The Alex Scott and Staff West Gippsland Football Netball Competition has proved too strong for neighbouring Ellinbank and District Football League at the 2019 Worksafe Community Championships.
After a tighter than expected opening half a seven goal to one third term broke the game open and laid the foundation for the 19.17 (131) to 9.4 (58) victory. The resounding win followed similar results in the under 18 football, open and 17 and under netball matches, with West Gippsland recording a clean sweep on the day.
West Gippsland started the main game brightly, with Tooradin Dalmore forward Andrew Dean slotting the opening two goals of the contest and when Phillip Island veteran Jaymie Youle added a third a short time later, the signs were ominous for the home side.
However, to the EDFL’s credit, Daniel Fry’s troops rallied and kicked three of the next four goals to head into the first break only seven points behind. The home side’s ability to keep the ball in close suited its physical, contested style of play and a classy goals on the run from Jack Hazendonk showed the threat it posed on transition.
A late goal to in-form Cora Lynn forward Nathan Gardiner gave the visitors some breathing room on the stroke of half-time and West Gippsland took a 15 point lead into the main break.
Nilma Darnum’s Ben Campbell snapped the opening goal of the second half to bring the EDFL back within nine points but that’s where the resitance ended.
A breathless display of attacking football ensued, with West Gippsland piling on the next seven goals to take a commanding 53- point lead into three quarter time. Koo Wee Rup forward Nathan Voss was on of the chief destroyers with three goals in the 18-minute deluge, while clubman Jason Wells (two), Cora Lynn young gun Heath Briggs and Bunyip start Nathan Allen also got in on the act.
Wells put the game beyond doubt with the first of the last term and while the EDFL showed plenty of spirit to add three more goals, West Gippsland had all the answers, with skipper Dylan Clark, Briggs, Wells and Gardiner all hitting the scoreboard before the final siren.
Kilcunda Bass midfielder Jake Weightman was rewarded for his tireless work in the West Gippsland midfield with the AFL Victoria Medal as best on ground.
Captain Clark was also prominent, along with Bunyip defender Aaron Paxton and exciting Korumburra Bena prospect Bailey Patterson. Wells finished with four goals, with Gardiner, Briggs, Dean and Voss contributing three apiece.
Earlier, six goals from Sage Tapner and a best on ground performance from Mitchell Cammarano inspired West Gippsland’s under 18 victory in the curtain raise. Heath Morgan-Morris added three goals, with Aiden Pipicelli, Tarquin McMillan and Lewis Hill also prominent in the 22.16 (148) to 6.10 (46) win.

On the netball courts, West Gippsland’s open side fought off a spirited showing from the Ellinbank and District Netball Association to win 45-34. At half-time the margin was just four goals, but the West Gippsland team found another gear after the main break, led by Tooradin Dalmore star Rebecca Kinna, who was named best-on-court for her performance in defence. It was a similar story in the 17-and-under game, with West Gippsland recording a 41-21 win. Dalyston’s Grace McRae was best-on-court.






West Gippsland hosted Maryborough Castlemaine District Football Netball League and proved too strong in every grade, including the feature match in which the senior side claimed a 44-point victory. The home side made a positive start, controlling the early stages with first Todd Beck, then Michael Marotta rattling the post inside the opening five minutes before Jaxon Briggs registered the first goal of the day, 15 minutes in. The Casey Demons-listed midfielder linked well with Beck, who had pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the centre square, shrugged off a would-be tackler and dashed inside 50 before dishing off to Briggs to coolly slot home on the run from 30 metres. Marotta and Beck then made up for their earlier misses with back-to-back goals as West Gippsland finished the quarter with a flurry to lead by 20 points at the first change. The visitors made a perfect start to the second quarter, with ruckman Jackson Bowen showcasing the sort of all-round skills that landed him last year’s MCDFNL best and fairest award, with a classy goal from open play. Set shot goals to Jason Fisher and Corey Casey either side of a long-range major from Ash Munari sent West Gippsland into the main break with a 21-point advantage. West Gippsland was back on top in the third term, with goals to Zak Vernon (two), Beck and Mark Griffin extending the lead to 34 points. The final term was littered with wasted opportunities, but goals to Marotta and Nathan Allen put the game to bed. Great hard running off half-back and a wellweighted pass from Garfield defender Sam Batson set up Marotta for his second. The Dalyston forward then turned provider, squaring the ball unselfishly for Allen to kick the final goal of the game and seal the win, 11.18 (84) to 5.10 (40).

Earlier, West Gippsland’s under-18 team cruised to a 78-point win in the curtain-raiser clash. After a tight opening half, a nine-goal-to-one third term proved the catalyst for the 16.11 (107) to 4.5 (29) win. Vernon was rewarded for his industrious performance with the AFL Victoria Country Medal, while defender Jay Anderson scooped the award for MCDFNL. Cora Lynn pair Luke Hartley and Jay Verhagen and Garfield’s Joseph Verleg booted three goals each, while Cobras young gun Brayden Weller was awarded the medal as best-on-ground.

Over on the netball courts, West Gippsland proved dominant, winning the Open match 51-35 and the 17&Under match 77-20. Inverloch-Kongwak defenders Kelsey Buxton and Millie Sadler were named best on court in the respective games. The senior team’s victory moved the WGFNC up to 24th place on the AFL Victoria Country rankings.


Year Ranking Venue Opponent Senior Score Coach Captain AFL Vic Medal
2017 25 v 26 Tony Clarke Reserve, Macedon Riddell & District FNL 11.5 (71) lt 18.15 (123) Tom McQualter Jaymie Youle Jarrod Witnish
U18’s Score Coach Captain AFL Vic Medal
5.12 (42) lt         10.16 (76) Warren Cawcutt Ryan Sparkes
Open Score Coach Captain Best On Court
37 lt 48 Christie Hillberg Christie Hillberg Christie Hillberg
17 & Under Score Coach Captain Best On Court
39 d 29 Jenny McRae Alana McRae Alana McRae
Year Ranking Venue Opponent Senior Score Coach Captain AFL Vic Medal
2018 27 v 28 Garfield Recreation Reserve Maryborough Castlemaine & District FNL 11.18 (84) d 5.10 (40) Mark Lafferty Shem Hawking Zac Vernon
U18’s Score Coach Captain AFL Vic Medal
16.11 (107) d 4.5 (29) Shaun Sparks Brayden Weller
Open Score Coach Captain Best On Court
51 d 35 Kate Steel Kelsey Buxton
17 & Under Score Coach Captain Best On Court
77 d 20 Jenny McRae Millie Sadler
Year Ranking Venue Opponent Senior Score Coach Captain AFL Vic Medal
2019 Yarragon Recreation Reserve Ellinbank & District FL 19.17 (131) d 9.4. (58) Mark Lafferty Dylan Clark Jake Weightman
U18’s Score Coach Captain AFL Vic Medal
22.16 (148) d 6.10 (46) Shaun Sparks Dylan Gallasch Mitchell Cammarano
Open Score Coach Captain Best On Court
45 d 34 Donna Marsh Rebecca Kinna Rebecca Kinna
17 & Under Score Coach Captain Best On Court
41 d 21 Jenny McRae Grace McRae