Pies over Blues in a thriller

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - LIFT OUT -

A grade: Poowong 47 de­feated Catani 45. There was ex­treme pres­sure from the open­ing whis­tle, with both teams cre­at­ing early turnovers to break each other’s cen­tre passes. Scor­ing was goal-for-goal for most of the first quar­ter un­til Poowong made the most of de­fen­sive re­bounds to take a four-goal lead at quar­ter time.

Poowong came out fir­ing in the sec­ond with con­sis­tent goal­ing. Catani put up a great fight with a solid per­for­mance in the mid­court. How­ever, Poowong man­aged to ex­tend the lead by an­other goal by the main in­ter­val, 20-15.

A topsy-turvy third quar­ter saw Poowong dom­i­nate early, only to have Catani come back in the lat­ter part of the term. This main­tained the five-goal deficit and put Poowong on no­tice for the fi­nal quar­ter.

In a “nail-biter” fourth term, Catani con­tin­ued its mo­men­tum to level the scores. Poowong’s de­ci­sion to leave the ex­pe­ri­enced fresh legs on the side­line looked cer­tain to be their un­do­ing. With scores all tied up at full-time, all was set for ex­tra time – two halves of seven minute, with a minute break to change ends.

Once again, Catani took it to Poowong and led by a goal at the half-way mark.

Des­per­a­tion and fa­tigue played a ma­jor part in the sec­ond half with many op­por­tu­ni­ties wasted. Once again, the scores were tied up when the clock ticked down.

Play con­tin­ued with teams seek­ing a two-goal ad­van­tage in or­der to get a re­sult.

As is al­ways the case in such a tense mo­ment, this seemed to take an eter­nity. How­ever, it was only a minute or two be­fore Poowong had re­gained com­po­sure to take the win, 47-45.

They will now meet Ellinbank in the grand fi­nal in what has be­come a very fa­mil­iar premier­ship en­counter in re­cent years.

Best on court: Poowong wing at­tack Dal­las Loughridge.

B grade: War­ragul In­dus­tri­als 48 de­feated Buln Buln 43.

In per­fect weather con­di­tions, Buln Buln and Dusties bat­tled out the B grade pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal. The first quar­ter was a tight con­test, with scores tied at 10-all. The mid­courters for both sides were pro­duc­ing great drive and speed to sup­ply the goalers with scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Ac­cu­rate goal­ing from both sides re­sulted in an­other close quar­ter in the sec­ond. De­fen­sive pres­sure was stepped up, cre­at­ing turnovers, and Buln edged ahead by a goal af­ter a lon­grange shot on the half-time whis­tle.

Dusties had fresh legs which al­lowed them to in­crease in­ten­sity with their de­fence in­side the cir­cle im­pres­sive. They man­aged to take a three-goal ad­van­tage into the fi­nal break.

Both sides con­tin­ued the tightly con­tested bat­tle in the last quar­ter. In­jury forced changes to the Buln line-up dur­ing the fi­nal term, while Dusties con­tin­ued solid driv­ing through the mid­court through to the fi­nal whis­tle for a five­goal vic­tory.

Best on court: Dusties goal de­fence Me­gan Spencer.

C grade: War­ragul In­dus­tri­als 33 de­feated Long­warry 23.

Dusties de­fend­ers made an early im­pact on the game, deny­ing Long­warry’s goalers on count­less op­por­tu­ni­ties. Con­ced­ing only three for the quar­ter, ac­cu­rate shoot­ing re­warded Dusties with 11 goals at the other end.

The Crows be­gan the sec­ond quar­ter well, with the first two goals. Dusties re­tal­i­ated with strong in­ter­cepts and an­other solid per­for­mance from their at­tack­ing zone to lead 21-8 at half-time.

Some changes to the Long­warry line-up proved fruitful, post­ing the first four goals on the score­board in the third quar­ter. Dusties had to be con­tent with set­tling into a goal-for­goal term. They held a com­fort­able 12-goal lead at the fi­nal change.

