Pumas pounce

Moyston/Willaura sits a game clear atop the Mininera and District Football League ladder courtesy of a 123-point thrashing of Penshurst on Saturday. Aidan Bell (pictured above) kicked an equal game high six goals to be named best afield for the Pumas in the percentage boosting win. Picture: PETER PICKERING
Moyston/Willaura sits a game clear atop the Mininera and District Football League ladder courtesy of a 123-point thrashing of Penshurst on Saturday. Aidan Bell (pictured above) kicked an equal game high six goals to be named best afield for the Pumas in the percentage boosting win. Picture: PETER PICKERING

MDFL - The Mininera and District Football League ladder underwent a number of changes following an intriguing round of football over the weekend.

The most eye-catching of the round eight results was Moyston/Willaura's stunning 123-point win over fellow contenders Penshurst.

The 22.19 (151) to 4.4 (28) victory maintains the Pumas' standing on top of the competition ladder, now one game clear after Tatyoon dropped its second match in as many weeks.

Pumas' coach Trent Fiscalini said the match against the Bombers was his team's most complete performance to date, with the home side racing to a six goal lead by quarter time.

"I think it was probably the best win we have had for the year so far, everything just clicked," he said.

"Even though we got out to a pretty big lead, we still stuck to our structures that we have in place.

"The past couple of weeks we have been trying to get 21 contributors over four consistent quarters and when everyone is putting in the hard work it is good to get reward."

Penshurst's defenders were no match for the most powerful forward line in the Mininera, with Aidan Bell booting six goals in a best on ground performance, while Aaron McKinnis (six), Lachie Hamilton (three) and Daniel Guinane (two) were also on song in front of the big sticks.

The Bombers were held to just four points after quarter time, as Moyston/Willaura ran riot with 15 unanswered goals.

Fiscalini said he was thrilled with the effort of the Pumas across all lines, with clean ball movement and excellent foot skills the highlight.

"It is hard to really pinpoint one area," he said.

"Our midfield did a fantastic job, Josh Bywater gave the onballers first use and when it got up to the forwards we had plenty of options and the forward pressure was great.

"Then when it comes into the backline, we see the other boys working hard so we want to do the same thing and get it back down the other end."

The Pumas' line-up continues to be bolstered, with the strong bodied Andy Leithhead coming in for his first match of the season. Josh Price (ankle) was the only injury concern to come out of the match and will be monitored this week.

Fiscalini is aware that premierships aren't won in June and said that his team will have to continue to improve if it is to remain on top of the ladder.

"That hunted tag is going to come with being on top of the ladder, teams are going to want to try and knock us off so we need to be at our best each week from here on in," he said.

Tatyoon's shock 40-point loss to Hawkesdale/Macarthur on Saturday has resulted in a dramatic deadlock between the remaining top five teams.

While Moyston/Willaura is four points clear in first place, only percentage separates second to fifth position.

The Southern Eagles claimed their biggest scalp so far this season, catching the early break against the Hawks to lead by 27 points at halftime.

Despite the best efforts of captain Sean McDougall, full-forward Steven Butler and an inform Bradd Wilson, Tatyoon was unable to peg back the deficit in the second half.

Danny Chatfield kicked five majors for Hawkesdale/Macarthur to help the home team to the 17.10 (112) to 10.12 (72) win.

Reigning premier Wickliffe/Lake Bolac continues to make up ground on the top five at a rapid pace and this week the Magpies were able to leap-frog Penshurst into sixth place with a strong showing against Great Western.

It was the side's third win on the trot and after starting the season with an unflattering 2-2 record, the Pies are now just one win away from sneaking into the top five for the first time in 2014.

The Lions put up a good challenge in the opening quarter kicking two straight, but Wickliffe/Lake Bolac held down a seven point lead by the first break thanks to three goals of its own.

Danny Grellet and Rayne Salmon did their best to keep the visitors in touch as the match progressed into the second term, but with ruckman Brad Keilar feeding Pies' onballers Jake Clark, Jason Quinlivian and Lachlan Kelly, Great Western found itself trailing by 48 points at the main break.

Led by Thomas Stephens, Danniel Smith and Michael Blackburn around the ground Wickliffe/Lake Bolac finished the stronger side, scoring 12 goals to the Lions’ three which saw the margin balloon to a percentage boosting 109-points.

Rounding out Great Western’s top performers was BJ Birch-Burton, Brett Dowie, Lachie Malloy and Benjamin Iseppi.

For the third consecutive week two-time Lewis Medal winner Keilar was named best afield for the Magpies.

SM&W Rovers also jumped two places on the competition ladder after its second win of the season, this time against the out of form Glenthompson/Dunkeld.

The Bulldogs dictated terms on the Rams’ home turf over the four quarters, leading at each change before claiming the 17.16 (118) to 9.7 (61) victory.

Full-forward Billie Leskosek recaptured his goal kicking form, slotting eight majors — the highest of the round — with assistance coming from fellow tall Sam O’Brien (three) and Derek Stephens (two).

Through the centre it was Tom Madden and Rhys Cahir that showed plenty of class and led the way, while Jonathon Box again featured in SM&W Rovers’ top six players for the fifth time this season.

The premiership quarter was where the Bulldogs sealed the match, turning a 32-point halftime buffer into a comfortable 56-point lead by the final change.

The Ararat Eagles matched it with their higher ranked opponent Lismore/Derrinallum in the opening quarter to trail by eight points at the first change.

However the Demons tore the game apart in the second term as they piled on seven unanswered goals to completely deflate the young Eagles’ outfit by halftime.

Aaron Jenkins and Shaun North were two Ararat players that battled hard throughout the contest and the pair found good support in the consistent Joel Turner and Luke Foster, but the home side proved too strong across all lines.

Lismore/Derrinallum had 14 individual goal kickers in the impressive performance, which saw the top three team boot 10 majors to three in the second half to run out by winners by 99 points — 22.16 (148) to 7.7 (49).

Talented Ash Leggett and junior player Campbell O’Brien rounded out their side’s top six performers, while Brent Bulger and Naish McRoberts kicked two goals each.

In the final match of the round Caramut managed to hold down fourth position on the ladder with a solid 38-point win over Woorndoo/Mortlake.


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