Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - “HERE’S MY CARD” -

The sea­son is over for up and com­ing Moe that ran into a wounded but sharp Maf­fra in the first semi-fi­nal at Sale on Sun­day.

The fi­nals hard­ened Maf­fra showed it won’t give up its premier­ship de­fence eas­ily with an im­pres­sive 17-12 to 811 win. The Eagles were on the job from the start. A qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal loss to Trar­al­gon a week ear­lier had Maf­fra keen for bat­tle. It didn’t take long for that to show. The first quar­ter was all Maf­fra. At quar­ter time it was 3-6 to nil, lively for­ward Mitch Ben­nett kick­ing all the goals on the way to a six-goal haul for the game.

Moe couldn’t make any in­roads in the sec­ond term, the Eagles stretch­ing the lead to a match-win­ning 35 points at half time. And it didn’t get any bet­ter for Moe af­ter that.

The Eagles kicked four goals to two in the third quar­ter al­though the Li­ons did lift their work rate and in the last term it was Maf­fra run­ning away with six goals al­though Moe was able to add four to dou­ble its goal tally for the match.

De­spite the loss there are plenty of rea­sons the Li­ons can take heart from the sea­son hav­ing made fi­nals at se­nior level for the first time in a num­ber of years and with a strong ju­nior pro­gram con­tin­u­ing to pro­duce re­sults. Maf­fra’s de­fence was top class on Sun­day deny­ing Moe op­por­tu­ni­ties to make any im­pact.

Jack John­stone and fi­nals spe­cial­ist Sam Walker were ev­ery­where.

Ben­nett pro­duced a best on ground per­for­mance but had a tal­ented ac­com­plice up for­ward in Dan Bedg­good who, af­ter a few qui­eter games, rammed through five goals. Moe key de­fender Char­lie Reini­ets stood tall against the Maf­fra surges to be his side’s best.

Col San­brook and coach James Blaser gave their all for the Li­ons’ cause and James De Vir­glio, Brock Smith and tire­less ruck­man Ben Mor­row did their jumper, and club, proud.

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