WESTERN BORDER FOOTBALL - 2016
WESTERN BORDER FOOTY PREVIOUS SEASONS
THE 2016 BRIAN HENNESSY MEDAL
WON BY BRETT O'NEIL
All reports by Terry Willoughby unless otherwise mentioned
Teams: Casterton, East Gambier, Millicent, North Gambier, South Gambier and West Gambier
LEAGUESBEST TEAM EVER
South Gambier won the toss in swirling windy conditions against crosstown rival North Gambier and kicked to the Velodrome end. The wind did the crowd no favours with play concentrated on the outer wing. North were first to goal through Brad Close but defences on both sides maintained a strong grip on forward moves and goals were hard to come by. Brayden Kain was dangerous at full forward for South as both teams sought to gain control. There was plenty of feeling in the game and players had a bonding session in the northern end goal-square before North got their second major and they led narrowly at quarter time and South hadn’t made the most of a small scoring advantage.
North started the second quarter well but South resisted strongly and the margin between them rarely got beyond two goals. North had more of the play through Nick McInerney and Brock Egan around the stoppages where Brett Kennedy was doing a great job for North whose speed around the big ground suited their runners and tight defence by Buckley and Blachut cut of many South forward moves. Kain again stepped in and goaled for South to keep them in close touch before the main break but North appeared to be going better although leading by just 13 points.
South needed a big effort to get on terms in the third quarter but North held them for a long time before Ash Bryant and Kain goaled to bring them right into the game, Bronson Saffin crashed heavily after a great mark but he hadn’t been a significant player. North also goaled to keep the margin beyond two kicks. North had opportunities go begging and South responded with a late goal to finish the quarter only 3 points in arrears. There was still plenty of feeling in the game as played raced up and down the ground as both defences worked overtime to keep the forwards under control and only minor scores were registered. South were battling hard with coach Brett Exelby doing everything to lift his team, he set up numerous forward moves only to see them breakdown when chopped of by Tim McInerney and Nic Blachut who used the ball more efficiently than two weeks ago. Neither team could get the break they were looking for but North managed a goal to go seven points clear but South got it back through Kain and the arm wrestle continued.
North found Hamish Telford on the wing and he provided plenty of drive in the last quarter as South struggled to get forward. North overdid the handball on several occasions and coughed the ball up but South were unable to capitalize on the mistakes. Play again switched to the outer wing and Buckley broke up a South forward in front of the scoreboard and forced the ball to half forward where Sam Stafford, a more than useful player all day, ran around his opponent and kicked long to the forward pocket where Matt McInerney used his pace to outpoint South’s Dion Stratford and race in for a goal which put North two goals in front with little time remaining in a low scoring contest. South again had the chance to go forward but siren sounded with North Gambier twelve points ahead and now premiers for 2016 and four flags in the last 5 years. South Gambier were gallant in defeat and lost no admirers in the large crowd. Better players for North, in a low scoring but highly entertaining game, were Nick McInerney around the packs, Brad Close on the ball and near goal, Brett Kennedy for his work in the ruck, Blachut and Buckley in defence, Brock Egan, Sam Stafford and Matt McInerney for their significant contributions late. South, also had many good players but they just couldn’t string good enough passages together, Brayden Kain was a constant threat on the forward line and booted five goals, Brett Exelby got plenty of possessions across the mid-field, Ash Bryant had his moments and booted a team lifting goal, Brad Bryant was useful but not as prolific as usual and Hamish Stevens picked up plenty of kicks.
Best on ground was Nick McInerney, North Gambier.
Grand Final on September 17, 2016
Best: North - T. McInerney, B. Close, B. Egan , F. Marshall, M. McInerney, N. Blachut. South - B. Kain, B. Exelby, B. Bryant, H. Stevens, A. Bryant, N. Jenkin. Goals: North - B. Close 3, S. Stafford 2, N. Moretti, M. McInerney, B. Stafford. South - B. Kain 5, J. Schleter, A. Bryant, H. Stevens
NORTH CRUSH EAST BUT PAY HEAVY PRICE IN PRELIM FINAL
Terry Willoughby - September 11, 2016
East Gambier were never in the hunt against North Gambier in the Western Border Preliminary Final as the Tigers piled on seven unanswered goals in the first term. On-ballers Josh Jenner and Brock Egan broke away from the stoppages repeatedly to set up goal scoring opportunities and the mobile forwards in Brad Close and Matt McInerney took great advantage. The game was effectively over by quarter-time with East unable to get the ball past the North defence. The lack of mobility on East’s forward line allowed the North defenders in Blachut and Tim McInerney to run-off their opponents and instantly convert defence into attack as North went further ahead in the second term.
East managed to get on the board with a couple of goals but North, going to the breeze, still outscored them comfortably and the margin at the long break was 51 points. East’s poor tackling and discipline had been another area to breakdown with 50 metre penalties accounting for three of North’s goal. The first of North’s strokes of misfortune came late in the second term when youngster Declan Carmody was carried off after a heavy tackle in the centre. Play became more subdued in the third quarter with East battling to stay even close and North were restricted to just two goals for the term with Nic Moretti now playing well up the ground instead of full forward where Frazer Scanlon was sticking closely to him for East. The margin at three-quarter time was out to 50 points as North continued to control play through the mid-field with Brad Close and Egan racking up plenty of possessions along with Tom Edwards and Jenner. East scarcely had a good player with only Frazer Scanlon doing well.
North continued to lead in the race for the ball in the last quarter as all the passion and fire in the game had died out. East scored another two token goals they weren’t threatening at any stage. North added three goals to their score but lost another player to injury in the process when key defender Jake Schutz was assisted with what looked to be a serious ankle injury. The final margin of 62 points probably flatters East a little, but North were hampered by the loss of Carmody and Schutz. Better players for North were Brad Close, Brock Egan, Josh Jenner and Edwards, all on-ballers and mid-fielders, Blachut and Tim McInerney in defence and Matt McInerney with four goals. East had little to offer but Frazer Scanlon battled hard all day. North Gambier now meet South Gambier in a return bout of last year’s Grand Final.
