Hawks slip from top spot

Wickliffe/Lake Bolac’s Michael Otto slips through his Hawks’ opponents during the wet weather clash at Tatyoon on Saturday. The Magpies handed the home team its first defeat of the season by 11 points.
Wickliffe/Lake Bolac’s Michael Otto slips through his Hawks’ opponents during the wet weather clash at Tatyoon on Saturday. The Magpies handed the home team its first defeat of the season by 11 points.

MDFL - Wickliffe/Lake Bolac has issued Tatyoon its first loss of the Mininera and District Football League season in a classic wet weather game of football.

The slippery weather played to the Magpies' advantaged against a Tatyoon team which was missing star player Damian Cameron.

Pies' coach Nic Willox said both sides were hard at the ball in a tough opening half, which saw the scoreboard resemble more of a World Cup match than a game of Aussie rules, with just three goals recorded.

"It was a pretty sloppy game and was just a hard slog all day," he said.

"We were really up and about at halftime because we'd had a fair crack at them in the first half and thought we were right in the contest."

The Magpies quickly turned a seven point deficit into an advantage during the third term as Michael Otto and Jake Clark found plenty of the ball.

Brad Watach in just his third match also kicked a significant goal to help Wickliffe/Lake Bolac take an 11-point buffer into the final break.

Willox praised the efforts of the Magpies' back six, which stood tall in an intense fourth quarter.

"Our defence was solid all day," he said.

"Tom Gibson, our captain, leads the backline really well and he fought hard, particularly in the last quarter when it was on the line."

Brad Keilar rucked for the majority of the match and won critical hitouts in the final term, while Charlie Archer was another important strong body for the Pies in the 5.4 (34) to 3.5 (23) win.

The Hawks, who slip to second on the ladder following the loss, were best served by Bradd Wilson, Daniel Miller-Moran and Andrew Laidlaw.

While last year’s premiers are still a game outside the top five, Willox said the win was very important for the Magpies.

“It helps us keep in touch with Lismore, Caramut, Hawkesdale and Penshurst,” he said.

“It is the old cliché, but we’ll just take it one game at a time because we really have to try and win every match from now on to make finals — it is such a log jam at the moment.”

The Ararat Eagles won their first match of the season on Saturday, downing Woorndoo/Mortlake by 29 points at Alexandra Oval.

The home side held a nine point lead at halftime, but like many other matches across the weekend, it was a third term blitz that sealed the victory.

The Eagles scored four unanswered goals during the term as 15-year-old Naish McRoberts ran riot, collecting numerous possessions around the ground.

Fellow young-guns Ben Robertson, Ash Leggett and Nick Bulger also gave Ararat plenty of drive as the team ran away with the win — 9.12 (66) to 5.7 (37).

Moyston/Willaura is the new competition leader after its 35-point win over Caramut.

The Swans pushed their opposition in the opening two quarters, but weren’t able to match it with the Pumas in the latter half of the match.

Matt Scully was named best afield in his debut in Moyston/Willaura’s senior line-up, while Matt Peel, Aaron McKinnis, Aidan Bell and Lachie Hamilton each kicked three goals.

Ruckman Josh Bywater was also one of the Pumas’ top contributors, giving the midfield led by Lynden Brewis first use of the ball.

The strength of Lismore/Derrinallum’s bigger bodies proved too much for Great Western in wet and soggy conditions.

The Lions were not without their chances, getting plenty of their own ball at the stoppages through ruckman Rayne Salmon and consistent onballer Lachie Malloy.

The home team also had Tim Shalders, Brett Dowie and Nathan Ringin rebounding well off the half back line.

The first half was a tough contest with both sides battling to gain the advantage, however Great Western’s wayward kicking (2.10) cost it a chance of leading at the main break.

The Demons began to move away in the third term and despite the best efforts from BJ Burton and the versatile Danny Grellet, the Lions were unable to claw their way back into the match to go down by 35 points.

A final quarter fade out cost SM&W Rovers any chance of victory in its clash with Hawkesdale/Macarthur.

Rovers started the match off in strong fashion, with Jonathon Box continuing his purple patch of form and was well supported by Tyler Mason and Adam Stasse.

Derek Stephens and Dylan Achison were good targets for the Bulldogs’ inside-50, but Hawkesdale/Macarthur’s strong midfield was able to stop the flow for long periods of time.

The Bulldogs went goal for goal with their opposition after halftime and trailed the Southern Eagles by 20 points at three quarter time, but were restricted to just one major in the fourth term to go down by 39 points — 8.6 (54) to 13.15 (93).

In the final match of the round Penshurst stayed in touch with the top five by recording a 41-point win over Glenthompson/Dunkeld.


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