GRFL – Saints on the board

19-03-2019 by admin

QUAMBATOOK held on for its first Golden Rivers Football League win of season 2016, defeating Moulamein by 12 points.

In a match involving the competition’s two winless teams, the Saints battled during the final quarter as the Swans kicked three goals and seven behinds with the breeze to almost snatch the club’s first win since round 13, 2014.

Looking for their first win since last season’s preliminary final, the Saints struggled early as Moulamein’s midfielders – led by Xavia Elford – controlled play.

Ryan Standen kicked the opening goal of the match two minutes in, before the Saints switched on.

Led by captain Gregor Knight, Luke Jackson and Dylan Pascoe, the home team began to take advantage of kicking with the breeze.

Jake Lloyd, Quambatook’s newest recruit, controlled proceedings in the forward line as the hosts kicked the next three goals to lead by 15 points at quarter time.

The Saints continued to control the game early in the second term, increasing the lead to 28 points within the first six minutes.

Swans coach, Tony Mudge moved defender Brendan Blackmore to the forward line – a change that paid dividends.

Blackmore kicked the next two goals of the term, cutting the deficit to 14 points at the main break.

Michael Morson reduced the margin to eight points early in the third term, but Knight, Jackson and Lloyd lifted the intensity.

The Saints kicked four of the next five goals of the game, with Knight’s goal before the siren setting up a 30-point lead for the home side with one quarter remaining.

Needing to kick five goals to record the club’s first win in 25 matches, Morson led the Swans’ charge, kicking truly two minutes in.

However, the visitors could not make the most of keeping the ball inside its half of the ground.

The Swans kicked two extra goals and seven behinds for the remainder of the match, with a rushed behind the sole Saints score for the quarter.

Lloyd kicked four goals for the victors, with Knight (two goals), Jackson and Naythan Downing best on ground for the home side.

Blackmore and Morson kicked two goals each for the Swans, with Mudge and Matthew Battenally playing well.

The Saints travel to Macorna after the AFL Victoria Community Championship bye, with the Swans to host Ultima.

Isma revives ‘Roos

FORMER E.G. Hunt Medallist, Tom Isma played his best match of the GRFL season on Saturday, helping reigning premiers, Ultima account for Hay by 12 points.

Isma kicked five goals and was one of the best players on the ground as the ‘Roos fought back in the second half to record a fifth consecutive win of the season and moved to the top of the ladder.

The Lions controlled proceedings in the opening half, leading by 18 points at quarter time and 19 points at the main break.

However, the visitors had registered nine extra scoring shots up to this point of the match – a factor that would not only keep the hosts in the game, but impact on the final result.

Ultima kept Hay goalless in the third quarter, kicking the only three majors of the term to trail by one behind with one term to play.

A tense final quarter eventuated, with Isma and Basil Althouse standing out for the hosts.

Despite the loss, there were plenty of positives for the Lions, including the performance of Ricki Waters, who kicked three goals in his second match for the New South Wales-based side.

Benedict Mahon and Jackson Bishop played well for the victors, with Tim Hanna and Jack Perrignon joining Waters as best players for the visitors.

Ultima will travel to take on the winless Moulamein when competition resumes on May 28, with Hay to host Murrabit.

PACKED: The ball was in there somewhere during the game at Murrabit.

Blues silence rivals

MURRABIT jumped to second spot on the GRFL ladder thanks to a 48-point win against former competition leaders and fierce rivals, Wandella.

Stan Ward (six goals) and Nathan Henry (five goals) led the way for the hosts, who go into the AFL Victoria Community Championship bye with a 4-2 record.

Both sides were evenly matched early in the game, with one point separating the teams at the opening break.

The home side started to control proceedings in the second quarter, kicking four goals to one to open up a 21-point advantage at the main break.

Murrabit broke the game open in the third quarter, kicking five goals to two to increase its lead to 42 points at the final break, with the home side finishing strongly.

Murrabit’s ability to contain Wandella coach, Paul Grayling in front of the Bombers’ goal was key to the win, with the forward only managing one goal for the match.

Greg Dickson kicked two majors for the visitors, with Justin Wilson and Ryan Lancaster standing out.

Ward and Joel Cross were best on ground for the victors, who travel to Hay on May 28.

Wandella fell to third on the ladder as a result of the loss, and take on fellow top four side, Nullawil in 11 days time.

Maroons’ mid-match dominance

MACORNA has dropped to sixth on the Golden Rivers Football League ladder after Nullawil inflicted a third consecutive loss on the former competition leaders.

In a key game for both sides before the AFL Victoria Community Championship break, it was the Maroons who pulled away in the second and third quarters to record a 25-point win.

The match started with high tackling intensity around the contest and was very even. Macorna looked dangerous when they got the ball deep forward with Ethan Tibbles able to hit the scoreboard, while at the other end Austin Hogan was able to convert.

The midfield battle was always going to be crucial, and to help this Nullawil had to restrict the influence of Luke Spalding in the ruck. While he won a lot of hit-outs, Spalding’s taps didn’t result in a tigers dominance in the middle.

After a tight first quarter, the home side was able to pull away in the middle two quarters to put the game beyond reach.

Kyle Doran, Jason Cowland and Tom Fawcett’s rebounding ability across half-back helped create drive, allowing the midfielders to spread with quick ball movement.

Despite having a lack of tall players, the Maroons were still able to score at will, with small forwards Royce Free and Grant Ford lively, along with Daniel Watts through the midfield.

It was evident the Tigers were missing the on-field leadership and hard edge that coach Wayne Mitrovic has, and without him on the field, the visitors lacked the ability to control play.

The Maroons began to dominate clearances by the middle of the third quarter, with Watts and Jack Barry getting first hands on the ball to help increase the lead to 45 points at the last change.

With a huge spray delivered by Mitrovic at the last change, the Tigers responded and showed a glimpse of what they are capable of. They were at their best when the ball got into the hands of Brett O’Hanlon, who used the ball well, and combined with Joel Dwyer and Jordan Simpson worked hard to lead a Tiger revival.

The visitors kicked the first three goals of the last quarter and whilst probably were never going to win the game, definitely made the scoreboard look significantly more respectable, and did not lose any great percentage which could be vital at the end of the year.

Kal Heslop finished with three goals for the victors, with Tibbles booting the same number of majors for the Tigers.

The interleague bye comes at a great time for both sides, with players set to come back after the break.

Nullawil’s season will resume at Wandella on May 28, with Macorna to host Quambatook.

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