Preliminary Final on September 10, 2016
Best: North - B. Close, B. Egan , J. Jenner, N. Blachut, T. Edwards, M. McInerney. Goals: North - M. McInerney 4, B. Close 3, F. Marshall 2, N. Moretti 2, N. Blachut, J. Jenner, B. Egan , N. Mcinerney, S. Stafford, D. Carmody
SOUTH WINS IN BUFFETING WINDS AND HEAVY RAIN REDUCE FINAL TO A SLOG
Second Semi Final - September 3, 2016
Best: South - B. Saffin, B. Howard, B. O''Neil, B. Exelby, A. Bryant, B. Bryant. North - T. McInerney, T. Edwards, B. Egan , B. Close, D. Munn, F. Marshall. Goals: South - B. Kain 3, C. Williams, B. O''Neil, B. Saffin, B. Howard, A. Bryant, J. Weaver. North - B. Close 2, D. Carmody 2, D. Munn, M. McInerney
South Gambier kicked to the town end with whatever advantage the strong crosswind offered and Bronson Saffin booted the first goal as the Demon’s quickly adapted to the conditions. Brayden Kain was a constant threat on the South forward line and North had trouble penetrating the South defence. Saffin was strong around the stoppages for South and used long kicks to good effect as South goaled again through Kain before North managed to score against the wind when Close marked cleverly and goaled but South led by 20 points at quarter time. Dylan Munn goaled early for North to put them back in the game but South continued to frustrate them with a mix of strong tackling and defensive play. Two crucial mistakes at the kick-ins should have been costly for South but Sam Stafford missed both very gettable chances for North who were having their most productive period of the game even though they were indirect. Youngster Declan Carmody marked strongly and goaled for North and Matt McInerney snapped another but South were still in front. North continued to over-use the ball and a turnover allowed Kain to goal again for South who had been the better team so far. Play became very scrambly with many ball ups before Brad Close marked 40 metres from goal and put North in front for the first time when his wobbling kick eluded all hands and went through for a goal.
Heavy rain now came with the wind as play resumed and both Saffin and Brent Howard relished the heavy going to put South back in front. South’s big men were also becoming prominent and Ash Bryant made the most of a North kick-in error to goal and put his team 15 points ahead. North continually tried to play dry weather football whilst South clearly adapted to the conditions and kicked longer to get out of danger and forced stoppages when necessary. North managed to scramble to ball forward for a much needed goal but South led by 19 points at the last change. South were content to force North wide at every opportunity as scoring became more difficult in the heavy rain. Perry had a chance for North but missed as South forced one ball-up after another. Only one point was scored in the last quarter which barely went over the allotted time and South won the battle by 18 pts and advance to the Grand Final. Better players for the Demons were Bronson Saffin whose strength and long kicking stood out, Brent Howard, the grub, burrowed in all game, Ash and Brad Bryant and Kain was always dangerous near goal. It was a different story for North and their better players were Brad Close, particularly near goal, Dylan Munn and Nic Blachut both had plenty of kicks but lacked penetration, Tom Edwards and Buckley had their moments.
EAST GAMBIER STEAL FIRST SEMI FINAL IN FORM REVERSAL
First Semi Final on August 27, 2016
Best: East - F. Scanlon, T. Middleton, M. Kieselbach, M. Scanlon, M. White, J. Eldridge. Casterton Sandford – T. Nesbitt, J. Stephenson, D. Ayton, A. O''Connell, S. Broomby, B. Galpin. Goals: East - M. Scanlon 6, T. Lockwood 2, T. Agnew 2, J. Eldridge. Casterton Sandford – D. Ayton 2, J. Dunn, D. Ryan, T. Clode, J. Stephenson, B. Galpin
Report from Terry Willoughby
East Gambier, whose recent form had been atrocious, stole the first Semi-final from Casterton/Sandford who had easily accounted for them only two weeks earlier. On a firmer surface than recent games East looked quicker and handled the ball more surely and were first to goal. Coach Matt Scanlon was a strong target at full forward with good bodywork and strong marking. Around the stoppages Mark Kieselbach was giving his smaller players plenty of chances as well as picking up kicks across the centre. Blue-collar defenders in Matt White and Frazer Scanlon were making life difficult for the Casterton/Sandford forwards as East maintained an attacking approach. The East player’s confidence rose as Scanlon goaled twice and with Todd Lockwood providing plenty of run across the mid-field they met every challenge that the Cats presented. In the free-flowing play Josh Stephenson goaled for Casterton/Sandford as both teams traded goals. East appeared to suffer a serious blow when coach Scanlon limped off with a hamstring injury but they still led by 13 points at quarter time.
The strong cross-wind hadn’t seemed to restrict scoring but play in the second quarter was concentrated to the scoreboard wing with defensive tactics now the order of the day. East’s defenders closed down the Cats’ forwards and forced many ball-ups as scoring dried up as fast as the ground surface. The half-back lines of both teams were on top and both teams goaled only once each as East maintained a tight grip on the game. Casterton/Sandford were struggling ahead of centre and coach Dylan Ayton was trying hard to get his team to lift along with Trent Nesbitt. Stephenson had been unsighted since earlier and key forward Ryan had managed only one goal. Scoring remained difficult in the third quarter but East responded everytime Casterton/Sandford scored. Heavyweight follower Tom Agnew goaled to keep East more than two goals ahead approaching three quarter-time but the result was still unclear. East started the last quarter with a 15 point lead but Casterton/Sandford were throwing everything at them in a bid to get on terms but only managed minor scores. Play became more hotly contested than before and Lockwood dashed around the outer wing to goal for East which gave them a 21 point lead and an almost certain win. Casterton/Sandford became a bit undisciplined and when Matt Scanlon goaled after a seemingly miraculous recovery from earlier injury the season was over for Casterton/Sandford with East winning by 27 points and heading for the preliminary final. Matt Scanlon was terrific for East and booted six goals but it was his brother Frazer’s great defensive work that set up the win with long kicking and direct play across half-back where turned back Casterton/Sandord repeatedly. Others to do well were Kieselbach, Matt White, Eldridge, Middleton and Todd Lockwood. For the battle weary Cats it was Trent Nesbitt, Ayton, Alex O’Connell, Stephenson for his early efforts and Billy Galpin.
ROUND 16 REPORT
Terry Willoughby – August 22, 2016
West Gambier were never likely to upset ladder leader South Gambier but they made them work hard for goals in the first two quarters. before being washed away when the heavy rains came just before half-time. South held an eight point lead at quarter time after kicking against the wind and clearly had much more talent but West clung on doggedly and several good passages of play resulted in goals to Robbins and Kipping. South started to flex their muscles in the second term although West still had their moments as the lead blew out to 33 points. The ground became much heavier to start the second half and South’s superior foot and hand skills became evident when they added six goals to nil with Brayden Kain and Bret O’Neil able to score almost at will. West’s challenge was not to be drowned as South dominated play but it wasn’t to be as the Demons slammed on eight last quarter goals to win easily by 118 points. Kain and O’Neil booted six and four goals respectively to be high in South’s best along with Bronson Saffin, Brent Howard and Brad Bryant. West’s better players showed out mostly in the first half and were Rick Lindner, Adam Gibbs, Robbins and Aiden Pfitzner.
