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Boolarra FNC

MGFNL Round 12.

As we get deeper into the back half of the season different clubs have much different priorities, some are trying to maneuver into a position that allows them a double chance come finals time, quite a few are on either side of the top six desperately trying just to secure a finals spot and then there is a few at the bottom end trying to secure a rare win to celebrate a tough season.

Toora v Newborough

This clash was a perfect example of one team in Toora towards the bottom trying to claim the scalp of a contender, up against a Newborough side with their sights still set on a top three spot.

The Bulldogs have been getting the job done but are also under no illusions that there is still work to be done.

Newborough 19-12-126 to Toora 12-2-74

The Bulldogs are slowly but surely going about their business.

Craig Skinner, Newborough coach “Travelled down to Toora and played in perfect conditions for footy in winter. We were happy to start as strong as we usually finish. Got first use through Zac Skinner with Kyle Jennings finishing with 6 classy goals. Jacks men came out to play after half time and played some great footy. four quarters of that will definitely take four points off someone before the seasons over. Relieved to get to our Bye this week to reset before we play the three top teams on the other side.”

Newborough currently sit in fifth position still two wins from the top three and only a win ahead of the seventies MDU.

The Magpies each week are playing good football but more times than not, it seems to be coming after a slow start.

Jack Weston, Toora coach “Frustrating again to let a team get a five goal jump before we get in the game. At half time it threatened to get ugly. Thankfully we responded in the second half and the game didn’t blow out. Matching it with another top six side for a half. Challenges don’t get any bigger than Fish Creek next week. Our best footy is good enough against the best, we just need to do it for long enough.

The thought of the top of the top table Kangaroos, is enough to give anyone some sleepless nights, but as Toora fully understand you only ever lose if you don't learn along the way, and the Magpies are slowly putting together the pieces for a successful club on the field following their excellent off field camaraderie.

Mirboo North v Tarwin

With the reappointment by the Tigers, of coach Damian Turner for season 2025, Mirboo North might also have been hoping that the announcement could also have been the filip for a victory against the visiting Sharks.

Tarwin arrived as a side that was still a chance for finals and giving this one up would mean it would be the end of the line for that possibility, and in the end they may well have been the deciding factor..

The Sharks 13-6-84 to the Tigers 9-14-68

Jason Kennedy, Tarwin coach "the win keeps our season alive, the Tigers proved to be a tough opponent but at this stage of the season it is important we just keep getting the four points every time we can."

Make no mistake the home team Tigers had their chances to turn the result towards them, however far too many times, those chance just were not taken when they needed to be

Damian Turner, Mirboo North coach “We are disappointed, Tarwin were the better team when it counted so credit to them. Although behind all day we were within striking distance for the first half, playing some good footy. Tarwin came out in the third and pulled away to a match winning lead. We had a lot of play in the last qtr but didn’t capitalise. Need to play 4qtrs of footy to stay in these matches!”

The Tigers have some big weeks coming up over the next few weeks, one of which will have perhaps one of the greatest AFL players ever, watching from the sidelines in Gary Ablett Junior (Saturday July 20) and that in itself is to head to Mirboo's home ground and be part of an exciting day. 

Stony Creek v Fish Creek

Stony Creek's finals aspirations for this season might have been killed off a few weeks ago but that didn't mean that the Lions didn't fully intend to cause one of the upsets of the season by taking the scalp of the 2024 premiership favourites, Fish Creek, and for a while they looked on track until the visitors did what they do late in any game in which they are under pressure.

Stony Creek 9-3-57 defeated by the Kangaroos 16-9-105.

Jarrod Walker, Fish Creek coach “Got really pushed on the weekend for three quarters, Stony Creek had some high quality players across the ground which made it a hard fought contest all day. We were able to kick away in the third quarter and create a bit of a lead and then hold onto it for the last quarter. 

For the Lions it was yet another example of them having the personnel to match with any side in the competition, but it is also no secret that given the closeness of the MGFNL, every side needs to give four quarters.

Chris Verboon, Stony Creek coach “Our first half of footy showed we can match it with fish creek. Unfortunately we couldn’t do it for four quarters. Fish Creek's third quarter showed why they are on top of the ladder. There is a lot we can take out of the game and work on this week. 

