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Yinnar v MDU.
The math was simple in this clash, both sides needed a win, albeit for contrasting reasons.
For MDU a victory would have them well placed to remain in the top six and percentage clear of seventh placed Morwell East.
The Magpies however, were firm favourites, and rightly so, given their more impressive and consistent form throughout 2021, that form continuing into this
match, Yinnar far too good 14-8-92 to 6-8-44.
The Magpies set up this win in the first thirty minutes, in fact the first quarter effort truth be known, came on the back of a week on the track preparing the team to be ready to go from the first bounce.
Daniel Taylor, Yinnar coach " great performance by the boys, we got the jump and led seven goals to one, early in the second quarter and felt in complete control, after that MDU flicked the switch and completely got on top for the best part of two quarters, but didn't get the reward on the scoreboard, it was great to see the boys respond after being challenged and kick away late in the game for a comfortable win, Fish Creek next week is another big challenge that we're looking forward to"
Peter Harris MDU coach " Yinnar had too much fire power up forward with a lot of clean footy through the middle, allowing them first use, our first quarter was bitterly disappointing, with Yinnar clearly on top, and we had to play catch up footy from there.
The season is not over for the Demons, with next week's clash looming as a must win, but the Demons will need to show more of why they delivered after quarter time against Yinnar.
MDU coach, Peter Harris " to the boys credit they responded in the second, then had plenty of opportunities in the third, that we unfortunately couldn't convert, Matt and Tim Harris were solid up forward, Tom Corry, gave his all in the midfield, big week to prepare for Morwell East and keep our finals chances alive"
With just two rounds to go, there is still plenty of exciting football to be seen and many opportunities to be seized.
Toora v Morwell East
If ever Morwell East needed a win away from home, it was this weekend and it was against Toora.
The Hawks have somehow managed to remain in contention for a finals position despite an indifferent year, and although a win wouldnt secure a spot, it would keep them in the race with just two rounds remaining, and that's what the East did, Morwell East doing what needed to be done 13-18-96 to 7-7-49.
The Hawks jumped out of the blocks, like they actually wanted to win, a rare sight for season 2021, but proof that they have the personnel to play a style of game that could be competitive against the best.
Devon Soutar, Morwell East "it was another grind, but we bank the points and have to look forward, an early elimination final awaits this week, and deep down, I think the boys have been yearning for it, the faith in our groups ability to stand up when it really counts is strong, we'll be ready"
Toora too, have shown that when ready, they are a good team, but inexperience is costing the Magpies at times.
Luke Manders, Toora coach "we gave Morwell a run for three and a half quarters, unfortunately we ran out of legs, pleasing to be in positions to win games late, hopefully with experience a few wins will come, thirteen players under twenty one currently playing in the seniors which is great...good to see the seconds get another big win"
As the Magpie's best football might be ahead of them in 2022, for the Hawks their future may well be determined in the next two weeks.
Tarwin v Mirboo North
Tarwin have shown they are more than capable of mixing it with the best during periods of a game, but not quite where they need to be to actually win games against the better sides in the competition.
The Sharks would have liked nothing more than to grab a scalp of a legitimate premiership contender before seasons end, and Mirboo North certainly fit into that category, but they just would not lie down, even when they could have been forgiven for doing so, the Tigers somehow finding a way to win another close one.
Mirboo North 10-12-72 fell in by a point, Tarwin 10-11-71.
Remarkably, this is not the first time, the Tigers have won a match this season by a solitary point, or the second, but if you can believe it, three times this year Mirboo have secured premiership points by the slenderest of margins and that is the difference between finishing as a finals contender or not making finals at all.
Josh Taylor, Mirboo North coach "another close game, almost taking the mickey now with three wins by one point, same thing every week, not playing good footy but winning, two home games to finish the season so we must get the job done"
There was never more than a kick in this contest, with the margins, two points, a single goal and then a single point at the end of each of the first three quarters, Tarwin with their season on the line giving it their all, before falling so agonisingly close.
Fish Creek v Newborough
For some of the top teams in the MGFNL competition, it remains somewhat of a balancing act at the pointy end of the year, insuring that the best players are fully fit and ready to go for the finals in just over a fortnights time, whilst also fine tuning your patterns and match play along the way, but still winning games of footy, given Fish Creek like a few others have a top two spot there for the taking.
With all of that in mind, the Kangaroos appeared to have ticked all three boxes in their comfortable ninety three point win.
Fish Creek 18-19-127 to Newborough 5-4-34.
The Kangaroos, winning each of the four quarters and grinding their Bulldogs opposition into submission.
John Danckert, Fish Creek " thought we were a touch flat coming off a bye, Newborough played a physical style, which our guys enjoyed, I was particularly impressed with our second half and the way we ran the game right out."
Peter Ainsworth, Newborough coach "we battled hard, but Fish Creek are a well drilled side and they played really good footy, big game next week against Stony Creek at home to finish off the season."
Newborough, who have a bye in the last round of the year, will next week be playing to add another victory to a respectable season, while Fish Creek will clash with Yinnar, a top two spot on offer if the Kangaroos can snatch the premiership points.
Foster v Thorpdale
You could almost copy and paste the first few lines from the review of the match between Fish Creek and Newborough, given that Foster, like Fish Creek are also walking the tightrope of needing to continually win games of footy, whilst fine tuning their game and keeping their best players fit.
It would be nice to be able to cruise into finals having your desired position locked away, but the reality is, that is far from the case, so that winning and margins of victories are likely to play a part, the seventy five point win for the home side keeping the Tigers on track to steal second spot on the ladder.
Foster 16-13-109 to Thorpdale 5-4-34.
In simple terms, the Tigers are a good side, and will beat better sides than Thorpdale in the future, but even Foster will realise that any lapse of concentration come finals time could mean the difference of winning or losing when there is no tomorrow, their last quarter lapse a rare blemish for the home side.
Sam Davies, Foster coach " great bounce back from our group, pleasing to have our four or five juniors step up again, with eight or nine players out, they definately did look out of place and played their role perfectly"
Ray Pickering, Thorpdale coach "the boys tried hard all day against a much more polished Foster, some good passages of play throughout and finished with a winning last quarter, which is a positive moving forward."
Foster have two winnable games over the next fortnight, while Thorpdale have the bye next week before the massive challenge of Fish Creek to close out their 2021 season.
Stony Creek v Boolarra
I wouldn't want to offend Boolarra, but I think it is fair to say that Stony Creek's home clash with the Demons was to be their best chance of their first victory for the 2021 season.
Sure the Lions still have a fortnight of the home and away season in which to earn some premiership points, but if ever the Stony boys needed to be up and about and ready to throw themselves at a contest then this was it.
Both sides had their chances, but sometimes the football gods reward effort and the reward for the home side was a much needed win.
Stony Creek 8-9-57 home by a single goal, Boolarra 7-9-51.
The Lions simply had to "be in the game" early for them to believe that a win might be possible and that's exactly what they did, leading by three points at the first change, and still in the game when trailing by just four points at the main break, before playing possibly their best quarter of footy for the year, adding more than five goals and setting themselves up for a memorable win.
Jay Stacardi, Stony Creek "terrific for the boys to get on the board, not only for themselves but for the club as a whole, the game was played on a heavy deck which made it a tight inside tussle which we were up for and did a good job getting the ball forward and unlike previous games we were able to hit the scoreboard, the backline were outstanding again, in what was a great team effort.
But where one side was ecstatic, another was devastated.
Tony Giardina, Boolarra coach "nothing to say other than embarrassing"
Both sides will have a chance to add another win to their season tally in the fortnight that remains for the 2021 home and away season.
Bye: Hill End