The Alex Scott and Staff West Gippsland Football Netball Competition has proved too strong for neighbouring Ellinbank and District Football League at Saturday’s 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 and 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 goal 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 rooms 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 resistance 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 one 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 star Nathan Allen also got in on the act.
Wells put the game beyond any 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 to victory in the curtain raiser.
Heath Morgan-Morris added three goals, with Aidan 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.
Images courtesy of Stewart Chambers (Star News Group) and Jeff Tull