Rovers bounce back
Hill End bounced back from a disappointing opening round loss to reel in and defeat a gallant Newborough, 11-8 (74) to 8-8 (56).
Hill End were welcomed to Newborough with torrential rain and that proved the major opponent of both sides early.
Jared Risol was busy in the opening minutes for the Dogs, while the Rovers really struggled to string passages of play together in the wet and slippery conditions.
There was some extra heat in the contest, given two former Bulldogs in Luke Mulqueen and Josh Hecker were this season lining up for Hill End.
Newborough’s Michael Gelagotis was rewarded with a goal after some tremendous pressure up field, and that was quickly followed by Phllip Hicks converting just moments later.
The Bulldogs had always set themselves to make a statement in the early part of the season by having the side up and about early. On and off field, there is a sense that this season could be something special.
The Rovers however, had been seething all week over their first half at home to Trafalgar cost them any chance of taking the round one points.
With that in mind and with intensity lifting, a melee between players was followed by a Hill end goal to Noah Ketchen.
Dylan Brooks and Ambu Uliando were starting to have an impact around the packs for the visitor.
In a game in which the momentum was continually changing, the Bulldogs pressure continued through Michael Rosato and his work at stoppages, but against the run of play, coach Hill End’s Mike Santo found Isaac Ketchen who goaled.
The home side continued to keep their opponents at bay, a brilliant goal by Gelagotis under pressure and in traffic was answered by the Rover’s Santo who also converted on two occasions within minutes of each other.
Only five points separated the two sides at half time, Newborough in front but under pressure as the conditions started to improve in the third quarter.
Yet another melee caused by manic intensity and player frustration in the trying conditions, opened the door for Nathan Perkins to goal for the Rovers.
Santo chipped in for his third of the day and the visitors had turned the five point deficit into a five point lead at the final break.
Uliando was having a huge impact, his work in the centre square providing opportunity for Santo to make it four and open their lead to better than two goals early in the last.
Dylan Brooks first goal of the day, seemingly gave the Rovers a match winning lead, before Gelagotis kicked two more goals to make it four for him and have the Bulldogs within reach of an unlikely win.
Hill End to its credit, responded to the challenge through Mulqueen who goaled twice, and with Perkins grabbing his second the lead shot out to 24 points before Josh Simpson squeezed in a late major, the final margin 18 points.
Hill End looking ready to take a giant step forward in 2018.
Yallourn-Yallourn North Yarragon
Winning at home was crucial for the Bombers, especially back to their home ground where so much of their good footy is played.
Yallourn Yallourn North 6-11 (47) defeated Yarragon 1-4 (10), the score line an indication of the sort of conditions both sides confronted.
After being held scoreless at quarter time, only three behinds were added in the next two quarters for the visitor before finally scoring their solitary goal for the game through Buckingham in the last.
Trying hard for most of the day for Yarragon were Gleisner, Smith, Budge and Follet. Trafalgar v Mirboo North Trafalgar made it two scalps in a fortnight after accounting for Mirboo North in another low scoring match 5-12 (42) to 1-3 (9), making them one of just three sides to remain undefeated after two rounds.
It was always going to be a dangerous game for the reigning premiers, up against a Bloods side who were impressive round one winners at home.
The fact the Tigers could only score the single goal for the match through Richards is a huge concern, and even that came in the very last quarter.
That said, the Bloods had only managed to find the big sticks on two occasions themselves, before kicking three more in the final term.
The home side had five goal kickers, all with one each, and were best served by Doran, Mann, Brock and Van Schajik. Boolara v Thorpdale Tipped to be all one-way traffic, Thorpdale were comfortable winners in their 12-11 (83) to 6-2 (38) win over Boolarra.
For the Blues better players included Bennett, Redl, Atkinson and the Collie boys with special mention to Greene, who kicked six in the slippery and windy conditions.
The Blues second win in as many rounds now sets up intriguing contest against another unbeaten club in Trafalgar.
That clash to be played at Thorpdale next Sunday afternoon. Yinnar v Morwell East Yinnar showed their first-round win over reigning premiers Mirboo North was only the start of another promising season, following it up with a comfortable 26-point victory at home against Morwell East, 7-10 (52) to 3-8 (26). v