SOUTH GAMBIER 23-14 152 EASILY, WEST GAMBIER 5-4 34
How well do you rate a team that wins by 77 points and jumps up to third position on the ladder. Well, not that highly when they defeat the bottom side who have nothing to play for and the competition in next week’s semi-final is being smashed in another game. Casterton/Sandford won easily enough but never really set the game alight. They steadily increased their lead at every change but Millicent were almost completely devoid of forwards and rarely looked likely to score. The Cats most productive quarter was the last when they booted five goals and allowed Millicent in to score one but almost everybody had headed for warmer areas by then. Youngster Tynan Shannon was named best for the Cats ahead of Trent Nesbitt, Ethan Currie, Searle and coach Dylan Ayton. Hamish Nitschke booted Millicent’s two goals and was capable along with Hobbs, Duncan and Steve Duldig. At least the Millicent junior colts will give them some joy in the finals.
CASTERTON/SANDFORD 14-11 85 DEFEATED MILLICENT 2-6 18
North Gambier thrashed East to the tune of 105 points on a ground that became very heavy following a deluge in the second and third quarters. East’s poor recent form continued as North won handsomely around the stoppages and across the mid-field, they had potent forwards in Moretti five goals and Matt McInerney four to tease the East defenders and many others to make valuable contributions. Rain may have restricted the scoring in the second term but East could barely get the ball within range as Nic Blachut and Ciaran Buckley mopped up the turnovers of which there were plenty. North led by 49 points as the third quarter started and like the rain they showed no signs of letting up. Despite the heavy conditions North ran strongly and displayed superior teamwork and skills to lead by 76 points with a quarter to play. East struggled to string possessions into a passage of play and their kicking was atrocious. North dominated play in the last quarter with play almost entirely in their forward half. Nic Blachut in defence was allowed great freedom and attacked from the back unchallenged, Buckley picked off mistakes easily, the McInerney’s, Matt and Nick were constructive with every possession as North bolted to an easy win. East almost sank without trace, they barely had a good player and named Shem Balshaw, Keiselbach and Riley Janeway as best. East have a huge mountain to climb to be even competitive in next week’s first semi-final.
NORTH GAMBIER 17-17 119 CRUSHED EAST GAMBIER 2-2 14
Round 16 - August 20, 2016
Best: North - N. Blachut, M. McInerney, N. Mcinerney, F. Marshall, B. Egan , C. Buckley. East – S. Balshaw, M. Kieselbach, R. Janeway, P. Hatch, F. Scanlon, T. Middleton. Goals: North - N. Moretti 5, M. McInerney 4, D. Munn 3, B. Close, D. Carmody, B. Egan , T. Edwards, S. Stafford. East - M. Scanlon, K. Thomson
Best: South - B. O''Neil, B. Saffin, B. Kain, B. Howard, B. Bryant, L. Denton. West - R. Lindner, A. Gibbs, D. Robbins, A. Pfitzner, M. Kipping, M. Hunter. Goals: South - B. Kain 6, B. O''Neil 4, A. Bryant 2, J. Weaver 2, D. Liston 2, B. Howard 2, J. Capewell, S. Fleming, B. Saffin, J. Schleter, L. Denton. West - D. Robbins 2, M. Kipping, H. Medhurst
Best: Casterton Sandford - T. Shannon, T. Nesbitt, E. Currie, J. Searle, D. Ayton, D. Wombwell. Millicent – C. Hobbs, M. Thompson, H. Nitschke, P. Duncan, S. Duldig, C. Gysbers. Goals: Casterton Sandford - B. Galpin 3, J. Searle 3, S. Broomby 2, J. Dunn 2, T. Clode, M. Oldfield, D. Ayton, E. Currie. Millicent - H. Nitschke 2
EAST GAMBIER SLUMP CONTINUES AS
TOP TWO TUNE-UP FOR FINALS
Terry Willoughby - August 16, 2016
South Gambier remained on top of the ladder after easily accounting for Millicent in a poor standard game. South always looked likely winners but played with little passion, making mistakes reminiscent of poorer teams. Millicent harassed South constantly but just didn’t have the talent to make it pay. South wasted chances in front of goal and they were there often. That Millicent trailed by only 21 points at half-time was flattering. Youngster Jesse Foster was doing well for South and old hands in Brad Bryant, Bret O’Neil and Brent Howard won plenty of the ball. Millicent kicked only a solitary goal in the second half as South took control but still squandered chances near goal. South finally got some reward for their efforts in the last term when the added a lazy seven goals to zip and ran out easy winners by 84 points. Best for South were Foster, Bryant, O’Neil , Howard and Chris Williams. Millicent had some battlers in Hamish’s Reilly and Nitschke, Will Fleming and Nat Robbins who fronted for the reserves as well.
