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Boolarra FNC

MGFNL Round 3

Yinnar v Fish Creek

It was always going to be interesting to see how Yinnar might front up to the reigning premiers just seven days after going down to the 2023 runners up in Newborough, a match in which they 

were in control for most of the day before a thirty minute lapse saw the game slip away.

This week you could have argued that the bar might even be higher as they confronted a Fish Creek side that had very few weaknesses. 

The home side lifted to the occasion however with an impressive twenty seven point win.

The Magpies 11-7-73 to the Kangaroos 6-10-46. There was nothing between these two sides for the first sixty minutes with Fish Creek leading by just the single point at both the first quarter and the main half time break.  

Sam McCulloch, Yinnar coach “Happy to come away with the win. We played our brand of footy in the second half which was pleasing to watch. Very impressed with the even contribution right across the board. Was a great response from our group and I felt we learnt from our mistakes the previous week. Looking forward to the bye this week and will give us the opportunity to refine parts of our game and reset for our next block of tough games.

The win by the Magpies, was as good a victory as the club has had in recent seasons and has Yinnar amongst a handful of genuine contenders in 2024, their opponents Fish Creek were beaten but far from disgraced.

Jarrod Walker, Fish Creek coach “A tight tussle for most of the day, we couldn’t get the game on our terms for most of it, with credit to the Yinnar pressure and spread. A few key moments we didn’t win, allowing Yinnar to kick away a little bit. A late surge saw our intensity get to where it should have been all day, in the end, we left it too late.

The home and away season is all about winning enough games to be well placed for a finals surge in a few months time, and there is little doubt these two teams will be part of the conversation.

Boolarra v Tarwin

Both of these two teams were coming off a round two loss, but both had also shown enough in the very early part of 2024 that they could believe that this clash was very winnable if a four quarter effort complimented by some calmness under pressure was shown.

Pre game predictions had the game to be decided by a very small margin, and for the most part they were right, the Blues coming from behind before scoring an impressive Victory.

Tarwin 13-11-89 to Boolarra 9-9-63

The Demons got out to a fast start leading by better than three goals at quarter time, before the visitors slowly but surely started to reel them in.

Brendan Mason, Boolarra coach “We started well but that’s about as far as it got. We were outplayed for three quarters to a team that wanted to work harder and wanted it more. Now we have to face another tough game next week against MDU on their home ground."

The way the Sharks went about their business, would have impressed the Tarwin faithful, down early, their focus on the job at hand did not waiver, the longer the game went, the greater the margin became.

Jason Kennedy, Tarwin coach "After a slow start we chipped away but finished off strong which was in contrast to our week earlier, its a pretty new group, and its new to us coaches as well with so many new faces as we get to know everyone's strengths and weaknesses.

The Sharks are again starting to circle, and there is not a side in the competition that can casually cruise into a contest against Tarwin and expect to leave without a fight.

Hill End v Newborough

Games can sometimes be won or lost before the ball is bounced, the reputation of the opponent enough to intimidate the opposition even before battle.

Hill End hosting a premiership contender could have be seen in one of two ways, as a match that was always going to be out of their reach, or one from which many lessons could be learnt and the result being a "fast track" of what would need to be done in the weeks and months ahead to be become an even better side.

The result was probably never in doubt, with Newborough comfortable, very comfortable one hundred and forty six point winners.

The Bulldogs 25-17-167 to Hill End 3-3-21.

Craig Skinner, Newborough coach "Great to play in perfect conditions against a young undermanned HillEnd team. A consistent game from us to celebrate Liam Charles and Josh Pearces 100 game Milestone. We are improving every week and look forward to taking on Morwell East, the competition's only undefeated team and see how we go.”

As good as the Bulldog's victory was, we should also be commending the Rovers' efforts in turning up, rather than turning it up, on a weekly basis.

Ambu Uliando, Hill End coach "tough day for the hillmen. Newborough were too strong and quick all over the ground. Still plenty of good signs though. We will keep improving each week."

This week, it's another tough challenge, in fact possibly the toughest of them all, taking on the reigning premiers Fish Creek, themselves coming off a loss.

Foster v Thorpdale

You always get the feeling that no matter where or when, Foster is the type of side that could turn it on when you least expect it.

