Industrials still in premiership race
Warragul Industrials remain in the Ellinbank District Football League premiership race as Powoong’s impressive run came to an end in Sunday’s first semi final at Buln Buln.
The Magpies had made a sensational run to play off in their first finals series in several years and emerged as a potential dark horse following its elimination final win over reigning premier Catani.
But the dream run ended at the hands of perrenial finalist Warragul Industrials, who are building towards a potential grand final appearance following their 6-8 (44) to 2-8 (20) victory.
Still missing key playmaker Ben Hancock, the Magpies hung in for much of the match but the Industrials were able to win the key moments to emerge with victory.
A dominant second term helped the Industrials create a buffer that enabled them to control the second half.
The Industrials had done most of the attacking in the first half but could only manage the one goal couresy of a 50 metre penalty from a late push.
A late snap from James Doria rolled through to reduce the margin to just one-point at the first change, but the Industrials were able to take control from that point.
Shane Brewster took the advantage from some high contact to Tye Holland and Joel Crowther converted from a lead soon after.
Steven Ballingall cut off a pass to set up another Industrials attack, setting up Mitch Davies for a goal on the siren.
The Industrials continued to control possession in the third term, taking a measured approach to pick their way through the Poowong defence, but it was proving difficult to score in the slippery conditions that had been caused by a couple of intermittent showers during the Reserves match.
A short pass to Poowong’s Tim Francis for a sliding mark and goal gave the Magpies some hope in a quarter that realised one goal apiece.
The Magpies pressed hard to begin the final quarter but could only manage minor scores.
The Industrials stepped up their work rate but were also finding it difficult to score.
Along shot from Tye Holland on the lead looked to have carried the line to finally break the Magpies, but a sea of players on the goal line made it difficult for the goal umpire to make position and it was deemed a minor score.
A running shot late in the game sent the Industrials faithful into jubilation as the side moves into the preliminary final on Saturday.
Davies, Cooper Minichiello, Joel Morgan, Michael Ablett, Brewster and Ballingall helped the Industrials control proceedings.
Chris Robinson, Michael Harris, Jayden Sullivan, Jack Hazendonk, Matthew Cozzio and Jai Newcombe battled hard to keep the Magpies in the contest.
Warragul Industrials players Joel Crowther and Shane Brewster crash the pack; Photographs; Jeff Tull.
Warragul Industrials player Steven Ballingall flies for the mark; Photograph: Jeff Tull.