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Tigers retain its position

MORWELL East’s annual pilgrimage to Tigerland began in hope, but ended disappointingly when the Hawks lost to Mirboo North by 51 points.
A Morwell East win would have seen it replace Mirboo North in fifth position on the Mid Gippsland ladder.
Now, after losing six of their past seven matches, the Hawks are six points and 28.41 percentage points adrift of Mirboo North.
For the mighty Tigers, it was a gritty if not pretty victory to savor, and sees them consolidate fifth place after six wins and a draw from 12 matches this season.
There’s no venue more uninviting for visiting teams than Tigerland – especially in the cold, wet and muddy conditions that confronted the Hawks in front of Mirboo North’s vocal yellow and black army.
Never has a Mirboo North combination been more determined to redeem itself, than after its adrenaline insufficiency and work rate shortfalls in the previous round against Trafalgar.
Mirboo North premiership stars Jack Robertson and Matt Holland played their first senior games for the season after long term injury layoffs.
Multipurpose mud lark Sam Pratt was a late inclusion for star defender Clancy Bennett, whose hamstring, while not as tight as a dobro string, was still too risky to chance in the rigors of battle.
The game began in pouring rain, with the oval’s lights immediately switched on as the drenched Channel Nine News cameraman stood alone filming the action on the members’ wing.
Robertson’s presence had an immediate effect when he snapped a behind, then smothered the kick-out and booted Mirboo North’s opening goal into the wind.
The Tigers were rock-like in defence with Kris Berchtold, Jacob Blair, Tristan Salerno, Julian Blackford and Rhys Kratzat combining to turn back every Morwell East inside 50 entry.
Although some of Morwell East’s disposals were worthwhile, others were as valueless as an unsigned cheque.
Tackling pressure from both teams was high and numbers around the ball were even higher as the rain cleared and a hint of sunshine briefly appeared amongst the clouds.
Mirboo North was doing most of the attacking in the opening term, but a brilliant pick up and late goal from Frank Marks, reduced Morwell East’s deficit to three points at quarter time.
As the Tigers and the Hawks headed to their respective huddles, the Celsius had slipped to a low of seven degrees.
With the breeze now at its back, Mirboo North’s dominance soon emerged – a sensational one handed mark and subsequent goal from Brayden Wilson was quickly followed with another major by Robertson.
Three more Mirboo North goals were added and with their game plan in full operation, the Tigers were running the show on their terms and took a decisive 35 point lead into the halftime break.
Onballers and midfielders Hudson Kerr, playing coach Josh Taylor, Mitchell Wightman, Lloyd Powell and Damien Turner’s ground skills represented the unified union of hands and feet.
The duel between the Tigers’ mobile ruckman Joe Brooks and heavyweight giant Andrew Brown, by far Morwell East’s biggest tree in the forest, was keen.
Brown’s bulk was impossible to budge at the stoppages, but Brooks’ high leaps were effective and his around the ground marking was outstanding.
Morwell East’s intensity in the contests increased during the third term and a concerted effort to man up and tackle harder and more often, restricted the Tigers’ goal scoring to a single major.
A minor scuffle involving a handful of players on the top side boundary line wing was proof enough that neither side was backing down without a fight.
The Hawks repeatedly attacked, but five times their shots went either side of the big white sticks.
Finally, Stephen Lambert found the wide opening just before three quarter time, but it was too little too late for the Hawks, who trailed by 31 points at the last change.
As the rain returned, Wilson booted his second major for the Tigers after marking a pass from Brooks and Paul Henry followed with Morwell East’s third and final goal for the afternoon.
Then Robertson and Luke Palmer scored full points, before Powell evaded three opponents with spins and baulks and sent a long raking left footer home on the breeze for the goal of the day.
The final score was Mirboo North 11.12.78 defeated Morwell East 3.9.27.
This Saturday Mirboo North travels to Thorpdale where the 15th annual Bright / St Ellen Memorial Shield will be decided.

Attack: Mirboo North players Jake Blair, Mitch Wightman, Damien Turner and Dom Pinneri descend on the ball, as Morwwell East’s Brendan Evans hurries to claim it.

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=25345

Posted by on Jul 3 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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