Round 15 - August 13, 2016
Best: South - J. Foster, B. Bryant, B. O''Neil, B. Howard, C. Williams, J. Capewell. Millicent - H. Reilly, H. Nitschke, W. Fleming, N. Robbins, S. Duldig, A. Allen. Millicent - J. Weaver 3, C. Slape 2, S. Fleming 2, T. Jones, B. Kain, B. Howard, B. O''Neil, D. Stratford, T. Saffin, A. Bryant. Millicent - C. Hobbs, M. Thompson, A. Schultz
Best: North - N. Blachut, D. Munn, J. Jenner, M. McInerney, N. Moretti. West – R. Rutkowski, B. Hosking, A. Pfitzner, J. Coombe, M. Kipping, J. Pfitzner. Goals: North - N. Moretti 6, J. Jenner 4, B. Close 3, D. Carmody 2, J. Schutz 2, M. McInerney 2, D. Munn, N. Blachut, B. Kennedy, H. Telford, B. Stafford. West - M. Kipping 2, A. Pfitzner
Best: Casterton Sandford - A. Cleary, D. Ryan, T. Nesbitt, J. Carlin, T. Clode, J. Stephenson. East - J. Eldridge, M. Dempsey, P. Hatch, K. Thomson, F. Scanlon, M. Scanlon. Goals: Casterton Sandford - D. Ryan 6, D. Wombwell 2, J. Stephenson 2, D. Ayton, S. Broomby, A. Cleary, A. O''Connell. East - K. Thomson 2, M. Dempsey 2, M. Kieselbach, C. Lloyd-Fox
EAST HUGELY DISAPPOINTING AS SOUTH MARCH ON
Terry Willoughby - August 7, 2016
East Gambier dominated the first ten minutes of the game against South Gambier but had little to show for it with only four behinds on the board and when South went into attack for the first time and registered a goal the writing was on the wall. South snapped out of a trance and goaled twice more before quarter time and led by 11 points. The South Gambier defence was almost impenetrable from the start of the second quarter with Brad Bryant, Liston and Dion Stratford cutting of almost every East attack. Across the mid-field South also controlled play with O’Neil, Howard and Exelby providing many chances to the forwards. East defenders Martin Coote and Matt White were hard-pressed to stop them but stuck resolutely to the task as South raced to a six goal lead at half-time. Defences of both teams battled hard and kept scoring to a minimum in the third quarter but a crude East tackle on Jake Schleter gave South the catalyst they needed. The margin was 40 points at three quarter-time but the floodgates were about to open. East’s shocking kicking created more openings and South took every advantage to ram on 8 last quarter goals against an inept East to win by 77 points and show what a gap there is after the top two teams on the ladder. South had twelve goal-kickers with Jace Weaver getting four. Best for South were Brad Bryant, Taylor Saffin, Dion Stratford, Howard and Liston with apologies to many others. Hardly any East players spring to mind but Coote and White kept trying against overwhelming odds.
SOUTH GAMBIER 17-9 111 CRUSHED EAST GAMBIER 4-10 34
Millicent, on paper stood a remote chance of finals but that disappeared down the pan after three quarter-time against West Gambier, obviously they don’t play finals on paper!! West Gambier started well enough and led by nine points at the first change but Millicent with Will Fleming doing well in the ruck and mid-fielders Tom Hutchesson and Robbins taking advantage took a narrow six point lead at the long break. Play tightened up considerably in the third quarter with defences on both teams working hard to keep their opposition under control but youngster Tom Zietz and Aden Pfitzner were influential for West who led narrowly by two points with a quarter to play. Millicent, questionably had plenty to play for but it was West who had much the better of proceedings in the last quarter when they added four goals to just one from Millicent and record their first win since June by 20 points. Better players for West were Aden Pfitzner, Tom Zietz with four goals, Robson in defence, Coombe and Rick Lindner. Will Fleming, Nat Robbins, Tom Hutchesson, Hamish Nitschke and Gysbers played well for Millicent who fell to the bottom of the ladder. A touch of irony there!
WEST GAMBIER 13-9 87 DEFEATED MILLICENT 10-7 67
Round 14 (Rest of Split round) - August 6, 2016
Best: South - B. Bryant, T. Saffin, D. Stratford, B. Howard, D. Liston, C. Williams. East - M. Coote, M. White, T. Balshaw, G. Janeway , P. Hatch, F. Scanlon. Goals: South - J. Weaver 4, S. Fleming 2, B. Exelby 2, L. Foran, L. Bull, B. Saffin, J. Tentye, L. Denton, J. Schleter, B. Kain, B. Howard, T. Saffin. East - J. Eldridge, M. Dempsey, K. Thomson, M. Scanlon
Best: West - A. Pfitzner, T. Zeitz, S. Robson, J. Coombe, R. Lindner, R. Rutkowski. Millicent - W. Fleming, N. Robbins, T. Hutchesson, H. Nitschke, C. Gysbers, P. Duncan. Goals: West – T. Zeitz 4, J. Schapel 3, R. Lindner, K. Giddings, M. Hunter, B. Hosking, A. Kamara, A. Pfitzner. Millicent - T. Hutchesson 4, P. Duncan 2, M. Reilly, H. Nitschke, C. Hobbs, T. Pratt
NORTH GAMBIER TOO GOOD FOR CASTERTON/SANDFORD
Terry Willoughby - July 31, 2016
After another week of severe winter weather which made conditions just as tricky as last week North Gambier swung quickly into action. Stung by defeat in the previous round North attacked strongly from the outset and had Casterton/Sandford on the defensive with Nic Moretti and Matt McInerney in dangerous form on the forward line. The Cats were unable to contain them and North always looked likely to score with the ball constantly in the front half. Anytime Casterton/Sandford went forward they were repelled by the running defenders in Tim McInerney, Nic Blachut and Mason Ashby who repeatedly turned defence into attack. North led by 18 points at quarter time but the Cats were goal-less against the elusive play of Moretti and Matt McInerney. North began to overuse ball in this quarter and this allowed Casterton/Sandford to get on the board although they had given away a big start. Nesbitt and Angus Cleary were battling hard but lacked enough willing help. Cats coach Dylan Ayton was also working hard but lacked penetration with his disposals as the North defence pushed them wide on most occasions. North rattled on five goals to hold a 34 point lead at half-time. The Cats lost key player Josh Searle to injury during the qtr. North again started the positively in the 3rd quarter and conditions became gloomier in the last term but North were in no danger and showed why they are second on the ladder as they cruised in by 45 points. Matt McInerney and Nic Moretti booted six and five goals each and mesmerised the defence whilst Tim McInerney, Ashby, Blachut, Munn and Kennedy had good games for North. The Cats were disappointing and their better players were Gus Cleary, Trent Nesbitt, Ayton and Broomby.
Round 14 (split round) - July 30, 2016
Best: North - T. McInerney, M. Ashby, M. McInerney, D. Munn, T. Edwards, N. Blachut. Casterton Sandford - A. Cleary, T. Nesbitt, D. Ayton, S. Broomby, J. Stephenson, D. Gray. Goals: North - M. McInerney 6, N. Moretti 5, D. Munn, T. McInerney, J. Jenner. Casterton Sandford - D. Ryan 2, M. Oldfield 2, R. Killey
SOUTH GAMBIER BACK ON TOP WITH BATTLING WIN
Terry Willoughby - July 24, 2016
In conditions better suited to indoor sports South Gambier displayed greater football nous to defeat arch-rival North Gambier by nine points. On a ground that became heavier and more treacherous after earlier games and with a knifing wind South Gambier exploited North’s lack of height and inside players to hold a narrow lead at quarter time although just one goal had been kicked. Bret O’Neil had cut off many North forward moves and Nick Jenkin was keeping a very tight rein on clever North forward Nic Moretti. North briefly had their moments in the second term through Brad Close and Brock Egan but couldn’t break South decisively and led by just two points at half-time. South used the ball more efficiently than North, kicking longer and playing more directly they quickly regained the lead but North hit back strongly and closed the margin to 3 points. North defenders Buckley, Tim McInerney and Jake Schutz were tested to the limit to keep South out. The Demons edged further ahead with late goals to Kain and a one-step 50m roost from Jack Capewell which put them 15 points up at the last change. North were coming home with the wind but South were still playing the better football and big Scott Fleming was a stumbling block with strong marking and ruck-work. North surged forward for Brock Egan to goal and briefly they looked threatening but South pounced on several kicking mistakes and Kain marked cleverly twice for goals ot seal the win. Bret O’Neil racked up kicks at will and used them effectively to South’s best along with Fleming, Jenkin, Saffin and Brad Bryant. North’s key playmakers were restricted and their best were Tim McInerney, Buckley, Schutz, Brad Close and Brock Egan but it was poor ball use that was most costly with Blachut and Munn amongst the culprits.
