Raining goals at Woodside Rec: NGFNL, Rd 7

Dylan Garnham awaits a handball from Luke Hunter during the Demons' win over Yallourn Yallourn North. Photo: Blake Metcalf-Holt

Tom Hayes

IN a week of intriguing fixtures, only one game kept us all on the edge of our seats in North Gippsland football during Round 7.

Traralgon Tyers United asserted themselves, Churchill returned to winning ways, and Yarram and Yallourn Yallourn North went down to the wire.

Two other games were over before they had started, with one of those surpassing the 200-point margin mark for the third time in 2024.

As the ladder currently stands, there is a clear top five forming, yet you won’t be able to rule out those just outside the finals picture, as they have proved to be threatening in recent times.

SALE CITY had no troubles at Stephenson Park.

Despite showing some bite, Gormandale was no match for the Bulldogs, who ran away rampant winners, 15.18 (126) to 5.1 (31).

Sale City stamped their authority in the opening half, keeping Gormandale to just one goal in that time.

The Bulldogs had 10 chances on goal in the opening term but were only able to muster 4.6 (30) but made amends for those missed chances in the second term, kicking 7.1 (43) to hold a monster 67-point lead at the main change.

Sale City won the third term, but only just, as the Tigers provided some fight of their own.

It would result to nothing however, but it was good to see scores being contributed by both sides.

The Bulldogs kicked 4.4 (28), but it was responded well by Gormandale, who kicked three-straight goals to keep the margin from hitting triple figures.

That very feat loomed in the final quarter, as Sale City only needed to pile on four more goals than the Tigers to win by 100 or more.

Perhaps it was in reach for the home side too, as they kicked 3.7 (25) in the final term. But the Tigers also managed to get on the board, kicking 1.1 (7).

The Bulldogs were spearheaded by Mitch Evans who kicked six goals and got in the best, alongside Jayden Allison (two goals), Brad McKay, Chris Kelf, Cooper Whitehill and captain Daine McGuiness (two goals). Zac Watson, Kodie Owen, Nick Millington, Chris Potalej, Jet Krimhand and Trent Baldwin were the standouts for the visitors. Isaac Copland kicked two goals for the Tigers.

The win moves Sale City to within a win behind Heyfield and YYN in fourth and fifth place respectively, keeping them within touch of a potential finals berth.

As for Gormandale, in a game which may have shone some light on positives, their percentage now looms ever closer to single digits.

FOR the third time this season.

Woodside completely and utterly dismantled Glengarry at the weekend, downing them by more than 200 points, which was the Magpies second loss of 200 points or more this season.

Glengarry lost by exactly 200 points to TTU in Round 3, but have now gone down by more, losing to the Wildcats 25.18 (228) to 3.3 (21).

You could’ve saved the legs of either side after the first quarter, as Woodside jumped to a winning score of 12.3 (75), keeping their visitors to just one point.

By now, it was only a matter of how much. Woodside need some percentage to catch up on TTU, so they were going to win by as much as they could.

It only went from bad to worse for Glengarry, but Woodside could smell an almighty percentage boost coming their way, storming to a 20-goal lead at halftime.

After a talking to at the main break, Glengarry showed some fight in the second half, kicking their way into the match. Although the four points was virtually Woodside’s, their pride was on the line.

The visitors kicked three majors in the third term, which might have had some thinking the margin was trimmed, but that was not the case. The Wildcats remained dominant, kicking seven goals of their own, only to grow the margin out to 146 points.

Knowing that Glengarry had gone down by 200 points already this season, it was a fair possibility that Woodside could reach that feat with a final-quarter blitz.

And boy, did they deliver. Woodside made sure that their percentage was boosted, kicking 10.3 (63) to two behinds in the final term, stretching their ever-growing margin out to 207 points by the time the final siren blew around Woodside Recreation Reserve.

Brody Stainer and Daniel Farmer kicked 17 goals between them, while Zac Richards and Jai Williams each kicked a bag of five. Captain Ryan Foat still managed three for himself.

Stainer was named best on for the Wildcats, along with Josh Kennedy (two goals), Williams, Edward Haynes, Josh Hicks and Cam Whiteoak.

With not much to claim, in Glengarry’s best was Cassidy Bartley, Luke Healy, Oscar Bradford, Ben Truin, Jet Hodges and Bobby Lever-Makin.

