Tigers find their groove to make it three in a row

Tiger Joe Brooks and Hill End's Ambu Uliando vie for a hit out. photograph hayley mills

Tiger Joe Brooks and Hill End's Ambu Uliando vie for a hit out. photograph hayley mills

FOOTBALL

MID GIPPSLAND

Mirboo North made it three in a row in round seven with a comfortable win over Hill End, 13.19 (97) to 5.3 (33).

Another convincing win for the Tigers is sure to help grow the confidence of the reigning premiers.

The signs were not obvious early in the game and the home side registered the only goal of the quarter to lead by six points at the first break.

The Tigers started to find their groove in the second quarter and added five goals and nine behinds to lead by 32 points at half-time.

The scoreboard pressure continued in the last term and Mirboo North added seven goals and eight behinds with Zac Kilgower and Luke Palmer bagging three each to round out the day.

"We're really starting to play some good team footy, and we started to control the game, but there were some opportunities missed," Tigers playing-coach Josh Taylor said.

"It's always good to get the ball, I've tried to take the focus off the coaching and lead through example ... and that seems to be working better."

Boolarra v Newborough

A change of game plan delivered a change of result for Newborough who walked away comfortable winners over Boolarra on Saturday, 14.15 (99) to 3.6 (24).

Boolarra were first to strike on the scoreboard and appeared buoyant but a lack of options up forward proved to be their undoing.

Newborough settled reasonably well and remained composed to lead by 15 points at quarter-time.

Michael Gelagotis continued his good form, as did Jared Risol, both well supported by Wade Smith, Jesse White and Liam Carolan.

The Bulldogs started to find form and led by 42 points at the main break after keeping the Demons scoreless in the second term.

It continued in the third and the visitors added another four goals while Boolarra missed opportunities and added one goal and five behinds.

For the home side Sam Mazou, Alex Devonshire, Daniel Wilson, Tom Reiske, Glen Smith and Dylan Cooper contributed well but it was to be the Bulldogs' day.

Trafalgar v YYN

Yallourn-Yallourn North have claimed top spot on the Mid Gippsland league ladder with a win over Trafalgar on Saturday, 13.7 (85) to 6.12 (48).

The shape of the top three in the Mid Gippsland league was always going to be determined by the result of this clash between the two heavyweights of the competition.

Trafalgar was dominating in the opening stages but it was league leading goal-kicker Bomber Dean McDonald who put the first major on the scoreboard at the five-minute mark.

The Bloods would later be counting the cost of their early inaccuracy but led at quarter-time by five points.

Trafalgar's job became more difficult early in the second when they lost forward Rhys Holdsworth with what appeared to be a serious leg injury.

Scores were locked at 27 apiece at half-time and it was Jesse Stone who opened scoring in the second half for Trafalgar to give them the edge.

The Bombers kicked into gear soon after and cracks began to show in the Bloods side for the first time this year.

Up by 13 points at the start of the last quarter, the Bombers' run proved too much for Trafalgar.

Dean McDonald was finding room and Connor and Keenan Hughes were brilliant as a tidal wave of red and black hit.

Trafalgar's inability to apply scoreboard pressure when they had the chance came back to haunt them as the Bombers added a handful of goals in the final quarter to storm home by 37 points.

"They dominated the first quarter and we didn't adjust to their full game press," Bombers coach Barrie Burnett said.

"Our blokes just were not working hard enough early, but we addressed that after half-time ... to be challenged by a good club and to see us stand up, even our young blokes, was great for us."

Thorpdale v Morwell East

Thorpdale strengthened their hold on a top four spot with an impressive win over Morwell East on Saturday, 13.12 (90) to 11.8 (74).

The Hawks jumped out of the blocks early and made the most of every opportunity, converting five goals from six opportunities in the first quarter to lead by 11 points at the first break.

Rob Michaelides was at his best for Morwell East and served as a target up forward for the Hawks' runners.

Thorpdale's Ed and Hugh Greene were well supported by Brad Atkinson, Gavin Low, Corey Celima, Brett Gatehouse and Phil Bennet and helped the Blues wrestle back a 16-point lead at half-time.

The visitors were forced to dig deep in the third and were well served by Frank Marks, Matt Brown, Brandon Francis, Zach Mangion and Matt Cunningham while Michaelides continued to dominate up forward.

The margin was 15 points in favour of the Blues at the last break and it proved to be enough with the home side emerging 16-point victors.

"We kicked the first couple, but they came back at us pretty quick and the ball was going around the ground quickly as well, but they were good, especially [Robert] Michaelides," Blues coach Josh Collie said.

"They move the ball as quick and as good as any side we've played this year, but we just steadied ... we managed to hold our own, which was pleasing."

Ed Greene finished the day with four goals for the Blues and was supported by Mitchell Gorman, Brad Atkinson and Chris Redl who all finished with two.

Yarragon v Yinnar

Yinnar held Yarragon at arms length for most of the day and emerged victorious on Saturday, 8.10 (58) to 6.11 (47).

Yinnar led at quarter-time by 18 points, which proved to be a match-winning one by the end of the day.

Magpies coach Jaime Aitken was at his normal composed and steady best, with Danny Campbell, James Dowling, Matt Dyke, Leigh Cummins and Emerson Hicks all leading the way in another good team performance.

"We jumped out to a lead and probably I would've liked to have even had a bigger leader ... but they fought back well. It was a dirty, scrappy game for most of the day," Yinnar coach Jaime Aitken said.

"They put some numbers behind the ball and their defence is solid ... they had good numbers and they hung in there well, but we did what we needed to do to win."

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