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Five points topple ladder leader

MIRBOO North goes to this weekend’s Queen’s Birthday holiday break in a happy frame of mind, after defeating Mid Gippsland ladder leader Yallourn Yallourn North by five points at Tigerland on Saturday.
At the halfway mark of the season, the mighty Tigers consolidated fifth position on the ladder with five consecutive victories.
With eight wins from its nine matches, Trafalgar has replaced YYN at the top of the table, following the Bloods’ 71-point thrashing of Morwell East.
Mirboo North’s challenge against the high flying Bombers was immense after losing Darryl Mayman, Brayden Wilson and Hudson Kerr to injury, following its narrow round eight victory over Newborough.
Mirboo North also faced the onerous task of containing star forwards Dean MacDonald, Keenan Hughes and Tim Phillips, who had kicked 25 of YYN’s 30 goals against Boolarra the previous week.
Into the Tigers’ side came Ben Stoertebecker, Jayden Hohmann, Kyle Wilson and Rory Peter, the latter two only owning a combined total of seven senior appearances between them.
The match opened at a frenetic pace, with both teams attacking the ball ferociously and attempting to move it as quickly as possible into their respective forward lines.
After four minutes, each side had scored a goal and relative calm followed, as both defences took the opportunity to show their wares.
Then, Phillips and Hughes split the middle of the big white sticks within a minute of each other to extend the Bombers’ advantage to 13 points after 13 minutes of first quarter action.
Julian Blackford was holding the Tigers’ back line together with some wonderful overhead marks and Tristan Salerno’s set shot conversion from directly in front, reduced Mirboo North’s deficit to five points a minute or two into time-on.
Elliott De Carli and Phillips combined to find MacDonald for YYN’s fourth, Anthony Young added another and the Bombers were steadily gaining the upper hand.
Playing coach Barrie Burnett, Stephen Pearson, Mitchell Luck and soccer convert Dale Walshe were causing the Tigers plenty of headaches with their frequent ability to win the contested ball.
Soon after, multiple premiership skipper Damien Turner snapped a beauty on his trusty left foot to leave the Tigers trailing by 12 points at the first break.
At halftime YYN led by 10 points, when Phillips won a charity over the shoulder free kick by dropping to his knees whilst being tackled and goaled from 35 metres, after vital back-to-back Mirboo North majors from Stoertebecker.
Mirboo North’s never say die perseverance paid off handsomely when Tim Traill slammed the Sherrin home twice during time-on to give the Tigers an eight point lead at the last change.
Mirboo North’s sturdy defence of Blackford, Jacob Blair and Riley Oddy had restricted YYN to one goal during the third quarter.
Turner, Mitchell Wightman, playing coach Josh Taylor, Jake Nash, Dom Pinneri and Lloyd Powell were also helping the Tigers gain fearless onball and midfield authority.
Last term goals from Traill, Wightman and Powell kicked the Tigers 18 points clear after high marks, brilliant spoiling, fierce tackles and slick hand passing kept the Bombers at bay.
Powell’s long, curling left footer from near the boundary line was particularly impressive and raised the yellow and black army’s cheering voices to fever pitch.
Three goals up after 20 minutes and with plenty of adrenaline pumping furiously through the Tigers’ arteries, it seemed to some that Mirboo North was home and hosed.
However, YYN began clawing its way back with attacking and adventurous play and refused to wilt.
Phillips marked, but inexplicably missed from medium range, then MacDonald and Hughes goaled and suddenly the Bombers were only five points down.
Another forward advance by the Bombers from the centre circle looked ominous for the Tigers, as the crowd’s anxious eyes watched the sherrin sailing high and long into YYN’s forward 50. Thankfully for Mirboo North, Oddy’s outstretched arms and safe hands were there to save the day with a glorious mark, as the final siren sounded after 30 minutes of last quarter excitement at Tigerland.

Chase: Mirboo North’s senior captain Damien Turner barreled towards the ball, under pressure from his Yallourn Yallourn North opponents.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25101

Posted by on Jun 5 2018. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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