Eagles earn top spot

Maffra’s Jarryd Clohesy weaves between Moe players as he drives the ball forward.
Maffra’s Jarryd Clohesy weaves between Moe players as he drives the ball forward.

MAFFRA earned the Gippsland League football minor premiership, and a week off to begin the finals, after a 32-point win at Moe on Saturday.

After their 10.18 (78) to 6.10 (46) victory over the Lions, the Eagles finished the home-and-away season on top of the ladder, ahead of Leongatha on percentage.

The Eagles began strongly, kicking four goals to one to lead by 18 points at quarter-time.

While both sides kicked a goal each in the second term, the margin was extended to 25 by half-time.

The Eagles dominated the quarter, but weren’t rewarded on the scoreboard, having 10 scoring shots.

With the visitors in control, the Eagles kicked five goals to four in the second half.

Michael Coleman and Jack Johnstone generated plenty of play off half-back for Maffra, Alex and Ed Carr, and Danny Butcher controlled proceedings in the midfield, and Sam Pleming was again strong at centre half-forward. Mitch Bennett kicked three goals.

Moe’s better players were in defence — Tong Long, Darnell Grech, Charlie Rieniets.

The result had no bearing on the Lions’ place in the finals, they will play Traralgon in the elimination final this Sunday at Morwell.

TRARALGON did what it needed to do to hang onto fifth spot and secure a finals berth, convincingly defeating Morwell 14.15 (99) to 5.12 (42).

Leading by 12 points at half-time, the Maroons kicked eight unanswered goals in the third term to lead by 60 points at the final break and put the match out of the Tigers’ reach.

Kody Wilson kicked four goals for the Maroons.

BAIRNSDALE emerged a three-point winner in a final-round thriller at Warragul on Saturday.

The Gulls were an outside chance to play finals heading into the clash, but their hopes were dashed early as fifth-placed Traralgon steamed away to a convincing lead against Morwell.

The home side was 11 points up at half-time but relinquished the lead, trailing by 21 points down at the last break.

The Gulls kicked four goals to one in the final term, but it wasn’t enough, as the Redlegs won 15.12 (102) to 15.9 (99).

Brayden McCarrey kicked five goals for the Redlegs, with Rowan Cowan influential in the midfield.

Nathaniel Paredes, Brayden Fowler and Luke Di Ciero bagged three goals each for the Gulls, which finished the season in sixth place.

DROUIN ended its season on a high with a win over Wonthaggi at home.

The Hawks were four points in the red at quarter-time, but kicked six goals in the second term to lead by three points at the main break.

The lead remained at three points heading into the final term as the Hawks added five goals to the Power’s one to finish 16-point winners, 13.17 (95) to 10.9 (69). — with Kate Withers

Gippsland League finals — week one

Qualifying final, Saturday at Western Park, Warragul:

Seniors: Leongatha v Sale, 2.20pm.

Reserves: Moe v Traralgon, 12.30pm.

Under 18s: Moe v Bairnsdale, 10.30am.

Under 16s: Wonthaggi v Sale, 9am.

Elimination final, Sunday at Morwell Recreation Reserve:

Seniors: Moe v Traralgon, 2.20pm.

Reserves: Traralgon v Leongatha, 12.30pm.

Under 18s: Bairnsdale v Sale, 10.30am.

Under 16s: Morwell v Moe, 9am.

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