A BLOCKBUSTER crowd was treated to one of the best ninth versus 10th games of football played in country Victoria at Gormandale on Saturday in the North Gippsland Football-Netball League.
The home side Tigers rightfully had all the headlines in the lead-up to the match, with AFL superstar Jarryd Roughead taking to the field.
But it was the travelling Glengarry side that notched up their second win for the season, and in doing so, sent a warning of bigger and better things to come for the Magpies.
A young Glengarry, featuring 12 players aged 22 or under, prevailed in a cracking contest by thirty-five points, 16.15 (111) to 12.4 (76).
While the youngsters like Tom Harris, Jack Burgess and Seth Healy were terrific, it was Reagan McDonald who really stood out as the king of the kids for the Magpies.
His three goals complimented some excellent work all over the field.
Not to be left behind, the Glengarry elder statesmen too held their own.
Jackson Hall was in everything and must have had close to 50 possessions, while down back Alex Bermingham and Andrew May, played the dual roles of defender in chief and attacking weapon.
The only time Gormandale looked to get on top was when Jarryd Garlick, the pick of the Jarryd’s on the day in fact, joined his namesake deep in the forward 50.
When these two titans split the Glengarry team defence, goals came at a rate of knots and when Garlick slotted his fourth in the third term to get the home side within two goals, hopes of a local win surged.
Garlick’s foray forward coincided with David Purves making Hall accountable in the middle and all of a sudden the midfield dominance the Magpies had enjoyed was nowhere to be seen.
And when Blake Hughes asserted himself on the contest and found Roughead 30 metres out directly in front it was expected the Tigers would be within a straight kick.
And this would set-up the final term all those in attendance had hoped for.
Alas, Roughead went wide with his shot.
The resultant kick in saw McDonald on the end of a coast-to-coast passage of play.
The young fella in the blue boots dribble kicked truly and order was restored.
As if that wasn’t enough, Zac Bezzina followed up with his first of the day and the Glengarry went into the final break with a lead of 26 points, which most in attendance considered almost safe.
With Garlick injured after being accidentally tunnelled in a marking contest and Roughead thrown into the middle to start the last term, it was last roll of the dice stuff for Gormandale.
After 14 minutes Dylan Piening slotted a goal and the home side was entering in Lloyd Christmas areas – so you are saying there is a chance?
No, was the clear reply from those in black and white.
One hundred gamer Michael Ryan goaled and then Trav Patten kicked goals four and five for the day to see the game done with around 10 minutes left to play.
Gormandale tried hard, and would do well to keep the weapon that is Braedon McLean on the field every week, but ultimately the better side prevailed.
The real question now for Glengarry is what is their ceiling? The kids are good, real good.
The older guys can all still play and match day withdrawal Jay Neagle looks to make them only a stronger line-up upon his return.
For Gormandale, they will look back on a great day for them as a club.
A day they didn’t get the win, but a day they should be immensely proud of from the one-two combo of president and secretary ‘Early’ (Daniel Earl) and ‘Jewlz’ (Julie Currie), right down to the last member on their list.
AT the top end of town it was a case of business as usual with Yallourn Yallourn North taking the wind right out of Sale City’s sails, so to speak.
After an upset win over Traralgon Tyers United pre-bye and the inclusion of boom recruit Billy Quirk, the fifth-placed Bulldogs headed to the home of the Jets considered a sneaky chance of an upset.
If the flicker of hope wasn’t dashed by the first break it was virtually impossible to detect at the main break with the Jets leading 9.6 (60) to 5.4 (34).
Another two quarters of dominance saw the ladder leaders crush the tri-colours by the best part of a dozen goals, winning 19.10 (124) to 8.7 (55).
For the runners-up, Dr Sam Davidson was in everything and slotted three majors in a lone hand up front.
For the victors it was all about D-Mac (Dean MacDonald).
One of the league’s most intimidating forwards rammed home nine majors in a best on ground performance.
Joining him in the Jets’ best players list was recruit Allan Norris.
Prior to Norris’ arrival at YYN it was widely agreed their Achilles heel may be the lack of a ruckman.
No longer the case it seems with the big fella acquitting himself very well and shaping up as the difference for the Jets who continue to march on to September from atop the league ladder.
Darcy Shellcot, Dylan Bath, James De Virgillio and Lachlan Little also played well for YYN.
The day was a poignant one for the Jets, who held a minute silence for club great Jeff ‘Rattle’ Nash, who died earlier in the week.
Nash played 288 games for YYN between 1985 and 2008, winning three premierships with the club.
BOUNCING back from their most recent outing, a defeat by Sale City, an inaccurate Traralgon Tyers United did enough to keep the resurgent Heyfield at bay.
The return of Jack Brown was timely for TTU as he managed to stem the flow of goals from James Beha, while best on deck Michael Jacobsen found himself in everything through the middle.
Brad Kelleher managed three majors and the ever reliable Jye Neilson again slotted into the Bombers’ best players list in a 9.14 (68) to 8.5 (53) victory.
For Heyfield, Jesse Bedggood continued on his recent way contributing four of the Kangaroos eight goals.
After working so hard to get back to level pegging at the long change, Heyfield just couldn’t muster the effort to get passed a desperate Bombers outfit who remain in touch with the top three as a result of their 15-point win.
ROSEDALE kicked themselves out of fifth spot, going down to Churchill by two points.
The teams were locked at 42-apiece at the final change. This despite Rosedale having had six more scoring shots.
With both sides managing three majors in the last it was the extra two behinds the home side kicked in that made all the difference as the Cougars won 9.10 (64) to 8.14 (62).
Ryan ‘Chompers’ Lowrie kicked three for the winners with the ageless Brendan Holt timing his return to the senior line-up perfectly, booting four and being the difference between the sides.
Chris Williams was best on for Churchill while Riley Atlee was named best for Rosedale.
Rosedale’s Tom Northe was again among the goals, slotting four, to go with the five he kicked a couple of weeks ago. Sides will be starting to zero in on him in the coming months.
With Rosedale gun forward Brad Scott kept off the scoresheet it was left to Frazar Brouns to join Northe on the goal kickers list. Brouns too slotted four to combine with Northe for the Blues eight goals for the day.
THE final game of the round saw Yarram comprehensive 104-point winners over Cowwarr.
Yarram was rarely challenged, and ended up winning 21.18 (144) to 6.4 (40).
The Demons, Jets and Cougars sit two games clear of TTU who are a game clear of Sale City back in fifth.
WOODSIDE had the bye.