Maffra menaces Morwell

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MAFFRA overpowered Morwell, winning at home by 76 points to remain undefeated after five rounds of Gippsland League football.

The Tigers restricted the Eagles early, but the ladder leaders kicked away in the second half, winning 14.14 (98) to 3.4 (22).

The visitors had extra players in defence in order to slow the Eagles down, but the patient hosts were willing to move the ball around the 50 metre arc to find an avenue to goal.

While inaccurate kicking for goal was an issue for the Eagles, they made life difficult for Morwell when the Tigers looked to kick the ball back into play.

The Eagles led by eight points at quarter-time and kicked the opening goal of the second term.

Following a string of behinds, it took until the 19th minute for the Eagles to kick their second goal of the quarter, through Daniel Bedggood after Danny Butcher caused a turnover.

A minute later, Andrew Petrou kicked another goal to extend the lead to 25 points.

Dan Musil pegged a goal back for the Tigers when his shot only just cleared the Maffra defence.

Daniel O’Brien set-up Petrou’s next goal late in the term, giving the Eagles a 31-point half-time lead.

Maffra kicked the only three goals of the third quarter to led by 47 points at the final change.

The Eagles ran out the match strongly in the fourth quarter, kicking five goals to one.

Without Jack Johnstone, Michael Coleman and David Adams, the Eagles still dominated in the midfield. Butcher and Kel Porter led the way, linking well with best-on-ground Lachlan Channing and Alex Carr in attack.

Kieran Jones put in another strong performance in the ruck.

Ben Brunt came into the side and kicked five goals, while Petrou finished with three and Carr two.

With the ball predominately in Maffra’s forward half, there wasn’t as much for its defenders to do, but centre half-back Sam Pleming kept Brandon McDonald in check.

Morwell’s better performers were in defence, Ryan Hearn, Tayler Weatherill and James Jacobsen, while Ryan Tatterson, Zach Anderson and Kuiy Jiath worked hard in the midfield.

BAIRNSDALE moved into third place with a 71-point victory over Wonthaggi.

The home team kept the Power goal-less in two quarters in its 14.18 (102) to 4.7 (41) win. Three of the Power’s four goals came during the second term.

The Redlegs were strong in defence, with Simon Deery and Brayden Radford outstanding.

Ryan Lovegrove-Hudson kicked five goals and Brayden McCarrey three, while Rowan Cowan continued his strong recent form.

The Redlegs will host Maffra on Saturday night.

LEONGATHA won at Moe by 31 points.

The Parrots began well, leading by nine points at quarter-time, then kept the Lions at arm’s length for the rest of the match, winning 14.13 (97) to 9.12 (66).

James Lloyd kicked five goals for the Parrots, and Chris Dunne three.

Ruckman Ben Willis gave his teammates first use of the ball at the stoppages, while Chris Verboon led a tight Parrots defence.

Returning to the Lions during Gippsland Power’s week off, Ryan Baldi impressed in the forward line.

WARRAGUL inflicted a third consecutive loss on Traralgon.

After kicking four goals to one in the first quarter, the Gulls led at every break on their way to a 1.411 (95) to 9.16 (70) victory at home. The victory ended the Gulls’ two-game losing run, and elevated them into sixth spot on the ladder.

In his first match of the season, Brayden Fowler kicked five goals in a best-on-ground performance.