Gull reserves beaten by swift Leongatha
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.