Maffra mauled by Lions

David Braithwaite

MAFFRA was out-played at home by a well-drilled Moe side on Saturday.

After unfurling its 2019 Gippsland League senior football premiership flag, the Eagles were held goal-less in two quarters as they lost 9.15 (69) to 3.8 (26) – the second consecutive week they have been kept to just three majors.

This is the first season since 1998 the Eagles have lost their opening two matches, while the 43-point victory was the Lions’ first at Maffra in 10 years.

Tom Long kicked the only goal of the first quarter, as Moe led by four points at the first change. The Eagles had opportunities to make a good start, but managed just four behinds.

The Lions got going in the second term, kicking five answered goals to head into the main break leading by 33 points. The Eagles’ first goal came late in the quarter from the boot of Mitch Bennett.

The visitors were making Maffra pay for skill errors, with moving players back stifling the Eagles’ movement forward.

The Eagles’ effort lifted in the third quarter, but the Lions appeared to be on another level, with missed opportunities in front of goal preventing a greater margin.

A Lachlan Channing goal in the eighth minute of the third term gave the Eagles some hope, reducing the deficit to 26 points, only for goals from Long and former AFL player Kristian Jaksch to reassert the Lions’ dominance.

A soccer goal from Jai Hayward in the 25th minute proved to be the Eagles’ final major for the match.

Jaksch’s fourth goal for the match gave Moe a 40-point lead at three-quarter-time.

The final term was a dour affair, with neither kicking a goal.

The strength of Jaksch and Simon Harris in the forward line was too much for the Maffra defence, as the Lions dominated the centre clearance, thanks to the efforts of Riley Baldi and Lucas Forato.

In his 100th senior game for the club, Danny Butcher worked hard to get the Eagles back into the game, along with Tom Jolly, Daniel Bedggood, Kade Renooy and Winston Gieschen.

Missing key position players like John Butcher and James Read, there is room for improvement.

SALE stormed home in the final quarter to defeat Bairnsdale and continue its undefeated start to the season.

Trailing by six points at three-quarter-time after what had been a close contest, the Magpies kicked the only four goals of the final term to win by 18 points, 12.11 (83) to 10.5 (65).

It was a fitting result in Kane Martin’s 200th senior game for the Magpies.

The Redlegs got off to a flyer, kicking the first three goals before the match was halted for half an hour when Zac Hurley went down with a badly-dislocated knee. Hurley was taken to Bairnsdale Hospital, where he was released that night, and will have scans this week to ascertain the damage.

When play resumed, the goals continued to flow, and another one to Bairnsdale put the home side four goals up. But the Magpies fought back with four goals of their own, including one from first-gamer Jonty McGuiness after a strong lead and mark.

The Redlegs led by a goal at quarter-time before Sale added two goals to one during a tight second quarter to take a one-point lead into half-time.

In the third quarter Sale took control of a lot of the play, but was unable to capitalise on the scoreboard, adding 2.7, while the Redlegs were more accurate in front of goal, kicking four goals to take a six-point lead into the final break.

The Sale midfielders got on top during the final quarter, forcing the ball forward at every opportunity as the Magpies kicked four unanswered goals.

Coach Jack Johnstone was outstanding all day in a clear best-on-ground performance, finishing with two goals.

Jordan Dessent, Jordan Dowsett and Shannen Lange were again handy all day. Jarrod Freeman was a livewire up forward, booting three goals, as did Dowsett, while Daine McGuiness again rucked well, giving the on-ballers first use of the ball. For Bairnsdale, Brayden McCarrey was a star all day, finishing with four goals. Josh Wykes, Ethan East (three goals) and Matthew Corbett also performed well for the Redlegs. – with Matt McGuiness

DROUIN won the Baw Baw derby on Sunday, defeating Warragul by 29 points at home.

The home side Hawks kicked away after an even first half, booting nine goals to five to win 13.8 (86) to 8.9 (57).

Best for Drouin were Tim Hancock, Ryan Taylor, Matt Stevens, Bailey Beck, Ed Morris and Cam McPhan. Sam Whibley, Nick Mulqueen, Tom Hobbs, Mitch Nobelius, Brad Hefford and Sean Masterson battled hard for the Gulls.

WONTHAGGI again made people sit up and take notice, rolling Leongatha by 11 points on the Parrots’ home deck on Sunday.

The Power and Parrots were all square at the final change, but a three-goal final term from Wonthaggi made sure of the points, 8.13 (61) to 8.13 (61).

Fergus O’Connor, Tim Knowles, Toma Huther, Steven Scott, Aidan Lindsay and Jack Blair stood out for Wonthaggi, while Chris Verboon, Cameron Olden, Jake Van Der Plight, Aaron Heppell, Ben Willis and Tom Marriott were best for Leongatha.

ROUND two concludes this Saturday night, with Morwell hosting Traralgon. – with Liam Durkin