Dogs scrap thriller win

Hawk Matthew Cunningham scraps a loose ball in the wet during his side's one-point loss to Newborough on Saturday. photograph hayley mills

Hawk Matthew Cunningham scraps a loose ball in the wet during his side's one-point loss to Newborough on Saturday. photograph hayley mills



Newborough got the premiership points in a thrilling win over Morwell East by the slimmest of margins on Saturday, 4.13 (37) to 4.12 (36).

With the ground at Newborough almost under water, this match was crucial for both sides.

The Hawks had the edge at quarter-time but it was quality and not quantity that had them in the lead.

They had a three-point lead with two fewer scoring shots but it was not enough to scare the Bulldogs away.

The Hawks kept their two-point buffer at half-time but it was Newborough that returned with more intent in the third quarter and were led by Joshua Bland, Mat Slattery, JB Faustin, Jared Risol and Anthony Battista.

The Dogs turned in the third term and their seven-point lead at the last break proved the difference in the final quarter.

"It was a real tough old struggle. There was a fair bit of water on the ground ... we were a better side on the day and I've got this side playing better and we're fitter and I'm happy," Newborough coach Tom Hallinan said.

"Right now these blokes are having a real crack and you can't ask for more than that."

Yinnar v YYN

Yinnar went one step closer to entrenching themselves in the top three with an upset victory over the in-form Yallourn-Yallourn North, 7.4 (46) to 3.10 (28).

The Magpies jumped the visitors from the first bounce and hit the contest hard; moving the ball forward in the wet and windy conditions the best they could while not allowing the Bombers any room to run their free-flowing game.

A 17-point quarter-time lead was reduced to 14 at half-time but the home side had the second-placed Bombers at arms' length and kept them there for the rest of the day.

There appears nothing between any of the top-five sides and it will likely come down to available personnel, conditions and players playing like their lives depend on it in the run home.

For Yinnar the better players included Nathan Rowley, Danny Campbell, Jarrod Henderson, Liam Eade and Brad McBride.

The best for the Bombers included Stephen Pearson, Lachlan Little, Rob Ferguson, Luke Webber, Josh Keyhoe and Barrie Burnett

"I brought some bigger, heavy boys back in and in the conditions we were pretty strong around the ball," Yinnar coach Jaime Aitken said.

Thorpdale v Mirboo North

Mirboo North staked their claim to a top-three spot by defeating Thorpdale, 7.5 (47) to 4.7 (31).

With so much on the line there was never going to be a lot between the two sides and that was the case at half-time when both had managed seven scoring shots but the Blues had the upper hand with a four-point lead.

Mirboo North needed its better players to stand up and they did.

With the game in the balance it was the likes of Julian Blackford, Damien Turner, Clancy Bennett, Joe Brooks, Mitchell Wightman and Lloyd Powell that led the way.

The Tigers had wrestled the lead back at the final break but Thorpdale's Tyde Melbourne, Luke Collie, Daniel Martin, Kane Saliba, Cameron Hillbrick and Daniel Hammond were not going to let this one go without a fight and did all the way until the final siren.

"To be honest, I was a little bit worried at half-time. It wasn't pretty footy and it was hard to set anything up. They were all over us in the first quarter and we bounced back in the second but the conditions were very tough for both of us," Mirboo North coach Josh Taylor said.

"The main focus for us is to stay in [the] top five, but if we can keep winning we might steal a top-three spot which would be a bonus and with some more first choice players coming back in coming weeks it should be good."

Hill End v Boolarra

Hill End grabbed a convincing victory over Boolarra and dominated for most of the day but inaccuracy was the only factor that saved the Demons from humiliation, 8.24 (72) to 1.3 (9).

Hill End - down on personnel but not in heart - were never going to give this one up without a fight.

Only four points separated the two at quarter-time.

The home side were leading but left the door ajar for Boolarra to step up to the plate and grab the match by the scruff of the neck.

What actually happened was the opposite.

The Rovers dominated in the demanding conditions and peppered the goals for most of the second term.

They added 11 behinds while keeping Boolarra scoreless but their inaccuracy meant the visitors were still less than three goals short and a chance of causing an upset.

With the likes of Isaac Ketchen, Ambu Uliando, Clay Ketchen, Simon Fairbairn, Sven Batten and Matt Moseley leading the way for the Rovers, the match was put to bed with three goals in the third quarter.

Yarragon v Trafalgar

It was not pretty but not much was this weekend and Trafalgar did what they needed to do to secure a two-goal win over Yarragon, 3.10 (28) to 2.4 (16).

Possibly the biggest criticism of Yarragon this year had been that they have given sides a start before trying to claw themselves back into the game.

This week, however, the Panthers trailed by just two points at the first break and were not only in the game but looked like matching it with ladder leaders Trafalgar.

Trafalgar all but put that notion to bed in the third quarter and led by 11-points at the final break which was enough to seal the win in torrid conditions.

"It was probably a day when you expect a few upsets and luckily we weren't one of them but Yarragon have improved and are not far off winning more games," Trafalgar coach Clint Einsiedel said.

"We probably didn't get reward for effort in the second half and Yarragon hung well too. It was just a tough day where effort was needed and we got it,so that was pleasing."

Better players for the Bloods were Jamie Hines, Lochlan Farrell, Tyson Leys, David Van Schajik, Jesse Stone and Jared Croxford.

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