A week off after a week's play really isn't the ideal start to the season, but nevertheless, getting back on the field was important for those teams that were wanting to rectify poor starts, or fine tune winning performances on the Anzac Day weekend.
Hill End v Boolarra Of all the things that you may have considered happening between these two teams, a draw wasn't one of them. Hill End 7-11-53 drew with Boolarra 8-5-53 On the back of some commendable recruiting, Boolarra had set itself a number of goals, one of which was to threaten some of the best teams in the competition, and there would be no bigger challenge at this early stage of the year, than Hill End on their home ground. The Rovers had flexed their muscle in their comfortable round one win over finals aspirant Mirboo North and were keen to assume control early in their clash with the visiting Demons, but it wasn't to be.
Boolarra jumped out to a sixteen point first quarter lead, which may have shocked the crowd, but it also gave the visitors the belief they could actually win.
By half time, the home side had whittled that margin back to five points and at the last change the Rovers had managed to wrestle back the lead by two points, a lead many expected would be built on
Hill End coach, Mike Santo,"an entertaining game of football for the neutral observer, our inaccuracy probably cost us in the end, particularly in the second quarter, Boolarra area much improved side who stuck to their structures well and played a good game of footy, they had their chances to win late, but I was really pleased with the way we held them out very late in the game, probably lucky to get the two points in the end"
Tony Giardina, Boolarra coach "it was a good game of high pressure footy, against a good side, we started really well but couldn't put on enough scoreboard pressure, our kicking needs to improve to match with the top sides"
Further Improvement would mean great things are possible for a team and a club that have been at the bottom end of the MGFNL ladder in recent years, and although it was "just a draw" and it was "just one game" every long journey starts with just a few steps, and maybe just maybe, Boolarra have taken them.
Fish Creek v Toora
There were no more contrasting results in round one than for these two teams with Fish Creek manufacturing a gutsy come from behind win over rivals Foster in the opening round of 2022, whilst Toora had confronted a devastating Newborough side when going down by more than one hundred points. A week may be a long time in football, but even a fortnight was not enough time for the Power to turn around their fortunes when they took on the Kangaroos on their home ground. Fish Creek 18-19-127 defeated Toora 3-8-26 The Kangaroos solid for four full quarters, proved to be far too strong for what is a young Power side. John Danckert Fish Creek coach "terrific to get the job done on the weekend for Trav Manne in his 300th senior game for the club, I thought our first half was outstanding, Toora came out after half time and threw down the challenge, and we responded well in the last quarter and managed to come away with a significant win"
Toora coach, Matthew Ponton "we played better than we did in round one, with a more competitive effort at the football, unfortunately with a very young side in, our skills let us down in patches and there is no doubt that Fish Creek made the most of that" Young talent takes time to develop and mature and Toora remains committed to improving on a weekly basis, so as to be more competitive in what is a very strong and even competition. Newborough v Mirboo North Newborough 15 -12- 102 defeated Mirboo North 8 -12- 60 It wasn't entirely anything new for Mirboo North to have started the season slowly, given in the past handful of years the Tigers had done pretty much the same, but still managed to climb their way up the MGFNL ladder and put themselves into finals and even premiership contention. This year however there was expected to be a few bigger challenges that stood in their way, and one of those was an improved Newborough side eager to send a message to the league. Josh Taylor, Mirboo North coach " it was another ripper day for footy, we got a couple of key players back into the side which added some height and we had some really good momentum swings go our way throughout the day but in the end it was partially our goal kicking that hurt us, one goal at quarter time and being down by five goals and from there we couldn't peg it back, Newborough were slick and played a good brand of footy and were also the fitter side of the two" The Tigers are now zero from two, and although it's too early to panic, hosting Yinnar this week in round three takes on a whole new meaning now. Stony Creek v Tarwin
The opportunity to start the season two and zero, rather than one and one, was incentive enough for both of these round one winning sides to produce some of their best,even at this early stage of the season. With thirteen teams and only five spots for finals it would be matches like this that gave opportunity too much more attractive possibilities later in the season. The Lions on their new and improved home ground were also keen to show they were deserving of the effort and work that had been done in the off season, but a devastating second half of football for the visitors shut down any celebrations for the home side. Stony Creek 4-6-30 were defeated by Tarwin 12-1-73 Stony Creek coach, Jai Acardi " after a really good first half of football where we managed to control a lot of the play but were unable to put any scoreboard pressure on Tarwin, we pretty much stopped, the third quarter was one to forget from our point of view, Tarwin came out firing and we just fell back in to some bad habits" Tarwin coach Troy Hemming "great team effort across the board from us, skill errors early cost us but credit to Stony on their pressure around the contest, best news from the day is our A grade netball team had their first win since 2017 - huge for the club!" Great clubs are built on genuine excitement and pleasure in others' success within the group, the Sharks are certainly doing the "little" things right. Thorpdale v MDU With Demon's youngster Spencer Chadwick knocked out in a tackle and having to be airlifted to the Alfred, the score was really secondary, albeit very close Thorpdale 9-9-63 beat MDU 9-8-62. ( from early reports Spencer is improving and the Leagues thoughts are with him and family) The Blues went into this second round match with confidence given their first hit out just a fortnight ago, showed some reasonably promising signs from the clubs younger players, and, coupled with an expectation of increased fitness, a win was seen as achievable. MDU however, found themselves in pretty much the same boat, with a first up loss scattered with impressive passages of play only let down by the inability to apply pressure on the scoreboard. A fast start was seen as crucial by both clubs in winning the match, and we got that, from both sides, with no more than a goal or two separating them all afternoon. Thorpdale coach, Ray Pickering :we came into the game confident if we could repeat last games first half for four quarters, we could really shake MDU and thats exactly what we managed to do, we got our structures together for longer periods resulting in us winning a lot of territory, our midfield were great all day and played a huge part in a great victory for the club on a big occasion." MDU coach, Peter Harris " tough day for the club no one likes losing and especially by a point, when we should've taken our chances and sealed the game, the shortened game made the challenge even greater, Thorpy kept cracking in and had some great onballers who kept giving them opportunities." The weeks ahead will give even further improvement and more opportunities for success for both teams. Yinnar v Morwell East The Magpies side, like any club in the competition, hate to lose games on their home turf, and the very real possibility of losing two in a row to a well credentialled Hawks side, had Yinnar ready, willing and able to produce their very best. Much had been made of the Morwell East team in the off season, given the high quality talent that was secured, but whether that was all ready to go for their first game of the year after a first round bye remained questionable, before it was answered quite clearly by the Magpies. Yinnar 11-14-80 defeated Morwell East 8-6-54 Yinnar coach, Daniel Taylor " fantastic effort by the boys, we have a lot of talent on our list, but this game was won through hard work and hard work only, which make the win even more satisfying, our pressure was right up and all twenty one guys cracked and worked their backsides off, which was great to see." Morwell East coach, Devon Soutar "we were outworked and outplayed from start to finish, messy would understate our touch and ball use, which in our first game can be somewhat excused, but what can't be excused is an absent thirst for the contest and total lack of desire to get on the spread. train wreck performance against a side with an impressive work rate" Yinnar with an impressive bounce back from their disappointing first round loss Daniel Taylor "we allowed twenty nine scoring shots against us in round one, but to then allow Morwell East, who I see as a real contender this year, only six scoring shots up to three quarter time in perfect conditions was an outstanding effort." The Hawks may have had a few out and were coming off a first round bye and an Easter break, but I wouldn't want to be them on the training track this week under Devon Soutar.!! Foster -Bye