Woodside’s percentage now boasts 224.37 – the second-best in the league, only behind that of TTU, who still have 274.4.

BUSINESS as usual for TTU.

The Bombers did not panic in the midst of a Heyfield threat, finishing strong to win 18.12 (120) to 11.9 (75).

Considering the final score, many wouldn’t have believed that this game was close. In fact, Heyfield led for most of the first half, at quarter time and halftime.

But TTU at home is just a different beast.

The Bombers consistently don’t start off as well as they finish games, but it doesn’t seem to be causing them too many issues right now.

Heyfield kicked true in the opening term, bursting out to a 17-point quarter time lead over their hosts, in what was an entertaining quarter of football. The Kangaroos kicked 6.3 (39) and would’ve felt they had a lot of the momentum.

Heyfield had a big chance to put some pressure on TTU, but they weren’t able to capitalise, as the home side brought themselves back into contention.

After two quarters of football, the margin was just five points to the way of Heyfield, who could only add two goals to TTU’s four in the second term. If the first half was anything to go by, the second half was to have plenty in store.

That train of TTU’s is near-on impossible to stop once it gets going.

The Kangaroos had almost no answer for the Bombers in the second half, as the game was blown completely out of proportion and reach for Heyfield.

TTU kicked a massive seven goals to two in the third quarter, but only 25 points ahead, you couldn’t say that Heyfield were dead and buried just yet.

But the final quarter was a confirmation, as TTU found their stride on their way to their sixth win of the season. Adding another four goals to one, the Bombers were home by 45 points.

For TTU, Quinn Sinclair, Flynn Shields, Michael Jacobsen (two goals), Jye Neilson (two goals), Guy Sinclair and Jake Cashmore were outstanding.

While they were edged out, Thomas Marchesi, Kail Hole, Kodie Woodland, Liam Heasley, Tyson Birss and Nicholas Dinsdale all performed admirably for the Kangaroos.

Leigh Brown kicked a bag of five (the first five of the game), while Mitch Bennet also kicked three for Heyfield.

TTU remain on top of the ladder for now, but with the bye next week, Woodside have every chance of overtaking them, as do Yarram if they can somehow collate an extra 140 per cent in one game.

CHURCHILL got back on the winner’s list.

After five long weeks, the Cougars finally picked up their second win of the season in a gritty win over Cowwarr, 19.12 (126) to 12.7 (79).

Once again, the final score didn’t reflect the entire battle, as the Saints gave their visitors a hard time for at least half the match.

And despite leading at the end of every quarter, Cowwarr found themselves in front in all of the first three quarters before Churchill truly got going in the final quarter and a half.

A back and forth game was played out between the two sides who sat at eighth and ninth of the ladder, both holding a 1-4 win-loss record to start the season.

Cowwarr was full of confidence, coming off the back of their win last round against Glengarry, while Churchill, who are in the midst of an injury crisis, really needed a pick-me-up.

Churchill led by two points at quarter time, then by just eight points at the main break.

Without knowing if Cowwarr suffered any causalities, Churchill saw three players off the field before halftime, with Ethan Blair (shoulder), Luke Di Ciero (knee), and Ben Skinner (head) all out for the second half.

So an almighty effort was needed from an already-depleted Churchill side if they were any chance of securing their second win of the season.

The Saints had the better start to the third quarter, but it was the Cougars who made the bigger impression, kicking five goals for the quarter to Cowwarr’s two.

With the game in their hands, the Cougars were needing a strong finish to aid their sore bodies to the finish line.

Finish strong they did. Churchill were granted their second win of 2024, kicking 6.2 (38) to 3.2 (20) in the final term to close out a 47-point win at Cowwarr Recreational Reserve.

It was a shootout between the two forwards down either end. Churchill’s Blake Slater kicked seven, but he was bested by Cowwarr’s Keenan Hughes, who kicked eight.

Slater was named best-on-ground for the Cougars for his efforts. Joining him was Ryan Lowrie, Brendan Holt (four goals), Kurt Holt, Jordan Fenech (two goals), and Nathan McRae.

The Cougars would have been delighted to see assistant coach Ashley Di Ciero make his first appearance for the club, kicking a goal on Churchill debut.

Hughes was best on for the Saints, and he was joined by captain Ben Coffey, Jake Brown, Kyle Stamers, Sean Alexander, and Jackson Davison as the standouts.

ROSEDALE had the bye.