De­spite an­other com­mend­able quar­ter from Long­warry, Dusties were sim­ply too strong and the lead too great, win­ning by 10 goals.

Best on court: Dusties goal keeper Hai­ley Haus­field. D grade: Ellinbank 46 de­feated Poowong 39. Both teams showed great con­sis­tency through­out the first quar­ter, with Ellinbank’s one-goal lead re­flec­tive of the cen­tre passes of the term.

Poowong’s mid­court gave some im­pres­sive dis­plays early in the sec­ond to give the goalers a few more op­por­tu­ni­ties. How­ever, the Bankers re­grouped late in the quar­ter to sneak ahead by two at the half-time in­ter­val.

Poowong again be­gan well in the third, only to see the Bankers cre­ate and con­vert turnovers well as some mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion crept into the Poowong mid­court. They sub­se­quently trailed by four at the last change of ends.

In the end, it was the con­sis­tency of the Banker’s goalers and the per­sis­tent pres­sure of their de­fence through­out the four quar­ters that gave them the win over Poowong by seven goals.

Best on court: Ellinbank goal shooter Sha­nara Not­man.

E grade: War­ragul In­dus­tri­als 34 de­feated Long­warry 27.

It was an even start to the match, with both teams goal­ing truly. A cou­ple of good in­ter­cepts by the Dusties de­fend­ers, cou­pled with solid at­tack­ing ef­forts, saw them take a four­goal lead at the first change.

Dusties started the sec­ond as they fin­ished the first, with their goalers tak­ing ad­van­tage of ev­ery op­por­tu­nity provided by the hard work­ing de­fend­ers. This saw the Dusties get out to a six­goal lead. Long­warry were not to be dis­counted and fought hard to bring the mar­gin back to four at half-time.

It was more of the same in the third, with Dusties do­ing bet­ter on the score­board to hold a seven-goal lead at the last change.

The Crows came out well in the fi­nal term in an ef­fort to peg back the mar­gin. How­ever, Dusties seemed to have an an­swer for ev­ery­thing, which made for an evenly con­tested pe­riod. Dusties were even­tual win­ners by seven goals.

Best on court: Dusties goal at­tack Alexan­dra Brice.

F grade: Catani 21 de­feated War­ragul In­dus­tri­als 14.

Catani took an early lead, with good move­ment down the court, in par­tic­u­lar, their at­tack­ing zone. This re­sulted in a one-goal lead at the first break.

Two quick goals from Dusties early in the sec­ond kept them in con­tention, only to have Catani hit back and push the lead back out to three by half-time.

Both sides demon­strated great pres­sure all over the court, but a solid ef­fort from Kayla In­ter­landi in goals for Catani saw the lead ex­tended even fur­ther by the fi­nal change.

Catani con­tin­ued to work well in at­tack, driv­ing hard around the cir­cle and cap­i­tal­is­ing well on their op­por­tu­ni­ties to book an ap­point­ment with Ellinbank in Satur­day’s grand fi­nal.

Best on court: Catani goal at­tack Kayla In­ter­landi.

Above: Poowong and Catani play­ers shake hands prior to the A grade pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal. With scores locked at the fi­nal whis­tle and again af­ter 14 min­utes of over­time, it took dou­ble over­time to de­cide a re­sult.Right: Poowong’s Dal­las Loughridge nav­i­gates a maze of play­ers dur­ing A grade. Dal­las was awarded best on court by the um­pires.

Above: Buln Buln’s Laura Williams is at full stretch to de­fend the pass of War­ragul In­dus­tri­als’ goal de­fence Me­gan Spencer. Me­gan was judged best on court in the B grade fi­nal.Right: War­ragul In­dus­tri­als’ Kianah Conroy re­ceives a pass in front of Buln Buln’s Ash­ley Pear­son in the B grade game.

Poowong’s Ge­or­gia Chi­avaroli takes a cen­tre pass in an A grade game which was de­cided in dou­ble over­time on Satur­day. Poowong won 47-45 to ad­vance to the grand fi­nal.

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