Home' The Great Southern Star : September 20th 2016 Contents “THE STAR” Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - PAGE 55
• Gippsland League Preliminary Final
By Tony Giles
LEONGATHA played a focused and de-
termined brand of football on Saturday
to outclass Traralgon in the Preliminary
Final, taking a huge confidence boost
into this Saturday’s Grand Final against
Maffra at Moe.
Players who were down last week lifted this week
as Leongatha played well across all lines.
But Leongatha knows it has to continue this focus
after Maffra showed them up in second semi-final; a
mistake Leongatha is hoping not to make again.
The Parrots held the edge at quarter time but
opened up a large 34 point lead at half time with a
five goal to two second quarter.
When Traralgon tried to turn more physical in
the match during the second half in an attempt to put
the Parrots off its game, Leongatha stayed strong and
positive, continuing to play the football and fending
off the aggressive Maroons.
In the end the attention off the ball backfired on
Traralgon which received a couple of 50 metre pen-
alties against it resulting in goals.
The second half provided more of the same Le-
ongatha dominance as it cruised its way to victory,
18.15 .123 to Traralgon 10.9 .69
The best player for the Parrots was Aaron Hill-
berg who was inspirational up forward with some
fine marks, pin point accuracy kicks and absorbing
some crunching tackles.
The best players around the contest were Pat
McGrath, Luke Bowman, Zac Vernon and Josh Hop-
kins; running amuck through the centre corridor;
pressing forward and back with high work rate.
Hopkins was proving to be an elusive player of-
ten sneaking forward where he slotted two goals. Pat
McGrath, too, drifted forward and booted three goals
providing Leongatha plenty of avenues to goal.
Parrots earn tilt at flag
Leongatha goals: C. Dunne 4,
C. Maskell 3, P. McGrath 3, D.
Houghton 2, J. Hopkins 2, C.
Verboon 1, A. Hillberg 1, R.
Kelly 1, S. Hawking 1.
Traralgon goals: L. Stockdale
2, T. Northe 2, J. Hall 2, R.
Hildebrand 1, T. Johnston 1, T.
Forrest 1, H. Hector 1.
Leongatha best: P. McGrath,
L. Bowman, Z. Vernon, J. Hop-
kins, C. Dunne, D. Houghton.
Traralgon best: T. Northe, T.
Marsh, A. Jaensch, A. Slottje,
J. Bourke, B. Amberg.
A frustrated Traralgon looked for the physical
answer to the game to try to distract Leongatha but
Hawking goaled for the Parrots with the umpires
keeping control and awarding a free.
Traralgon would try the “niggle” until the end of
the game but Leongatha would not flinch.
The Parrots were running freely and booted two
more for the term to lead comfortably at the last
change13.12.90 to Traralgon 6.6 .42
With an eight goal buffer it was a matter for Le-
ongatha to run the game out without injury and no
reports for retaliating on the opposition.
In a high scoring last quarter Leongatha would
add another five goals to Traralgon’s four as the
sting had well and truly gone out of the contest.
Maskell booted the Parrots opener in this term
with McGrath, Dunne and Verboon putting the icing
on the cake.
Up forward, as well as Hillberg, both Chris
Dunne and Cade Maskell were finding form, Dunne
booting four goals and having several other strong
chances while Maskell booted three.
Maskell sent a scare through the Leongatha
camp when just before half time he came off with
what looked to be a shoulder injury; fortunately he
came back on in the second half and it appeared to
The defenders were also rock solid for most of
the contest; lead well by Dale Hoghton, Hayden
Browne, Aaron Coyle, Joel Sinclair and, in the first
half, Sean Westaway.
Ben Willis, Shem Hawking, Tom Marriott and
Brock Davidson all played serviceable games with-
out being dominant and will look to lift further for
the game this Saturday.
There was plenty of noise and jubilation from
Leongatha fans in the rooms after the game as coach
Beau Vernon encouraged the players to enjoy the win
but stay focused as there’s still one more game left to
complete the task.
With the week’s showers the Traralgon ground
came up beautifully for the Preliminary Final which
was a credit to the grounds staff.
With the sun out, warm conditions and just a
slight breeze conditions couldn’t have been better.
Lochie Dumont would be out of the side this week
with a calf strain to be replaced by Brent Fitzgerald.
Traralgon attacked well early but Sean Westaway
on the last line desperately saved the day with a
Leongatha then turned the ball forward and it was
Dale Hoghton who goaled after a free for being taken
high. Chris Dunne was very lively and he slotted two
goals and a behind for the term. The Maroons’ Ro-
han Hildebrand goaled after a high tackle while it
got another through the lively Tim Johnston after a
Hillberg, Hawking and McGrath combined to put
the Parrots fourth on the board; quarter time Leon-
gatha 4.3.27 to Traralgon 2.2.14
A magnificent start to the second term saw eight
Leongatha players involved as Josh Hopkins seemed
to run in and boot the goal but unfortunately the goal
umpire ruled he’d overstepped the line and a point
This didn’t upset Leongatha’s game though as
it goaled through Hillberg soon after. The Parrots
would enjoy a dominant period with goals to Rhett
Kelly from a 50 metre penalty, a Hillberg assisted
goal to Josh Hopkins and another to Dunne.
Traralgon seemed a little rattled but they did get
two against the run of play to Lee Stockdale and Troy
Forrest before a top 50 metre goal to Dale Hoghton
gave the lead the Parrots wanted at half time; 9.7 .61
to Traralgon’s 4.3.27
Lee Stockdale gave Traralgon the start it needed
in term three but Hayden Browne, getting good pos-
session, shot the ball to Hopkins for the answer for
Heavy work: Leongatha’s Tom Marriott in characteristic fashion breaks clear of his oppo-
nent and looks to handball off to another Parrot player.
In the clear: the Parrots’ Zac Vernon is
about to get his hands on the ball for Leon-
gatha watched by Pat McGrath and Brock
Crunch: Leongatha was able to match the physical stuff handed out. With numbers to the
ball Parrot players Hayden Browne and Luke Bowman sandwich their Traralgon opponent
with Shem Hawking, left, running in.
Links Archive September 13th 2016 September 27th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page