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Boolarra FNC

MGFNL Round 4

The MGFNL ladder may still be a little way from taking shape, but after a month of football, we are starting to get a better indication as to what clubs are, or might be capable of.   

The undoubted match of the round was to be the clash between two of last year's finalists, Newborough v Morwell East.

As good as the Hawks had been in their unbeaten start to the season, their weekend clash against the 2023 runners up, was always going to loom as their biggest test to date.

Newborough, at the kennel, in front of an enthusiastic crowd  can be a daunting experience, but it was one where coach Paul Henry was also able to get a good first hand look at the ammunition he had at his disposal, and every indication is that his army is ready to go to war.

Morwell East.16-10-106 tough, honest, impressive winners over Newborough 9-16-70

Paul Henry, Morwell East Coach "Massive test for us this week against Newborough. We produced exactly what we had produced the last three weeks, it was great to do it against the bench mark of the league. Huge effort by our players."

The win indeed has raised the eyebrows of most in the competition, with the Hawks quickly being discussed, even this early in the season as a premiership contender

Craig Skinner Newborough coach "Morwell East were a class above today, we were beaten in most areas and again kicked points when goals were premium. We have a bit of work to do but getting high quality opposition each week gives us a good early guide to what’s required to finish in the top half of the draw.

There is no doubt that Newborough's best football is still ahead of them, but winning enough games to have yourself well placed for a finals charge is the key not only for the Bulldogs, but also for a handful of clubs planning to do the same. 


MDU v Boolarra

Given the importance of victory, the battle of the Demons was always going to be about the premiership points rather than the "namesake" between the two clubs.

MDU had confronted a tough fortnight of football prior to last weeks bye, and now back on their home deck were keen to register their first home ground win against a visiting side that had indicated that they would also be up for the challenge.

MDU 13-11-89 to Boolarra 6-4-40, proved that the home team Demons are slightly more advanced at this early stage of the year..

Nathan Allen, MDU coach "Another great day for footy at our home deck. Boolarra really came to play and made us earn everything we got. The end score doesn’t show how tight of a game it was all day."

Winning those tight games, can be the difference between a successful season and one that got away, Boolarra have proven they have what it takes but games have been lost, not through lack of effort but short periods of concentration. 

Brendan Mason, Boolarra coach "For three quarters we were right in the game. Played some pretty good footy and were able to stop MDUs run and spread but Credit to Nathan and his team they were just too strong in the end and ran over the top of us. Much needed rest this week with so many injuries, looking forward to getting some cavalry back after the bye and hopefully getting our season back on track.

The weekend off has come at just the right time for Boolarra, the Demons now having a short break and having the opportunity to reload before setting themselves for a month of giving one hundred per cent.


Fish Creek v Hill End

A classic tale of David and Goliath, except without the "fairytale ending", for Hill End,  as they made one of their longest trips of the season to take on the reigning premiers, the Kangaroos coming of a loss, but on the weekend back on their home deck and ready to make amends, the result was probably never in doubt, but the margin was to be of interest.

Fish Creek 26-20- 76 to Foster 5-2-32, the twenty four goal difference an indication of the difference between the top and bottom of the MGFNL ladder.

Jarrod Walker, Fish Creek coach "A good day on Saturday, very pleased with a four quarter effort, had a few standout players but all in all played well as a team which was good to see. Hill End cracked in all day and supported us really well in the social rooms after the game which we appreciate." 

Is those "little" things of paying your opponent respect even in loss, that indicates that Coach Uliando is teaching his men about the game, and it's not always about winning, but earning respect. 

Ambu Uliando, Hill End coach "It was a rough day at Fish Creek for the Hillmen. Credit to the boys they fought hard all day and didn't give up, just hoping to have a few players back from injury next week against Yinnar. 

The Rovers are a little way off where they need to be, but coach Uliando has the patience and the ability to lead his team slowly but surely in the right direction.