SOUTH GAMBIER 9-5NARROWLY, NORTH GAMBIER 7-8 50
Casterton/Sandford cemented their place in the top four with a workmanlike 56 point win over wooden spoon candidate West Gambier. The game was hardly one for the purists with no goals scored in the first quarter. Two Goals each in the second term livened up affairs but it hardly enticed anyone out of their cars and gave the Cats a three point lead at half-time. West Gambier’s early season improvement had gone missing in recent games and so it was again as Casterton/Sandford took control in the third quarter with forwards Ryan and Rick Killey giving the West defence a hard-time and they extended the lead to 25 points. The last quarter was very much all Casterton/Sandford and West went goal-less in the second half whilst the Cats rattled on eight goals. Better players for the Cats were Mark Cowland, Jesse Fry around stoppages, Dylan Ayton back from suspension, Ryan and Killey who kicked 4 goals each. West had only a few battlers.
CASTERTON/SANDFORD 10-14 74 EASILY WEST GAMBIER 2-6 18
Any thoughts Millicent harboured about finals football disappeared quickly after quarter time when East Gambier took over. East controlled play after the break and kept Millicent to just one goal per quarter whilst they added eight. Across the midfield Shem Balshaw’s mobility was causing problems and Matt Dempsey won plenty of kicks to keep the momentum with East. Millicent’s Will Fleming continued his consistent form but had limited support and no forwards capable of kicking goals. East steadily built a match-winning lead and moved to a 41 point lead at three quarter-time. “Hevvi- kevvi” Thomson was the most threatening forward on the ground but even he was starved of chances as East cruised to a 50 point win.
EAST GAMBIER 10-18 TOO GOOD FOR MILLICENT 4-4 28
Round 13 - July 23, 2016
Best: Casterton Sandford - M. Cowland, J. Fry, D. Ayton, T. Nesbitt, D. Ryan, J. Carlin. Goals: Casterton Sandford - R. Killey 4, D. Ryan 4, D. Ayton, M. Oldfield
Best: South - B. O''Neil, S. Fleming, B. Kain, D. Stratford, C. Williams, D. Liston. North – T. McInerney, B. Close, B. Egan , M. Ashby, C. Buckley, J. Schutz. Goals: South - B. Kain 4, J. Schleter, J. Capewell, J. Weaver, B. Saffin, B. Howard. North - B. Close 2, M. McInerney 2, D. Carmody, T. Edwards, B. Egan
Best: East - M. White, J. Eldridge, M. Dempsey, D. Howard, L. Blicavs, B. Pitts. Millicent – W. Fleming, H. Reilly, H. Nitschke, J. Pratt, B. Kenny, N. Robbins. Goals: East - K. Thomson 3, T. Agnew, M. Dempsey, S. Balshaw, M. Scanlon, T. Balshaw, D. Howard, P. Hatch. Millicent - M. Thompson 2, M. Reilly, S. Willis
MILLICENT’S SLIM FINALS CHANCE GONE IN A QUARTER
Terry Willoughby - July 18, 2016
After the Zone championships and a week of old fashioned winter weather, normal football service resumed, albeit rustily in many cases. Millicent, at home, had a chance to grab a spot in the top four if they in could defeat Casterton/Sandford. The firstquarter was even the Saints trailed by just four points with veterans Nat Robbins and Steve Duldig doing well but the floodgates were about to open. The Cats took complete control in the second quarter and slammed on eight goals to zip and turned the game into a one-sided affair. Trent Nesbitt and Mike Oldfield led the way for forwards Ryan and Stephenson to capitalize with five goals each. The Cats led by 53 points at the long break and powered further ahead in the third term and Millicent were unable to stem the flow. Fine finishing by Oldfield saw him boot four goals to compliment his good work. Trailing by 80 points at three quarter-time, Millicent had little left to play for but managed three token goals whilst Casterton/Sandford cruised to victory by 78 points. Best for the Cats were Nesbitt, Oldfield, Jesse Fry, Stephenson, Cleary and Ryan. It was sorry story for Millicent with only Robbins, Hamish Nitschke and Duldig showing much resolve.
CA STERTON/SANDFORD 19-8 122 CRUSHED MILLICENT 6-8 44
South Gambier toyed with an inept West Gambier to win by 95 points. In a game that was riddled with mistakes, mostly made by West, South were slow to get going and led only by seven points at quarter-time. West’s only two goals came in this quarter and that flattered them as they turned the ball over with ease and were so indirect that it took South and eternity to get it back into the scoring zone. West were poorer in the second quarter as South started to get going with Bret O’Neil in good touch after the Zone championships last weekend and coach Brett Exelby having a big influence around the mid-field and stoppages. West coach Steve Wenman kept his players on the ground for the entire half-time, a doubtful strategy at anytime, in a bid to produce some improvement. South were probably a little surprised to see West on the ground before play resumed in the third quarter but it didn’t stop them from running rings around them by adding seven goals to a solitary point. Brayden Kain at full forward booted five and Bronson Saffin three as the Demons bolted to an 86 point lead. The last quarter was one of almost complete boredom as South scored the only goal of the quarter whilst West continued to massacre the basics of football whenever they had the ball. Better players for South were O’Neil, Exelby, Saffin and youngster’s Jake Tentye and Hamish Stevens. For West only Jesse Pfitzner, Fox, Hunter and Tom Zietz seemed interested.
