Moe unbeaten

EVERYTHING Moe touched turned to gold in the first quarter of their Round 3 clash with Bairnsdale in Gippsland League football.

Flying high: Players compete for the ball in the match between Traralgon and Maffra. photograph tom gannon

Flying high: Players compete for the ball in the match between Traralgon and Maffra. photograph tom gannon

The Lions may have caught the Redlegs half asleep from their two-hour drive to Ted Summerton Reserve, as they had two goals on the board in as many minutes, before adding another five by the time the quarter time siren sounded.

Those who remember the first quarter of the 2014 AFL elimination final between Port Adelaide and Richmond will get an understanding of how the match started, as Bairnsdale, like Richmond in that game, were completely shell-shocked as they went into quarter-time with the scoreboard

reading 7.6 (48) to 1.3 (9).

Bairnsdale was never able to recover from here, as the Lions went on their way to a 17.21 (123) to 7.10 (52) victory.

Weather usually reserved for a sport where the captain would elect to bat first upon winning the toss made for a high speed game, as the ball zipped around and players were able to showcase their skills.

After the Moe onslaught in the first quarter the Redlegs were able to hold their own as the teams shared three goals apiece in the second.

Crafty Bairnsdale forward Brayden McCarrey kept his team in with a fighting chance, kicking three of the Redlegs four goals for the opening half, while Moe defender Tyson Biffin won the plaudits of many for his show of courage running back with the flight and not once taking his eyes off the ball as two opposition players swarmed in the second.

The Redlegs continued to compete hard after half-time, which was much to their credit as they were a man down with Matt Corbett not returning after the main break.

Bairnsdale kicked three goals to Moe's two in the third, as the Lions squandered a number of opportunities in front of goal.

At three-quarter time the margin was 39 points in favour of the Lions.

Although Bairnsdale had competed

gallantly to this point, one got the sense the dam wall was about to break, and that is precisely what happened.

Within 20 seconds of the last quarter Moe forward Kristian Jaksch had his fourth goal of the day and two minutes later made it five.

The Lions added five goals to none in the final term to win by 71 points.

Riley Baldi finished the match in style with a neat set shot snap near the scoreboard moments before the siren.

Best players for Moe were James Blaser, Harri Sim, Trent Baldi, Declan Keilty and Lachlan Macleod, while youngster Jess McGrath made his senior debut.

Lions skipper Jacob Wood was also among the best players, and said the way in which the team started the game was particularly pleasing.

"It's been something we've been working on for the past few weeks ... putting the heat on early and making sure we start strong," he said.

"They (Bairnsdale) are definitely going to win a few games but we just got the better of them for two quarters."

Jaksch finished with five goals, while at the other end of the ground Hayden Prestidge did a tremendous job keeping McCarrey, who at times looked to be Bairnsdale's only avenue to goal, out of the game in the second-half.

The usual running machine adopted well in a foreign position down back, so much so McCarrey was taken from the ground.

Best players for Bairnsdale were Linc Robinson, Simon Deery and Josh Wykes.

MORWELL lost a nail-biter to Wonthaggi by two points.

The Tigers found themselves on the wrong side of a match that could have gone either way for the second week in a row, going down 8.10 (58) to 8.12 (60).

Virtually nothing separated the teams as the match at Wonthaggi progressed.

The highest margin at any of the breaks was just eight points, which Wonthaggi took into half-time.

Morwell wrestled back the lead with one term to go, but were caught agonisingly short after both teams kicked two goals in the last stanza.

Cody MacDonald kicked three goals for the Tigers to be among the best players, while Max Linton, Dan Musil, James Jacobsen, Boyd Bailey and Tyler Brown also played well.

Best players for Wonthaggi were Flynn Anderson, Josh Bates, Toma Huther, Mitchell Hayes, Jordan Staley and Fergus O'Connor.

From a Morwell perspective, those close to the action might be pondering what a truer reflection of the Tigers current record after three games is.

Knowing there is a difference between 'should be' and 'could be', no doubt some will be saying Morwell should two-wins, one-loss after back-to-back losses by under three points, while others might be saying Morwell could be three wins and zero losses following another tight game against Moe in Round 1.

While the season is still yet to fully unfold, just how costly these defeats might prove to be will be known in the fullness of time.

TRARALGON let a four-point three-quarter time lead turn into a 36-point loss to Maffra.

The visiting Eagles kicked seven goals to none in the last quarter to win 14.6 (90) to 7.12 (54).

Up until then it had been an arm wrestle, with neither side able to break away.

Clean hands: Maffra's Ed Carr gets a handball off during his best on ground performance against Traralgon. photograph tom gannon

Clean hands: Maffra's Ed Carr gets a handball off during his best on ground performance against Traralgon. photograph tom gannon

The Maroons looked to be in a position to register their second win of the season, but had to watch as Maffra took over.

The win was the Eagles' first of the season, and in a remarkable show of how even the competition is in the early stages, took them from 10th to fifth.

Maffra forward Mitch Bennett led the scoring with four goals, while Ben Brunt kicked three.

The Carr brothers, Ed and Alex, were voted best afield, along with Danny Butcher and James Read back from injury.

For Traralgon, it was the younger brigade who stood tall, with Tye Hourigan, Jackson McMahon, Ewan Williams, Peter Strong and Tate Marsh among the best, as well as Matt Northe for another week.

Maffra had a debutant on the day in Jonti Schuback.

The son of former Adelaide small forward Jacob, the junior Schuback capped off the match with a win and a goal to his name.

SALE was too strong for Warragul at home.

The Magpies led at every change, running out 13.19 (97) to 4.8 (32) victors.

A six-goal to one third quarter saw the margin out to beyond 50 points and put the game beyond doubt.

Jarrod Freeman kicked three goals for the winners in a solid performance. Jack McLaren, Shannen Lange and Mitch Dowse also played well, as did Luke Di Ciero against his old side.

Best for Warragul were Sam Whibley, Matt Ross and Sean Masterson.

The win keeps Sale undefeated and in second position just behind Moe on percentage.

While players will be focussing solely on matches coming up this weekend, spectators will no doubt have one eye turned to a possible clash of the titans in Round 5 when the Magpies and Lions meet.

LEONGATHA gave Drouin a touch up at home.

An eight-goal first quarter saw the Parrots blow the game open, and from there they were able to skip away to a 23.12 (150) to 9.11 (65) win.

Aaron Heppell was in devastating form, kicking six goals in a best on ground display.

Jack Ginnane responded well to his first senior call-up for the season and kicked four goals, while Cam Olden and Chris Verboon also did well.

Chris Robinson, Harry Wans and Matt Stevens battled hard for Drouin.