The challenge that follows for Stony Creek is no less demanding, having to take on the might of Yinnar, a side that is coming off a rare loss and will be desperate to bounce back.

Morwell East v MDU

There was so much on offer for both of these two clubs, that there would be no excuse for poor performance from either.

Morwell East with a top three spot hanging in the balance hosting a MDU side that was still fighting for a chance to be part of the finals in just six weeks time.

In the end there was some good news for the Hawks and worrying times for the Demons.

Morwell East 11-13-79 to MDU 6-6-36.

Paul Henry, Morwell East coach “Every game is a big game when the competition is so close. MDU are a skillful side, our aim was to bring the pressure to provide the turnover. Our starts have been great, but not today. After half time we brought our game and never looked back. Worked really hard to win the last half to come away with the win."

Winning and knowing that there is still improvement is a nice position for the Hawks to be in, sitting second their destiny in their own hands and a growth of support off the field all goes well for an exciting eight to ten weeks ahead.

Nathan Allen, MDu coach “First half of footy from both teams was great to be a part of. It was finals like pressure and intensity and both teams struggled to take their chances. Second half Morwell were able to maintain that level, we weren’t. They were too good for us and ran away with the game in the end."

The loss for the Demons is one that hurts, they now sit just outside the six, they have some tough football ahead and if fifty fifty games don't start to fall their way, they may also be in the precarious position of not only winning but having those clubs above them losing at the same time. 

Foster v Yinnar

As well as these two teams are going, each was under no illusions as to the amount of work that was still to be done before the end of the home and away season.

Yinnar entered the weekend as league leaders on the back of eight successive wins, hosting a Foster side that was just four premiership points behind them and more than capable as it proved to be, of taking it right up to the Magpies.

Foster 10-11-71 to Yinnar 4-11-35.

The impressive victory came after a one kick defeat to reigning premiers Fish Creek just a week ago, both performances proof enough that the Tigers are well and truly in the premiership race up to their eyeballs. 

Sam Davies, Foster coach “A strong bounce back from last week’s result, we really set up well and were defensively elite. Yinnar are a very good team and will no doubt take a lot away from the game. Hill End away coming up on the back of their first win in a couple of years."

Hill End shouldn't be the problem that Fish Creek and Yinnar were in the past fortnight, for Foster however there is every chance that Yinnar might be questioning themselves after a comprehensive loss on the weekend. 

Sam McCuloch, Yinnar coach “We were greeted to perfect conditions for footy at Foster. Was a game in which they got the upper hand early and we were never able to get the game on our terms with disposal and decision making letting us down. Foster setup very well, played a good brand of footy and won most battles right across the field."

Confidence is  key for good sides and there is no question that their weekend loss would have put a dent in that of Yinnar, how they bounce back will now tell us a little about who they are.

Hill End v Boolarra

Finally! twelve rounds in and the Rovers achieved reward for effort, with an impressive and courageous win over Boolarra

Hill End 13-6-84,too good for the Demons 11-7-73.

While some in the competition will soon start to hone in on what looms as one of the most competitive finals series in recent memory, these two teams are playing for both pride and the chance to sell a dream for prospective players that 2025 will be one in which there may well be more success, and it was Hillsmen who now have a story to sell.

Ambu Uliando, Hill End “been celebrating  after coming off a solid four quarter effort last week, we managed to back It up and continue our form against Boolarra. An extremely emotional victory for Hill End  on our past players day couldn't have come at a better time. Very proud of the team."  

and while their were plenty of celebrations for the Rovers, the reality of the work to be done at Boolarra has now set in, and the importance of the team staying strong right now, while there appears to be a few cracks starting to open up, there remains plenty for the Demons to achieve this year.

Brendan Mason, Boolarra coach “Was always going to be a tough day at hill end with them hosting their past players day. They were up for the contest and we weren’t. Credit to Ambu the way he had his guys playing they are on the right track." 

The clash was further evidence of just how important it is to have your team up and about on a weekly basis, no win can be taken for granted no matter where you sit on the MGFNL ladder.

Bye: Thorpdale

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