The test for Hill End won't be leadership, it will be the resilience of the playing group and the off field support that must also remain true to what is required.


Tarwin v Foster

Four rounds in and Tarwin finally got their chance to showcase the team in front of a hometown crowd. The early signs for the Sharks had been good, their win just seven days prior over Boolarra, seemingly a perfect platform from which to launch into rivals Foster.

The Tigers had been hit and hurt in their win against Thorpdale in round three, but whether they were going to be fragile as a result would be put to the test early by Tarwin.

Foster's 7-7-49 win over Tarwin 2-8-20, reinforcing what most already knew and that was, never underestimate a wounded Tiger.

Sam Davies, Foster coach “Adversity creates opportunity, we made seven forced changes from the previous week and with more already out we were really up against it playing a fit, quick team. Really proud of the group and the way we are backing our system in. The win was a great way to celebrate milestones from first gamers to two hundreds.

Those celebrations indicate the contrast of ability Foster has, from youngsters donning the yellow and black for the first time to those loyal to the club for a decade.

Jason Kennedy, Tarwin coach “We knew that we needed to be at our best and we were just not switched on but credit to foster that come to play. A lot of learnings have come from the game and we moved forward to next week away at stony creek

The Sharks are likely to be vying for a coveted top six spot in



a few months time, but for now the key will be to string some "w"s together in order to set themselves apart from a group of seemingly even opposition sides.


Thorpdale v Stony Creek

The Blues were only just getting their breath back after being knocked around by Foster a week prior when a visiting Stony Creek side arrived planning to topple the home side over.

The Lions were well aware that a win against their more favoured opponents would be a step closer to them achieving one of their most desired preseason goals of progression up the MGFNL ladder, but the result also showed that as good as Stony Creek are the game can also be cruel, 

Thorpdale 13-5-83 to Stony Creek 12-5-77, the one goal margin yet another indication of just how close this competition is and how the smallest improvements can make a big difference. 

Jason Winderlich, Thorpdale coach "

Happy to come away with the four points. Lots to work on still but looked better in the second half. Another trip down South Gippsland to face the much improved Toora.”

The Blues have toughed out a couple of one kick victories now, and there is every possibility that there will be more close encounters to come, not only for Thorpdale but for Stony Creek also.

Chris VerBoon, Stony Creek coach "We went into the game knowing it was going to be a tight contest and that we would have to play at our best to stay with them. We had a few key position players out and the boys that filled those spots did a great job. It is frustrating to lose another close game but we shouldn’t be unhappy with the effort."  

With continued effort, there is little doubt the Lions will be the recipient of some good fortune and being on the "right" side of upcoming close encounters.


Toora v Mirboo North

Every win, in fact any win, for either of these two teams is worth celebrating, with work still to be done by both, grabbing opportunities for rare victories would be absolutely crucial.

Toora on their home deck was never going to be an easy task for the visiting Tiger team, the Magpies jumped out of the blocks, leading at every break and getting the four premiership points, despite the best efforts of the visiting Tigers. 

Toora 11-11-77 to Mirboo North 6-8-44

Jack Weston Toora coach Mirboo North controlled the game in patches and had repeat forward entries. It was really pleasing to see our defenders hold up to this pressure and not allow them to kick a winning score. Offensively we probably allowed conditions to stifle our ball movement somewhat. Some good passages and individual efforts put a winning score on the board."

The Magpies extended their lead at every break and although Mirboo showed glimpses of good ball movement finding their way to goals was more times than not a bridge too far. 

Damian Turner, Mirboo North coach “Toora were too good for us today. Credit to Jack and his boys. We fought back hard coming into half time, but a poor second half let Toora take control of the game. Consistency is still our key focus, and we will continue to work on this. Again our willingness to fight hard all day is really positive from a young group.

A young group willing to work and learn will quickly improve and that is the best that coach Turner can hope for in season 2024, the possibility of taking a few unlikely scalps on the way would be the icing on the cake.


BYE:Yinnar

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