralgon (42.53 points conceded per game in 1964), Sale (44.39 in 2012), Traralgon (46.38 in 1998), Traralgon (46.94 in 1960) and Maffra (47.11 in 2004).
But the Parrots’ potent forward line also played its part, with Chris Dunne and Aaron Hillberg booting six goals each and Cade Maskell three.
Fowler, Paredes and Chris Carey stood-out for the Gulls.
The round will conclude this Saturday with Sale and Maffra heading to Bairnsdale and Moe respectively, Morwell hosting Drouin and Traralgon playing at Wonthaggi.