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Boolarra FNC

MGFNL Round 7

With just a fortnight or so before the halfway mark of the MGFNL season, sides are still aggressively jostling for positions towards the top of the table, but to say it is tight at the top would be an understatement, well at least it was prior to the start of round seven.  

Thorpdale v Fish Creek

With just one game separating top placed Fish Creek from eighth placed Thorpdale, there were always going to be two teams willing to put it all on the line,  in what loomed as a season defining clash..

The Kangaroos, as reigning premiers, were well aware of the Blue's desire to be a contender in season 2024, but to do that they first had to show that they were worthy against the very best.

Worthy they were, win they did not.

Thorpdale 14-8-92  defeated by Fish Creek 14-18-102

Jason Winderlich, Thorpdale coach “As Luke Beveridge said Thursday night ‘it’s hard to feel like a winner when you don’t win on the scoreboard’, but I felt like we had a win against fish creek without getting the 4 points. Really proud of the playing groups effort for first 90 minutes of football with 9 senior players out. To give ourselves a chance against the reigning premier was great to watch. Fish creeks last 20 minutes of football was pure class though as we just ran out of legs.

The match, one of the best of the season, was a great learning curve for what might be expected later in the season.

 Jarrod Walker Fish Creek coach “A finals like intensity all day, with Thorpdale having all the answers for most of the day. We had to throw the magnets around a bit in the second half and could finally get some momentum going our way. Some huge efforts across the board, backs mids and forwards standing up in some key moments in the last quarter.”

The cream rises to the top under pressure, and no one questions the quality of the Kangaroos, but you also get the feeling the clubs have been and will continue to come for the reigning premiers in the coming months.  

Morwell East v Hill End

A fortnight of heartbreaking losses in winnable games had overshadowed Mortwell East's impressive start to the season that had the Hawks on top of the table and undefeated.

In the blink of an eye Morwell East had fallen from first to fifth and were in no mood for further disappointment as they took on Hill End. 

Morwell East  25-19-169 comfortably accounting for Hill End 1-4-10.

Paul Henry, Morwell East coach “We faced an undermanned Hill End outfit today. Solid effort from our boys. Nice to get back on the winners list. Two week off for us. Bit of a freshen up before a tough middle part of the season, starting with Mirboo Nth.”

It was just the confidence building win the Hawks needed after a fortnight of heartbreaking losses and coming into a bye weekend, now comes an opportunity for Morwell East to reset, reassess and come again in round nine.

For the Rovers on the other hand, a hard season gets harder every week, and when they say "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger", Hill End knows more than most this is the case.


Ambu Uliando, Hill End coach “It was another tough day for us. We had eight senior players injured or unavailable which tested our depth. but to the boys credit they kept pushing hard.

Hill End's best chance of victory for the season, might just be a week away as they now prepare to get themselves up and about for Mirboo North.

Stony Creek v Boolarra

In many ways this clash loomed as somewhat like a final given the victor would stay in the race for contention at season's end, whilst for the loser, just staying in touch with the top six sides would be a challenge in itself given the quality of teams above them.

Both teams had their chances, but it was the Demons that made the most of theirs. 

Stony Creek 11-8-74 defeated by Boolarra 12-8-80.

Brendan Mason, Boolarra coach “It is good to be back on the winners list. It was a physical game and both teams had their moments so really glad we were able to come out on top."

The precious premiership points are invaluable to Boolarra, who despite still being two games from the top six, can genuinely see the chance of climbing the ladder in the weeks ahead.

For Stony Creek the mountain has just gotten higher, and although not unclimbable it is becoming very dangerous. 

Chris Verboon, Stony Creek coach “Frustrating month for us. With four games we could have won. Boolarra is another game that got away. Our midfield was on top most of the day but our structure around the ground fell away at times. We had our chances but we just can’t put teams away late in games."

In more cases than not there is very little difference between what is and what could have been, and unless things change quickly for the Lions this could well be a season of what could have been.

