Tigers tumble down
MORWELL East broke a six year losing streak against Mirboo North in its 13 point victory over the mighty Tigers at Ronald Reserve, Morwell East, on Saturday.
The Hawks’ hard fought win sees them climb into second position on the ladder and the Tigers tumble from top to fourth.
A minute’s silence was observed before all Mid Gippsland Senior matches, in memory of former 455 game LVUA goal umpire, David Drane, who recently lost his battle with prostate cancer.
Mirboo North was without Jack Robertson, Isaac Abas and Shane Peters who have all succumbed to knee injuries, as well as Daniel Taylor, Jesse Giardina and Riley Oddy.
Aided by a biting westerly breeze, Mirboo North opened enthusiastically with a goal from Josh Taylor and a couple more from James Allen, soon followed.
Despite receiving 15 of the 17 free kicks awarded during the first quarter, Morwell East remained goalless and could only stumble its way to three behinds.
Dwayne Gunn was impassable in the back half for the Tigers, where he received strong support from teammates Luke Palmer, playing coach Clancy Bennett and Ben Richards.
At the start of the second term, Kallum Nash stretched every sinew in his body and pulled down the overhead mark of the day when he flew high above an opponent to repel a Morwell East advance.
However, with the breeze now behind them and Andrew ‘Mt Everest’ Brown rucking superbly, the Hawks’ quickly rattled on five successive goals in next to no time.
Proven spearheads Shaun Barnes, Paul Henry, Brendan Evans, Ben Marks and Brandon Francis, began to feature prominently and threw Mirboo North’s defensive mechanisms into disarray.
Morwell East’s spine had become a corridor of power where the Hawks successfully combined combat with collaboration through flexibility, strength and stamina.
In just a few moments the Tigers’ confidence to attack the ball was shot and they were also battling the symptoms of poor disposal.
The visitors had suddenly gone from accountable teamwork into poor decision making and
Every man for himself, survival mode.
The only break for the overwhelmed Tigers came when Kris Berchtold managed his first and Mirboo North’s fourth goal, against the run of play midway through the term.
Barnes finished with four goals for the quarter, on top of singles from Francis, Shaun Duncan and Evans, that allowed Morwell East to take a 15 point lead into the long break.
As they headed to the change rooms, the Tigers knew they had to restore their initiative with attacking play and stop giving away so many free kicks, if they were to work their way back into the match.
Hudson Kerr, Kallum Nash, Taylor, Berchtold and Damien Turner all came to the fore by taking on their opponents, as Mirboo North resolutely ground out every contest it was in, during the third quarter.
After some serious half time soul searching, Mirboo North was running hard again and working together, rather than in isolation.
With their backs to the wall, the courageous Tigers outscored the Hawks 4.4 to 2.3 to trail by only a goal at three quarter time.
When Bennett, Kallum Nash and Allen combined to ferry the football 135 metres to Zac Kilgower, his grubber from the goal square drew the Tigers to within a point of the locals.
Kilgower then featured in a high marking contest where he finished on his back with the ball in his hands, but a ball-up resulted.
A clever goal from Henry and additional majors by Lockie White and Evans, pushed the Hawks 19 points clear, as time-on approached.
The final goal for the afternoon came from the never say die Tigers, when Kerr passed to Cameron Le Page and the bearded redhead sailed a long bomb high over the goal umpire’s head.
MIRBOO North honored veteran stalwart, Steven Rogers’ 450th club game with a gutsy 43 point win over Morwell East in a gusty westerly breeze.
Included in Rogers’ long football career are a Senior premiership in 2007 and an heroic last gasp goal that landed Mirboo North its 2004 Reserves flag.
Appointed captain for the day, Rogers proudly led the Tigers onto the arena before jogging past a 10-metre long banner lovingly held by his wife Angie and daughters, Louise, Hayley and Emily, and son-in-law, Andrew Napoleono.
The milestone man was immediately involved in the action when he stopped Morwell East’s first forward thrust, with a slick handball to a teammate whose kick cleared the danger zone.
Later, Rogers was moved into the forward line where he booted three goals.
Ruckman Tom Bolton was dominant at the stoppages and around the ground for Mirboo North, with lots of quality marks at crucial moments.
Other key performers for the Tigers were Patrick Doyle and speedster Damien McLean who kicked a brilliant 60 metre running goal and was a constant driving force on the wing.
The Hawks kept pace with the Tigers until quarter time, but Mirboo North’s endeavor, skill and commitment to win the contested ball and the match for ‘Stevie R’ meant no more goals thereafter for the home side.
IT was one way traffic and raining goals for the mighty Tigers with Kudamba Abas booting five classy majors for the winners in the Tigers’ easy 121 point victory against Morwell East.
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