Ten rounds in and the Alex Scott & Staff West Gippsland Football Netball Competition continues to throw up surprises and keep everyone on their toes.
In last week’s Mid Season Report Card, we suggested Bunyip needed a scalp to go with their competitive performances and the Bulldogs delivered by downing Nar Nar Goon.
The home side did itself no favours with some wayward kicking for goal, but the Dogs wore their opponents down with their aggression and efficiency and secured four valuable premierships points 10.7 (67) to 6.11 (47).
Making the win even more impressive was the fact that Ben Ross, Jason Fisher, Ricky Clark, and Aaron Paxton were all unavailable.
In their absence, key back Reid Jenkin, consistent midfielder Jeb McLeod and defensive lynchpin Brad Walker were all outstanding and Brent Heus (three goals) proved an effective avenue to goal.
Bunyip now finds itself a game clear inside the top five and with a strong platform to build on.
The Goon are only one game plus percentage out of the five, but this was undoubtedly a major blow in their bid for finals.
Compounding the home side’s misery was the loss of small forward Mitch Virtue (jaw) and skipper Baz Hermann (collarbone) who join the likes of Troy McDermott, Sam Blackwood and Jake Smith on the sidelines.
Hermann was among the best against Bunyip, along with Trent Armour – who continued his fine season on the ball – Jake Blackwood and Mat Slattery.
Over on the netball court, the Goon handed the Yips a fourth straight defeat to send them tumbling out of the top five for the first time this season.
Goal shooter Hollie Keysers starred with 34 goals, with Anna Robertson (17) and Olivia Cope (14) chiming in with handy contributions at goal attack.
Jaz Mackie was once again the star for the visitors, with 38 of her side’s 40 goals for the game.
The intrigue continued at Tooradin where the home side was held to a thrilling draw by a determined Garfield.
The Seagulls started brilliantly and led all day, only for the Stars to roar home with the only three goals of the final term to snare a share of the spoils 8.15 (63) to 9.9 (63).
Joseph Verleg and Ned Marsh (two goals) were standouts for the visitors, while Brad Lenders and Waide Symes impressed for Tooradin Dalmore.
It was the second draw in the space of a week, following the stalemate between Phillip Island and Cora Lynn, and left the Seagulls in third spot on the ladder and Garfield eighth.
The netball clash proved far more straightforward with unbeaten ladder leader Tooradin Dalmore accounting for the winless Garfield 69-26.
Dalyston continued its push to keep pace at the top with a 52-38 win at home to Warragul Industrials.
Jarney (31 goals) and Britt Thomas (21) once again teamed well in attack for the Magpies, while Lara Commadeur led the scoring for the Dusties with 23.
On the football field, the Dusties celebrated last week’s drought-breaking victory with another by beating Dalyston 10.9 (69) to 5.8 (38).
Shane Brewster was once again at the fore, celebrating his 201st game with seven goals to be the best player on the ground.
Travis Ogden and Tyson Bale were also good for the visitors, while Corey Wakefield, Jack Legione and Ryan Silver battled hard for the Magpies, who still managed to rise off the bottom of the ladder by virtue of Kilcunda Bass’ heavy defeat to Koo Wee Rup.
The Panthers found themselves trying to tie down two prolific forwards in the shape of big man Darren Sheen and livewire Jason Wells, who combined for 13 goals in the 21.14 (140) to 3.13 (31) win.
Rory Connelly and Mitch Collins caught the eye for the Demons, which could move into third spot on the ladder above Tooradin Dalmore should they win their game in hand at Garfield this weekend.
Kilcunda Bass did themselves no favours with a nightmare day in front of goal, but the Panthers stuck to their task and put three goalless quarters behind them with three in the last to restore some respectability to the final scoreline – though it was not enough to avoid slipping to bottom of the ladder on percentage.
Two of those goals came from Hayden Spierings who was among the best, along with Jack Rosenow and Jake Smith.
Koo Wee Rup proved too strong on the netball court as well, where Mariah Bell’s 28 goals led the home side to a 56-26 win and up to seventh spot on the ladder, within percentage of Inverloch Kongwak in fifth.
The Sea Eagles jumped from seventh to fifth with a 58-40 win at Phillip Island.
Kelly Boyd (26 goals) and Meg Evans (23) shared the spotlight in attack, while Bridget Turner (18) and Emma Felsovary (16) did likewise for the home side.
The football clash proved a good battle, with the reigning premiers made to work for the win.
Cam Pedersen once again shone with two goals in a best on ground performance, with Will Van Diemen and Billy Taylor also impressive in the 11.15 (81) to 10.8 (68) win.
Corey Casey, Conor Cunningham and Dylan Clark for the Sea Eagles, who matched the undefeated Dogs for much of the game but lost touch in the third term and weren’t able to peg them back.
In the final matchup of the weekend, Cora Lynn overcame a slow start to comfortably account for Korumburra Bena.
Travis Woodfield took his turn to shine in the star-studded Cobras forward line, with a game-high five goals in the 17.17 (119) to 5.7 (37) win.
Fellow forward Nathan Langley (three goals) and Jeremy Monckton were the others standouts for the home side, while Emmanuel Jakwot continued his rich vein of form for the Giants, alongside Ash Snooks and John Ayama.
Round 11 sees the end of the adjusted ladder, with season opener combatants Cora Lynn and Tooradin Dalmore having the bye and allowing all other teams to play their game in hand.
In the senior football, Phillip Island will be keen to take its place atop the ladder if it can extend its unbeaten run to 11 games with victory in the battle of the Dogs against Bunyip.
The A Grade matchup between fifth-placed Inverloch Kongwak and eighth-placed Warragul Industrials could prove crucial in the battle for a finals spot, with the two sides separated by four points on the ladder.
Korumburra Bena and Dalyston is always a great contest and looms as such on both battle grounds.
Photos courtesy of Star News Group (football) and Penny Carney (netball)