Alex Scott & Staff West Gippsland Football Netball Competition powerhouses Inverloch Kongwak and Phillip Island recorded big wins in front of huge holiday crowds on Easter Saturday.
The Sea Eagles hosted Bass Coast rival Dalyston but showed limited hospitality on the field, as the home side cruised to an 82-point win.
Cam Roughead and Jack Hutchinson got the Sea Eagles rolling early and were among six individual goalkickers in a dominant opening term, with Kevin McLean registering the only major for the visitors.
Andy Soumilas didn’t miss a beat on his return to the side, with the midfield star among three inclusions for the clash, alongside Campbell McKenzie and Daniel Reid, in place of Xavier Hughes, Clinton McCaughan and Shem Hawking.
With Soumilas and co winning plenty of ball in the middle of the ground, the Sea Eagles’ bounty of tall forwards had plenty of opportunities to impact the scoreboard, which was the one blemish on their otherwise ominous performance.
Despite being under siege for the much of the game, the Magpies defence did relatively well to bring the ball to ground.
The likes of Dean Wylie and Ryan Silver won their share of the footy, but getting beyond the home side’s high press proved extremely difficult and sheer weight of forward 50 entries won out in the end.
Sam Gibbins was the focal point in attack and gave his direct opponent a torrid time when isolated one on one, but his finishing left a bit to be desired, ending the day with four goals and six behinds from 11 scoring attempts.
Cam Beattie-Powell was slick and creative all day, while Tristan van Driel was awarded the Anzac Medal for his industrious performance in the 14.23 (107) to 3.7 (25) victory.
On the netball court, Dalyston eventually overcame Inverloch Kongwak after a tight battle.
The home side got the jump early and led 14-10 at quarter time.
The Magpies cut the margin to one goal at the main break before taking control in the third term to lead by six goals at the final change and they completed a terrific second half performance to win 47-35.
Jarney Thomas starred for the reigning premiers with 33 goals, while Meg Evans led the Sea Eagles with 25 at the other end.
Meanwhile, plenty of eyes were on Cowes Recreation Reserve, where last year’s grand finalists renewed hostilities for the first time this season.
Zak Vernon and Leigh Warne returned for the reigning premiers in place of Matt Wright and Jordan Patullo, while Koo Wee Rup was without key forward Darren Sheen, Rory Connelly and Adam McMaster, who were replaced in the side by Jesse Cammarano, Matt Jackson and Xavier Quigley.
The Demons quickly banished the memories of last year’s goalless grand final performance with five straight majors to lead by 12 points at the first change.
However, it was all Phillip Island from there, as the home side seized control and tallied 17 of the next 19 goals to win 19.21 (135) to 7.4 (46).
Cam Pedersen and Jack Taylor managed five goals apiece, while Jaymie Youle pipped them to the Anzac Medal for his best-on-ground performance.
On the netball court, Mariah Bell inspired the Demons to victory.
Bell shot 35 of the visitors’ 43 goals for the match in the 11-goal win.
The Island battled hard to stay in the game, with Emma Felsovary leading the charge with 18 goals, but the 12-goal first half deficit proved too much to overcome.