SOUTH GAMBIER 16-14 110 THRASHED WEST GAMBIER 2-3 15
East Gambier’s recent form had been quite good and they had moved up to third on the ladder and now they were to face the top team North Gambier, would they rise to the challenge? North started well and quickly had 3 goals on the board and continually forced East mistakes to lead by 20 points. Early goals in the second term by North looked ominous for East as the margin quickly blew out beyond five goals with North’s prime movers in Brock Egan and Brad Close having the ball on a string and running defenders Tim McInerney and Nic Blachut cutting off most East attacks with ease. Slowly East got back into the game with players paying closer attention to opponents and bottling the play up across North’s forward line. Janeway and Jayden Eldridge made life difficult for North and East got late goals to keep in touch at half-time and only trailed by 21 points. In fine playing conditions scoring was difficult and North struggled against relentless tackling and defensive tactics from East. North stretched their lead to 27 points at three quarter-time and whilst looking unlikely to lose because East struggled to find a way forward. In a low scoring last quarter North came away to win by 32 points, comfortably but not impressively. East restricted North but just didn’t have the skill to make it pay. Tim McInerney, Brad Close, Brock Egan, Blachut and Brad Stafford headed North’s best. For East none tried harder than Grady Janeway, Eldridge, Mckeon, Giancarlo Cooper and Howard.
NORTH GAMBIER 11-7 73 COMFORTABLY OVER EAST GAMBIER 6-5 41
Round 12 - July 16, 2016
Best: South - B. O''Neil, B. Exelby, B. Saffin, J. Tentye, H. Stevens, A. Bryant. West – J. Pfitzner, R. Fox, M. Hunter, T. Zeitz, L. Lean, L. Beckman. Goals: South - B. Kain 5, B. Saffin 3, S. Fleming 3, J. Weaver 2, D. Liston, B. O''Neil, B. Howard. West – G. Ha, R. Fox
Best: North - T. McInerney, B. Close, B. Egan , N. Blachut, B. Stafford, C. Buckley. East - G. Janeway , J. Eldridge, J. McKeon, G. Cooper, D. Howard, M. White. Goals: North - N. Moretti 4, D. Carmody 3, J. Jenner 2, B. Egan , S. Stafford. East - T. Lockwood 2, D. Howard 2, B. Pitts, M. Scanlon
Best: Casterton Sandford – T. Nesbitt, M. Oldfield, J. Fry, J. Stephenson, A. Cleary, B. Galpin. Millicent - H. Nitschke, N. Robbins, S. Duldig, H. Reilly, J. Pratt, W. Fleming. Goals: Casterton Sandford - J. Stephenson 5, D. Ryan 5, M. Oldfield 4, R. Killey 2, D. Gray, J. Gibbs, M. Killey. Millicent - M. Thompson 2, N. Robbins, M. Reilly, H. Nitschke, S. Willis
TOP THREE NOW A CUT ABOVE THE REST
Terry Willoughby - July 3, 2016
South Gambier saw of an early strong challenge from Casterton/Sandford before getting away in the second half to win 34 points. Defences of both teams made scoring difficult but sloppy disposal and poor decision making also played a big part in the low scores. South looked better early on with better ball movement and kicking efficiency but this soon deserted them. The Cats minus coach Ayton because of suspension stuck doggedly to their stronger opponents and trailed by 11points at quarter-time.
South again looked better in the second term but began to overdo the short stuff and Casterton/Sandford harassed them into error and midway through had a mini-burst of goals that put them in front. South quickly responded and hit back with a goal to Liston as play shuttled between the half-back lines. South eked out an eight point lead at the main break but the Cats were well in the game. With defences on top goals became like diamonds in the third quarter with South registering the only one of the quarter to lead by 16 points. Casterton/Sandford failed to score in the last quarter and couldn’t completely restrict South who managed two but had much more of the play where poor goal-kicking prevented a margin bigger than 34 points. Better players for South were Bret O’Neil, ruckman Scott Fleming, mid-fielders Hamish Stevens and Liam Denton, defender Brad Bryant and Taylor Saffin. The Cats were disappointing after half-time, their best were Josh Searle, Wombwell, Trent Nesbitt, Dan Gray in defence and Jesse fry.
SOUTH GAMBIER 8-17 65 UNTIDILY OVER CASTERTON/SANDFORD 4-7 31
North Gambier easily accounted for injury hit Millicent who were missing star on-baller Tom Hutchesson and James Weir who went walkabout during the week. North had the game wrapped up after booting seven goals to nil in the first quarter on a ground that had been deluged during the week. Millicent tried very hard in the last three quarters but skill errors were picked off easily by North with classy youngsters Declan Carmody and Brad Close punishing them repeatedly. North led throughout but Millicent were competitive in the middle quarters, a marked difference to last week. North finished off with five unanswered goals to win easily 93 points. Declan Carmody booted seven goals in a best afield performance just ahead of Close, Brock Egan, ruckmen Brett Kennedy and Kenny Lam. Young players formed the best for Millicent with Finn Grimes, Sam Willis, Hamish Nitschke and Jayden Reilly standing out.
NORTH GAMBIER 23-6 144 EASILY, MILLICENT 8-3 51
After an even first quarter where East Gambier led West Gambier by just two points the Bulldogs took control. East booted 11 goals to four from West in the middle quarters and cemented their spot in the top four. West had their moments but had too many players reluctant to attack the ball which made openings for the East on-ballers and forwards. Luke Thomson, a convert from defence, used his strength wisely and booted six goals but made important chances for ground level players like Giancarlo Cooper, Mckeon and Tully Balshaw. West scored some late goals to gain a little respectability but East were never in danger of defeat. Best for East were Mckeon, Grady Janeway, Matt White, Luke Thomson with six goals and Blicavs. Schapel with five opportunist goals stood out for West ahead of Tom Zietz, Aden Pfitzner and Bradley-Brown.
