Eagles stave off ‘Legs fightback

David Braithwaite

RELATED: Pies win at Warragul

MAFFRA survived a spirited challenge from Bairnsdale to record its first victory of the Gippsland League football season.

The Eagles defeated the Redlegs by 26 points, 15.10 (100) to 11.8 (74), at home on Saturday night.

After trailing by as much as 34 points heading into time-on in the third quarter, the Redlegs kicked four of the final six goals of the match. They kicked the first two goals of the fourth term to get within 13 points, and had chances to reduce the deficit further, but couldn’t.

Maffra’s victory was set-up by a seven-goal third quarter.

Although he started across half-back, Kade Renooy was effective when he drifted forward, kicking three goals (including two during the third term), a figure matched by teammate Andrew Petrou.

Ed Carr and Daniel O’Brien were also dangerous up forward.

Jack Johnstone led the Eagles in the midfield, linking well with Kieran Jones in the ruck.

Sam Pleming was again strong at centre-half forward, particularly when the visitors had control of the ball.

The Eagles had the edge over the Redlegs during a tight first quarter, using the ball better to kick five goals to three and take a 16-point lead into the break.

Petrou kicked two goals for the Eagles in the quarter, as did Brayden McCarrey for the Redlegs.

Bairnsdale had the better of play during the second term, as the Eagles were turning over possession. Maffra’s lead was at nine points after the visitors kicked two goals to one for the quarter.

Improving their transition from defence to attack, the Eagles all-but took the game away from the Redlegs during the third quarter. Maffra’s control of play at stoppages was also a major factor.

The Redlegs kicked two goals late in the quarter to give them a glimmer of hope, but a goal from Jim Reeves gave the Eagles a 27-point lead at three-quarter-time. The Eagles kicked seven goals to four during the quarter.

A goal from Harry Gibbs following a 50 metre penalty and a major from Nick George lifted the Redlegs during the fourth quarter, but missed chances stalled any momentum they could have had.

A goal from Renooy steadied the Eagles before Tom Jolly took the Eagles lead to more than 20 points during time-on.

McCarrey finished with four goals for the Redlegs, while fellow forward Callan McKeon was prominent. Nick Sing and Brayden Radford were more than solid in defence.

A SEVEN-goal to none opening term paved the way for Moe’s demolition of Drouin, leaving the Lions top of the table after two rounds.

Spencer White kicked four majors in the home team’s 19.16 (130) to 5.8 (38) victory.

The Hawks managed just two goals from seven scoring shots to half-time to trail by 61 points, before the Lions’ barrage continued in the second half, blowing out the final margin to 92.

Kicking three goals, Lachlan Macleod was outstanding on the wing, while Bernie Vince set-up play across half-back.

LEONGATHA held off a late surge from Traralgon to notch its second win of the season.

The premier led by 19 points at the main break, but was reined into a 14-point buffer by the final change.

A string of three Traralgon goals in the fourth term had the Parrots on the back foot but, with time on their side, managed to stem the flow and hold on to record a three-point victory, 11.10 (76) to 11.7 (73).

Chris Dunne proved troublesome to contain for the Maroons backs, kicking five goals. Chris Verboon was the Parrots’ best player.

Mitch Mustoe led the way for the Maroons, while Dylan Lopresse kicked three goals.

MORWELL thrashed Wonthaggi by 59 points at home.

In Joel Soutar’s 250th game, the Tigers had 13 goal kickers in their 16.14 (110) to 7.9 (51) victory. Anthony Rosato was best-on-ground for the Tigers.