Tigers hold on by two points in nail-biter
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.