A blistering final term has lifted Koo Wee Rup to an impressive win against Kilcunda Bass in a blockbuster opening round of the Alex Scott and Staff West Gippsland Football netball Competition.
The Demons trailed by 29 points at the final change, but rode the strong breeze home with six goals from 11 scoring shots, while keeping the visiting Panthers scoreless to win 9.10 (64) to 8.4 (52).
Scott Houghton and returning champion Luke Walker (two goals) starred for the home side, with David Collins, Mitch Leek and Nathan Muratore also prominent.
Kilcunda Bass managed a decent return from returning forwards Luke James and Jason Wells, who booted three goals apiece before opportunities dried up in the final term.
David Hutchinson, Matthew Edwards and consistent performer Chris Endres were among the Panthers’ best.
Over on the netball courts, the home side made light work of the Panthers, breezing to a 71-22 victory.
Mariah Bell led the charge with 38 goals, while Stephanie Broadway (22) and Rebecca Christie (11) were also on the scoresheet.
Cora Lynn bounced back from its season opener disappointment with a stylish win against Nar Nar Goon.
Nathan Langley continued his impressive start to the season with seven goals in a best-on-ground performance in the 17.7 (109) to 8.15 (63) win.
Andrew Green was good again and 16-year-old Brayden Weller caught the eye with a terrific performance on his senior debut.
Tyler Joosten was a standout for the Goon, Kris Fowler and Robert Cracknell also prominent.
It was a great day for the Cobras netballers, with the A grade side completing a rare clean sweep of the Goon, led by Tyla Redwood’s 21 goals.
Shannon Johns put up 19 goals for the Goon.
Last year’s Alberton FNL A grade premier Dalyston picked up where it left off, with a 54-39 home win against established foe Phillip Island.
Scores were locked at 11-apiece at the first change, but the Magpies slowly pulled away, increasing their lead at every change to win by 15 goals and celebrate Tess Angarane’s 300th A grade game in style.
The senior football side was made to work even harder for the points against a stubborn Bulldogs outfit.
The visitors started strongly and led at the first break, but Dalyston fought back, taking control in the second term and holding on to win 7.12 (54) to 7.7 (49).
Classy full forward Michael Kraska booted three goals on his return to the club – all in a dynamic second quarter – but Blake Carew, Kristian Butler and Chris Graham were the key instigators for the Pies.
Steven Pimm finished with four of the Island’s seven goals for the day, with off-season recruits Jarrod Witnish and Leigh Warne other notable contributors.
Longtime rivals Bunyip and Garfield played out a hard-fought and low-scoring encounter at Bunyip Recreation Reserve.
Scores were hard to come by in a tight first half, with both sides only managing a single point to quarter time and the home side leading two goals to one at the main change.
The visiting Stars got rolling after half-time, kicking five goals and six behind to the Bulldogs’ one goal and one behind to win 6.9 (45) to 3.3 (21).
Bumper signing Jarryd Drew wasted no time finding his feet, booting three goals in a best-on-ground performance, with Darcy Payne and Adam Macgibbon also showing good early season form.
For the home side, playing coach Zac Vansittart led by example, while Nathan Lieshout and Joel Gibson battled hard.
A dominant performance from goalers Casey Hynes Bree Driscoll led Bunyip to a 71-14 win in the A grade netball clash.
The Stars had no answer as Hynes (40) and Driscoll (31) ran riot to hand the home side top spot on the ladder at the end of round one.
Inverloch-Kongwak made it two from two to begin its campaign, after overcoming a plucky Korumburra-Bena side under lights at Korumburra Showgrounds.
Clinton Mccaughan booted three goals and proved a match winner, while leaders Andy Soumilas and Shem Hawking were good again in the 13.10 (88) to 7.6 (48) win.
New Giants coach Ben McGee can take plenty of positives from the game, as his charges were within four points at the main change and only lost touch with the visiting Sea Eagles in the third quarter.
Johnny Ayama proved a good addition to the side, holding in-form IK forward Toby Mahoney to two goals, while James Kyle and Sam Edwards put in good shifts for the home side.
Tables were turned on the netball courts, where the ever-strong Giants claimed a 68-38 win.
Round two will be played over the next weeks, with Nar Nar Goon now on the road to Bunyip as the finishing touches are put on the Goon’s netball courts and Garfield hosting Korumburra-Bena.
Week two sees season opener combatants Inverloch-Kongwak and Cora Lynn renew hostilities, this time in South Gippsland, while Dalyston meets Kilcunda Bass and Phillip Island takes on Koo Wee Rup.
Photo courtesy of Pakenham Gazette