Luke Walker was back in the thick of the action of West Gippsland footy on Saturday, playing a key role for the Dusties against the Stars. 275011 Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERS
By David Nagel
Nar Nar Goon star Brendan ‘Baz’ Hermann has earned many titles over the years – and he can now add after-the-siren hero to the list after his last-gasp winner against Bunyip at Garfield on Saturday.
Hermann stood over the ball, 45-metres out, on a 45-degree angle, with the destiny of a gruelling contest against the Bulldogs solely in his hands.
One point behind, he narrowly snuck it through, giving the Goon an 8.11 (59) to 8.6 (54) victory over a much-improved Bunyip outfit.
“It was pretty touch and go in the end, they’re pretty good,” a relieved Nar Nar Goon coach Luke Young explained.
“They seem to have nine players in the back half all day, they really worked hard to get up and down the ground, and they definitely outworked us at certain stages of the contest.
“They brought a lot of pressure, it was a real grind, and it was good we got out of it in the end.
“They’re probably feeling a little unlucky they didn’t win, but I think we had enough of the play to deserve to take the win.”
The Goon missed several opportunities to put a healthy lead on the board in the first half, kicking 2.9 to 2.4 to take a five-point lead to the break.
“We just missed some really easy shots, but it was a game of momentum, we pulled clear in the third quarter and before you knew it they were back in it again,” Young said.
“In that situation, we would have dropped that game last year, so, in the end, it was a very good win.”
Anthony Young played a great game for the winners, while the run of wingers Jake Smith and Kyle O’Sullivan nullified one of the Bulldogs biggest assets heading in.
“I thought they (Bunyip) were good, really good, and have really improved their pace and run from the back half,” Young said.
Troy McDermott booted three for the winners, and Tom Ferrari two, while Jackson Dalton slotted three, and Brent Heus and Alex McMillan two each for the Doggies.
Dylan Quirk was outstanding for Bunyip, while Jye Keath had a great battle with McDermott.
Returning Kooweerup star Jason Wells and Dalyston recruit Adam Amin staged a two-man shootout at Denhams Road on Saturday night as the Demons came from behind to win by 22 points.
The 12.12 (84) to 9.8 (62) win looked highly unlikely at three-quarter time, but a 5.3 to 0.3 final term saw the Demons turn an eight-point deficit into a great start to the season.
Wells and Amin both booted six, but it was an additional three goals to Nathan Voss that gave the Demons a slightly more potent look.
Nathan Muratore and Mitch Cammarano also lifted for the winners, while Curtis Murfett joined Amin in brilliant debuts for the Magpies.
These are two teams that are vastly improved on last year.
Warragul Industrials 10.15 (75) have celebrated the 350th game of champion midfielder Shane Brewster with a comfortable 51-point victory over Garfield 3.8 (24) at Western Park.
The Dusties were well held in the first half, but booted 6.10 to 1.1 after the break to race away with the victory.
Classy left-footer Travis Ogden kicked four goals for the winners, in a best-on-ground display, while Luke Walker, Bailey Beck and Brewster added some real polish around the ground.
The young Garfield side, bolstered by the return of champion midfielder Andy Soumilas, was very competitive in the first half.
Tooradin-Dalmore made the most emphatic statement of the weekend, kicking nine first-quarter goals in a 17.11 (113) to 5.8 (38) demolition of Kilcunda Bass.
The Gulls were untouchable in the first term, before the Panthers found their feet and were much more competitive after quarter time.
The Seagulls looked sharp and crisp to start their season, with Stewie Scanlon snagging five, Kris Sabbatucci 4, and Brady Egan and the very impressive Jimmy Trezise booting two each.
Piva Wright played a great game in the ruck, while reliable types like Jordan Kelly and Julian Suarez did what they do best.
The Panthers were good after quarter time, with Ben Eddy, Jake Weightman, Dale Gawley and Nathan Foote recovering well from the early aftershocks.
Weightman slotted two goals for the Panthers.
And Inverloch-Kongwak has overcome a sluggish start to down Korumburra-Bena by 44 points – 14.15 (99) to 7.8 (50) – at the Showgrounds.
The Giants led by a straight kick at quarter time before Ben Soumilas’s men piled on 12 goals to four in the remaining three quarters of footy.
The Sea Eagles banged on five goals to one in the second term to turn the tables in a hurry.
Tristan Van Driel was exceptional for the winners, kicking five, while three to Clinton McCaughan and two each to Corey Casey and Jamieson Soumilas provided the Giants with too many headaches to handle.
Oscar Toussaint, Shem Hawking and Tom Hams were also good for the Sea Eagles, while Paul Fermanis made an instant impact in his debut effort for the Giants.
Josh Hargreaves slammed home two goals for the Giants to lead the way on the scoreboard.