EAST GAMBIER 17-14 116 TOO STRONG FOR WEST GAMBIER 10-3 63 Round 11 - July 2, 2016
Best: South - B. O''Neil, S. Fleming, H. Stevens, B. Bryant, L. Denton, T. Saffin. Casterton Sandford – J. Searle, D. Wombwell, T. Nesbitt, D. Gray, S. Broomby, J. Fry. Goals: South - D. Liston 2, B. Saffin, B. O''Neil, J. Tentye, A. Bryant, B. Howard, J. Weaver. Casterton Sandford - T. Nesbitt 2, M. Killey, M. Oldfield
Best: East - J. McKeon, G. Janeway , M. White, M. Scanlon, L. Thomson, L. Blicavs. West - J. Schapel, T. Zeitz, A. Pfitzner, L. Bradley-Brown, S. Robson, T. Dolan. Goals: East - L. Thomson 6, M. Scanlon 3, G. Cooper 2, J. McKeon 2, T. Lockwood, T. Balshaw, M. Kieselbach, J. Eldridge. West - J. Schapel 5, A. Kamara 2, T. Hawke 2, D. Robbins
Best: North - D. Carmody, B. Close, B. Egan , B. Kennedy, N. Mcinerney, L. Symons. Millicent – J. Grimes, S. Willis, H. Nitschke, J. Reilly, E. Glass Reilly, C. Gysbers. Goals: North - D. Carmody 7, S. Stafford 4, B. Close 3, N. Mcinerney 2, W. Nankivell 2, J. Jenner, D. Munn, J. Schutz, B. Kennedy, T. Edwards. Millicent - M. Reilly 3, S. Willis 2, E. Glass Reilly, H. Nitschke, J. Reilly
FIRST BLOWOUT AS SOUTH DEMOLISH MILLICENT
Terry Willoughby - June 26, 2016
South Gambier returned to the winner’s list in emphatic style when they booted seven goals in the opening 10 minutes of the game against Millicent and end any thoughts of a contest. Brayden Kain was in electric form for South and ran rings around the Millicent defence. Leading by 7 goals at the first change South powered further ahead in the second and reduced the game to a training run. Nearly every South player did their bit, they dominated the mid-field through Exelby, O’Neil and Denton whilst Brad Bryant led a mean and attacking defence. Millicent had only one goal on the board at half-time and it would remain that way after losing star mid-fielder Tom Hutchesson to injury. South continued to pile on the goals in the second half and bolted to a winning margin of 173 points. Brayden Kain was best for south and booted 10 goals. Not much can be said for Millicent.
SOUTH GAMBIER 29-13 187 THRASHED MILLICENT 1-8 14
North Gambier were better in all facets of the game and comfortably accounted for West Gambier by 54 points. West clung on tightly early on and kept North to just two goals in the first quarter but were unable to make any impression inside their own forward half. North kicked away in the second term with four goals and the signs were ominous with youngster Declan Carmody proving elusive near goal and Brett Kennedy marking and rucking strongly. West goaled twice before half-time to keep in touch but North were using the ball more precisely and had more players willing to run and create chances. North again kicked clear in the third term with West unable to contain the on-ball brigade led by Brock Egan and Telford. The three quarter-time margin was 44 points and with North booting six goals in a burst early the last quarter the game was quickly over for West. Carmody, Sam Stafford and Egan all goaled before West got some scoreboard respectability with late goals whilst North overdid the cute stuff. Best for North were Kennedy, Carmody with five goals, Brock Egan, Ashby and Stafford. West’s better players were Jesse and Aden Pfitzner, Schapel and veteran Rowan fox.
NORTH GAMBIER 16-10 106 EASILY OVER WEST GAMBIER 7-10 52
East Gambier tightened their grip on third spot in winning a thriller by two points over Casterton/Sandford. The Bulldogs jumped to the lead early and kept Casteron/ Sandford on the defensive for most of the first half with accurate kicking whilst the Cats missed gettable chances. The East lead was seven points at half-time and they were playing quite confidently with Nic Lock and fellow defenders Janeway and Hatch leading the way. Casterton/Sandford lifted strongly in the third term and slammed on six goals with Matt Killey and Stephenson having an impact and suddenly the Cats were in front and East were struggling to hang on. East started the last term four points in arrears but were not about to give up and seemed to add a goal each time they went forward, Luke Thomson and Matt Scanlon were strong targets but Casterton/Sandford also goaled as the played moved from one end to the other and only points separated the teams. Cats’ coach Dylan Ayton was reported late in the game and when the siren went East had the noses narrowly in front.
EAST GAMBIER 15-6 NARROWLY, CASTERTON/SANDFORD 14-10 94
Round 10 - June 26, 2016
Best: South - B. Kain, B. Exelby, B. O''Neil, L. Denton, J. Tentye, A. Bryant. Millicent – J. Weir, C. Hobbs. Goals: South - Brayden Kain 10, D. Liston 5, J. Weaver 4, T. Jones 3, A. Bryant 2, C. Williams, B. O''Neil, L. Denton, T. Saffin, T. Watts. Millicent - M. Reilly
Best: East - N. Lock , R. Janeway, M. Kieselbach, L. Thomson, P. Hatch, M. Dempsey. Casterton Sandford - D. Ayton, D. Wombwell, J. Gibbs, M. Killey, J. Stephenson, M. Jarrad. Goals: East - L. Thomson 4, M. Scanlon 3, G. Cooper 2, B. Clark, M. Dempsey, J. McKeon, T. Lockwood, T. Balshaw, R. Janeway. Casterton Sandford - M. Killey 4, J. Stephenson 3, D. Ryan 2, T. Nesbitt 2, M. Oldfield 2, J. Fry
Best: North - B. Kennedy, B. Egan , D. Carmody, M. Ashby, S. Stafford, D. Munn. West - J. Pfitzner, J. Schapel, R. Fox, A. Pfitzner, M. Hunter. Goals: North - D. Carmody 5, B. Close 2, B. Kennedy 2, N. Mcinerney 2, S. Stafford 2, B. Egan 2, J. Jenner. West - J. Schapel 3, J. Pfitzner, B. Wagstaffe, L. Bradley-Brown, S. Wenman
NORTH REVERSE ANZAC DAY LOSS TO GIVE SOUTH SECOND LOSS
Tery Willoughby - June 20, 2016
South Gambier started impressively and had three goals on the board before North Gambier realised the game had started. South played in front and used the ball efficiently whilst North made elementary errors and turned the play over often in the first quarter. Slowly North got back into the contest with goals to Sam Stafford and Matt McInerney but South were playing better football and Brett Exelby goaled to again extend their lead but North’s Moretti snapped truly to keep the margin to just six points at quarter-time. Ash Bryant goaled early in the second quarter for South and Telford was winning many kicks for North and his long goal gave them a boost and forced South into mistakes against the now confident North defenders who were running off their opponents and sending the Tigers into attack. North had much more of the play but couldn’t make it pay and only led by three points at half-time. Ashby, Blachut and Tim McInerney had controlled play at the back and Symons and Brock Egan won plenty of possessions around the centre. Conversely, South were patchy in the middle despite the good work of Scott Fleming. North, now playing confidently, kicked away in the third-quarter, they attacked relentlessly with players prepared to run and spread. Youngster Declan Carmody was growing in confidence and goaled twice to give North a handy lead as South struggled to get any forward action. North led by 24 points with a quarter to play. South’s accuracy around goal kept them in touch but North still controlled play and the lead blew out to 38 points after Symons and Carmody goals. North appeared safe despite late goals to Jack Capewell and Exelby reduced the margin to 27 points at the final siren. Symons, Telford, Ashby and Stafford headed North’s best but many others contributed. South with fewer good players had Fleming, Saffin, O’Neil and Jenkin in their best.