Mirboo North v Yinnar

As the Tigers continue their rebuild both on and off the field, the necessity to insure the playing group remains positive moving forward is sure to be a priority, Mirboo North were given little chance of success against a steam rolling Yinnar side, but he Tigers too, have been where the Magpies currently are, and know with patience, their time will come.

That said a loss of this magnitude still hurts, Yinnar  17-12-114 defeated Mirboo North 2-9-21.

The Magpies showing the sort of killer instinct that really good sides have and justifying their top of the ladder position.

Sam McCulloch, Yinnar coach "In a match that started off with plenty of speed on the ball and big contests all over the field, it took us until the second half to kick clear. Mirboo North rolled players back into defensive 50 to make life hard for our forwards to really gain the upper hand, once we controlled the footy, we started to find great avenues to goal. Good team performance against an opposition who wouldn't lie down.". 

The Tigers continue to show moments of what is required, but as is the case when a rebuild is in place, there are always a few "renovations" to be made along the way.

Damian Turner, Mirboo North coach “ It was another tough day. Yinnar are a strong side, have a brilliant mix of youth & experience. We showed some good signs, but skill errors in crucial parts of the ground undid some hard work.

The Tigers are yet to taste victory in 2024, but this week face another side in exactly the same position in Hill End, for one club, a season of testing times is sure to bring a moment of satisfaction. 

Toora v MDU

The visiting Demons arrived at the home of Toora under no illusions as to how dangerous this game could have been for them.

An improved Magpies outfit looking for another scalp, ideally that of MDU to add to their couple of early season victories, were keen to make a statement against a genuine finals contender.

MDU however proved superior winning 16-10-106 to Toora 8-5-53.

Nathan Allen, MDU coach “The weekend was a great contest with Toora in what were perfect conditions. We were able to really implement a few structural things we have been working on, so it was a successful day."

Nothing is more pleasing than when the practice is executed as planned under match conditions, the Demons continuing to "fly under the radar" currentl;y sitting in sixth spot but just one win from those teams on top.

The Magpies are improving every week, but there still remain periods in games that provide hope that better times lay ahead. 

Jack Weston, Toora coach “We learned on the weekend that when you allow sides to play the game on their terms, it will be a struggle. We must respond next week against Boolarra & play with some freedom.

It is a courageous coach that allows his team to play with freedom, but more often than not, that instinctiveness and spontaneity can bring a group together and really enjoy their football, and at the end of the day, if you're doing that, it's not much point in playing.

Newborough v Tarwin

As each week passes you get the feeling the pieces of the Newborough puzzle are starting to form a picture that will please coach Craig Skinner.

The Bulldogs welcomed an enthusiastic Tarwin side to the kennels, knowing full well the Sharks arrived with a goal to cause a major upset.

Newborough 11-12-78 to Tarwin 10-3-63

Craig Skinner, Newborough coach “We played an undermanned Tarwin side today who played a high risk, high pressure brand of footy and executed it well. It was an even contest all day and could have gone either way. Extremely proud of the twenty one Newborough players that put on the jumper today. Was a great result and a great reward for effort for first gamers Zach Daley and Jack Edibohls. It will be our turn next week to bring that same style when we travel to Meeniyan to take another team head on before the bye.

Tarwin proved on the weekend that they can match with the contenders and with some minor adjustments sprinkled with a little luck, their season could change very quickly.

The Sharks were well served by the likes of Matt Williams, Travis Krause, Fergus Warren, Rob Houston, Lachie Jones and of course the coach Jason Kenneddy himself.

Jason Kennedy Tarwin coach "Coming into the game, we had 6 out from last week and 3 late withdrawals due to sickness. It was a huge effort to continue to fight the game out Having no bench in the last quarter, also gave us that extra challenge to navigate. Forcing us to push on Although we didn’t come away with the 4 points to win, I’m extremely proud of the boys and the perseverance they showed throughout. It’s put us in good stead for the remainder of the year and next week’s big away game challenge, against a strong fish creek.

Tarwin are still well and truly in the race for finals, currently seventh just one game from sixth and two from the top. with a hell of a lot of footy to play, their destiny still remains in their own hands. 

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