Hosting a quality opposition like Thorpdale, meant that the Tigers were going to have to do just that if they were to trouble a quality Blues outfit, and guess what?… they did!

Foster 12-7-79 to Thorpdale 6-12-48.

The game however didn't come without a cost, both teams having several players sidelined after brutal clashes, in a match that was not officiated by umpires but the clubs themselves.

Sam Davies, Foster coach “Stoked to get the four points. Our ball pressure was at a level that I haven't seen for a long time - but we have three blokes in a hospital bed from the game, hopefully the league can sort out this umpire situation because we can't have dangerous and out of control games. Not fair on anyone. We will have to find players from everywhere next week against Tarwin, that all said we were also stoked that the netballers had a clean sweep today too!"

There is no questioning that Foster, at their best, is a force to be reckoned with, and Thorpdale found that out in no uncertain terms on the weekend. 

Jason Winderlich, Thorpdale coach “It was another tough contested game. Unfortunately we couldn’t step up and compete to our expected level. Brutal game of footy, I’d expect there to be four or five players from each team missing next week. It gave us a good indication where we think we are though, which is in the middle of the table. Great to have such an open competition again this year."

Each week there seems to be at least one result that catches most by surprise, and that is the nature of a competition that shows very little between top of the tables and as far down as eighth, ninth or even tenth.

Morwell East v Toora

The prospect of a perfect start to the season for Morwell East was always going to guarantee that the Hawks were up and about and ready to clip the wings of the visiting Magpies.

Make no mistake, Toora are an improved side on what they were in 2023, but the weekend clash also showed that there are still some significant improvements to be made to threaten the top end of town. 

Morwell East 19-9-123 to Toora 3-4-22

Paul Henry, Morwell East coach “Great win today at home. We attacked well from the half back line. We got our running game going through the middle of the ground and our forwards were working hard to make sure we were kicking goals from good positions. A well balanced team effort from us. Similar position to last year leading into an away game against Newborough. We will however be looking to make a much better effort than we produced then."

The Hawks continue to impress, with really consistent football, the weekend providing five, eight, three and three goals for the four quarters respectively, ensuring a victory that builds on the platform from which to launch even bigger and better victories. 

Jack Weston, Toora coach “We had seven changes from last week that provided an opportunity for two debutants. However, unfortunately we were out gunned by a slick Morwell East side who defended the ground well, spread hard & moved the ball skilfully, giving their forwards good looks."

The scoreline shows a one sided affair, but it also provided a learning for a Magpies side intent on improving as quickly as possible.

Morwell East was good, Toora will get better. 

Stony Creek v Mirboo North.

As much as the Tigers may have made the t

rek to Stony Creek believing this match could well be the one to kick start their season, there would have been few that didn't realise that the Lions were always going to be a massive mountain for Mirboo North to climb.

Chris Verboon is very quickly putting together an outfit that has bigger and better things that lay ahead and the visitors were a stepping stone in the quest. 

Stony Creek 15-11-101 to Mirboo North 3-6-24, with the Kangaroos jumping out to a better than five goal lead by the first break and then building on that for each and every quarter.

Chris Verboon, Stony Creek coach "  “It was good to see us playing our brand of footy this week. Going into the game we just wanted to play with confidence and really take the game on and we did this from the start. Mirboo north had a few boys out injured which always makes it hard. They managed to tighten up in the second quarter which made it hard for our midfield to get clean possession. Was really good to see a couple of great individual efforts from a few of our boys. Reward for effort they have been putting in at training. Thorpdale away next week will be a great challenge for us. Always love seeing the bag of spuds they give away at the end of the game! Looking forward to the hit out

The Kangaroos have set their sights on a finals spot in 2024, and the weekend win as a small step forward, in a journey that still has a way to go, both for themselves, and for their round three opponents, Mirboo North..

Damian Turner, Mirboo North coach “Tough day on the weekend, certainly can’t fault our effort, but the skill errors really hurt. Credit to Stony Creek, they were better for longer and hurt us when it counted." 

The Tigers will inevitably face many more challenges like the one they did on the weekend, how they respond to those will determine the time it will take to be the more formidable side that we have come to expect.

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