Tigers hold on by two points in nail-biter

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - LIFTOUT -

Mirboo North are Mid Gipp­s­land league pre­miers af­ter a tor­rid bat­tle on a slip­pery rain af­fected sur­face at Mor­well on Satur­day.

There was a big crowd on hand to watch the Tigers hold out Yin­nar by two points in a low scor­ing grand fi­nal 5-12 to 5-10.

The ball was in Yin­nar’s for­ward line for much of the clos­ing min­utes but Mirboo North hung on des­per­ately.

It was the third meet­ing of the clubs in a se­nior grand fi­nal, the most re­cent 10 years ago when the Tigers also pre­vailed in an­other close re­sult.

The typ­i­cal high grand fi­nal pres­sure was on from the start of the game.

Mirboo North man­aged the only goal of the first quar­ter to lead 1-4 to Yin­nar’s one be­hind.

The sec­ond term pro­duced a few goals and op­por­tu­ni­ties for both teams with Yin­nar turn­ing up the heat to get in front by seven points at the main break. Mirboo North’s pres­sure in the third quar­ter was re­spon­si­ble for it kick­ing two goals and keep­ing the Mag­pies goal­less again to take the lead by five points.

An early goal in the fi­nal quar­ter had Yin­nar in front by a soli­tary point.

Mirboo man­aged a rare break through the Mag­pies’ de­fence but only a be­hind re­sulted. Scores level. It was just as tense among the vo­cal sup­port­ers around the ground as for the play­ers as each side threw ev­ery­thing into try­ing to get a crit­i­cal break.

The Tigers scored an­other two be­hinds be­fore a fi­nal Yin­nar spurt that al­most created a scor­ing chance.

How­ever, the siren sounded with Mirboo North a nar­row in­ner in a match that could have gone ei­ther way. De­fences dom­i­nated the game. It took eight min­utes for the first score in the con­test, a point by Mirboo North, and it was 19 min­utes be­fore the Tigers’ Bray­den Wil­son posted the first goal – the only one by quar­ter time.

A point to Yin­nar opened the sec­ond quar­ter scor­ing but it was Mirboo North that got the first goal of the term through Jack Robert­son.

Yin­nar coach Michael Geary kicked a great goal – his side’s first – to get back in the con­test as his side raised the pres­sure lev­els.

There was only one point the dif­fer­ence when Yin­nar’s May­nard goaled from a free kick.

Ten min­utes into the quar­ter scores were lev­elled as Yin­nar dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion of the ball.

Liam Visser steered through an­other Yin­nar goal from 35 me­tres to give the Mag­pies the lead for the first time and Geary got his sec­ond from 20 me­tres.

A fum­ble in front of the goal for Mirboo North re­sults in a quick goal by

The Tigers’ coach Clancey Ben­nett cap­i­talised on a Yin­nar fum­ble in front of goal to pull the gap back to seven points at half time. The fluc­tu­at­ing for­tunes con­tin­ued in the third term. Tim Trail goaled for Mirboo North in the open­ing min­utes and when he got an­other late in the quar­ter – the only two goals kicked for the term – it gave his team a five-point lead at the fi­nal change, 5-8 to 4-9. A tor­rid last quar­ter was ex­pected by the crowd. And the sup­port­ers weren’t let down. A goal to Yates had Yin­nar with its nose in front by one point.

Mirboo North pegged away but could only man­age points but they were enough to put them in front.

Yin­nar turned around the flow of gen­eral play to mount a last ditch push for vic­tory but Mirboo North des­per­ately de­nied them.

A happy and re­lieved Mirboo North side cel­e­brates with the Mid Gipp­s­land league se­nior premier­ship cup af­ter a grand fi­nal that was tough go­ing all the way with only two points de­cid­ing the re­sult.

Trafal­gar 3rds’ Ty­ron Stevens con­tests a cen­tre ball up du­ing the MGFL grand fi­nal against New­bor­ough at Mor­well on Satur­day.

They bar­racked hard for their thirds side but these Trafal­gar sup­port­ers - from left, Dar­ren Brock, Ian Grey, David Van-Scha­juik, Dy­lan Mal­ady and Daniel Puglia with Tyson Ein­sta­gall in front - were not able to get them across the line against New­bor­ough.

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