Gull re­serves beaten by swift Leon­gatha

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - LIFTOUT -

War­ragul re­serves’ sea­son ended with a heavy de­feat by Leon­gatha in Sun­day’s elim­i­na­tion fi­nal at Mor­well.

Things look promis­ing at the start; the Gulls push­ing for­ward from the open­ing ball up, main­tain­ing pres­sure to lock the ball in its at­tack­ing area and for Har­ley No­belius to snap a great goal after 90 sec­onds.

How­ever, there was lit­tle score­board joy after that as Leon­gatha – quicker and more pur­pose­ful – took charge to even­tu­ally win 12-9 to 3-2.

War­ragul still led at quar­ter time, its goal enough to have it just in front as the Par­rots man­aged four be­hinds.

The sec­ond quar­ter changed the course of the game.

Five goals to Leon­gatha and a soli­tary be­hind to War­ragul had the Par­rots in con­trol by 28 points.

A stark dif­fer­ence was the way Leon­gatha was able to run the ball out of de­fence and kick to run­ning play­ers in an open for­ward line.

In con­trast the Gulls, un­der pres­sure, were un­able to get clears breaks from their de­fen­sive area and their skill level dropped away sharply.

There were plenty of fum­bles, over­run­ning of the ball, dropped marks and poor dis­posal.

The trend con­tin­ued in the third quar­ter as Leon­gatha ex­tended its lead to 41 points.

A good spoil in the for­ward line by Hay­den Law­sonPep­per that fell to Nic Ed­ney and a hand­ball to Nathan Tut­ton brought up War­ragul’s sec­ond goal.

The third and fi­nal Gulls’ goal came early in the fi­nal term when Will Cole con­verted from a strong mark but the quar­ter well and truly be­longed to Leon­gatha as it added an­other five goals.

Although it was out­played by a far bet­ter side on Sun­day the War­ragul side’s sea­son had plenty of plusses.

As coach Scott McIn­tosh said when ad­dress­ing the play­ers in the dress­ing rooms post-match they had come a long way from where the re­serves had been in re­cent sea­sons.

“You can hold your heads up,” he said, point­ing out the strong player num­bers set­ting a strong foun­da­tion that would be built on by play­ers com­ing through from the thirds team in the next cou­ple of years.

Ed­ney put in for the four quar­ters and pro­vided some lift in gen­eral play when moved into the cen­tre in the last term and Adam Larkin, Ben Mackie, ruck­man Sam Whi­b­ley, Cole and Tut­ton also fought hard from start to fin­ish.

A bet­ter bal­anced Sam Whi­b­ley gets a clear hit out for War­ragul at a cen­tre ball up in Satur­day’s re­serves elim­i­na­tion fi­nal, out­po­si­tion­ing his Leon­gatha op­po­nent Chris Rump.

Peter Davine fought hard at the packs for War­ragul in Sun­day’s re­serves elim­i­na­tion fi­nal but was dis­pos­sessed of the ball on this oc­ca­sion by a strong Leon­gatha tackle.

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