NORTH GAMBIER 15-12 DEFEATED SOUTH GAMBIER 12-3 75
West Gambier put a spanner in the works for Casterton/Sandford and again emphasised the closeness of the competition with only North and South certain off finals action. West started well and although not scoring much they kept Casterton/Sandford to even less. West got on top in the second quarter with Tom Zietz doing well in defence with good support from Mitch Kipping and Robson. The consistent Bradley-Brown got plenty kicks around the mid-field and Garrett Ha was always dangerous when West went forward. Casterton/Sandford had no winners ahead of centre and when they did manage a goal West were able to reply and maintain their lead. The Cat’s poor tackling and disposal aided West and they extended their lead when Ha was on the end of an attack which saw him race into an open goal to give West a 22 point lead at ¾ time. Casterton/Sandford kicked 3 goals to West’s two in the last quarter but made too many mistakes against the resolute West defence who won surprisingly well by 14 points.
WEST GAMBIER 10-8 68 TOO GOOD FOR CASTERTON/SANDFORD 8-6 54
East Gambier, on a high after defeating South Gambier last round, took more than a quarter to shake off a determined Millicent. The Saints led by a solitary point at quarter time with outstanding play from Tom Hutchesson keeping them in front. East took over in the second term as Eldridge, Matt Dempsey and Shem Balshaw won possessions around the stoppages and mid-field. East slammed on six goals as Millicent faltered across half-back. East led by 26 points at the beginning of the third quarter and although not scoring heavily they increased their lead to 43 points at the last change. Good players were much harder to find for Millicent although Hutchesson was still doing well he had little support. East pounded the goals in the last quarter and although kicking poorly ran out easy winners by 76 points.
EAST GAMBIER 17-20 122 EASILY, MILLICENT 6-8 44
Round 9 - June 18, 2016
Best: West - T. Zeitz, G. Ha, L. Bradley-Brown, M. Kipping, S. Robson, K. Giddings. Casterton Sandford – T. Nesbitt, J. Searle, D. Ryan, T. Shannon, J. Gibbs, J. Fry. Goals: West - G. Ha 3, L. Bradley-Brown 3, J. Coombe, A. Pfitzner, S. Wenman, K. Giddings. Casterton Sandford - R. Killey 3, T. Nesbitt 2, D. Ryan, D. Wombwell, J. Stephenson
Best: East - J. Eldridge, M. Dempsey, S. Balshaw, D. Christian, M. Kieselbach, R. Janeway. Millicent - T. Hutchesson, A. Schultz, C. Reilly, B. Kenny, J. Weir, J. Grimes. Goals: East - M. Scanlon 5, M. Dempsey 3, L. Thomson 2, S. Balshaw 2, D. Christian, G. Cooper, D. Howard, J. Eldridge, K. Thomson. Millicent - S. Willis 2, E. Glass Reilly, J. Reilly, T. Hutchesson, P. Duncan
Best: North - L. Symons, M. Ashby, S. Stafford, B. Egan , D. Carmody, B. Close. South - S. Fleming, B. Saffin, B. O''Neil, N. Jenkin, C. Williams, B. Howard. Goals: North - D. Carmody 3, N. Moretti 3, S. Stafford 3, B. Close, H. Telford, L. Symons, B. Egan , N. Blachut, M. McInerney. South - B. Exelby 3, J. Capewell 2, B. Saffin 2, L. Denton 2, A. Bryant, B. O''Neil, B. Weaver
EAST INFLICT FIRST LOSS ON SOUTH
June 4, 2016 - by Terry Willoughby
A president’s lunch and a guest speaker in Mark Yeates, the former Geelong star gave South all the ingredients they needed for a home ground win. East matched everything that South threw at them in the first quarter but late in the second term the Demon’s appeared to have broken the deadlock with late goals to Jace Weaver and Brent Howard and gain a mini-break of 11 points at half-time. South goaled early in the third quarter and appeared to have East on the ropes with on-ballers O’Neil, Bronson Saffin and Howard winning around the stoppages. East were struggling to stay in touch as South added further goals as the lead blew out to almost five goals just near three quarter time. A late East goal kept them within striking distance but South still looked to be in control with a 23 point lead. East surprised almost all spectators when they kept South goal-less in the last quarter and booted five to reach the lead in the dying stages and win by five points and have their biggest win in a long-time. Lukas Blicavs who had been on the end of some sledging earlier in the game played his best game of the season so far for East and provided many chances for team-mates, Shem Balshaw, Luke Thomson with four goals, Tully Balshaw and Matt White also played well for a jubilant East Gambier. South’s best in the shock defeat were Bret O’Neil, Saffin, Brent Howard, Brad and Ash Bryant. The win emphasised the closeness of the competition with only one team not in the race for finals but may help shape them.
EAST GAMBIER 13-7 85 STUNNED SOUTH GAMBIER 12-8 80
Millicent raced to a 26 point lead by quarter time against West Gambier but then had to survive a strong West challenge before getting home by seven points. Tom Hutchesson was again the driving force for Millicent with Fleming and Hobbs giving excellent support across the mid-field. Youngster Sam Willis was lively on the forward line and Millicent looked headed for a good win. West fought back strongly in the second quarter and with the consistent Bradley-Brown continuing with his good form surged back into the contest by booting seven goals to two from Millicent. Ricky Lindner gave plenty of drive around the packs and Tom Zietz did well in defence to give West an 8 point lead. Millicent now had a game on their hands but battled their way back to the lead with a five goal third quarter but the game was still very much in the balance with only nine points separating the teams. Millicent had just a little more scoring power on the forward line but West hung in but couldn’t quite grab the win and Millicent held on by seven points. Hutchesson, Fleming, Thompson, Weir and Hobbs were better players for Millicent who had their third win of the season to sit just outside the top four. Ultra- consistent Bradley-Brown, Lindner, Zietz and Jesse Pfitzner were best for a determined West Gambier.
MILLICENT 15-9 99 NARROWLY OVER WEST GAMBIER 13-14 92
North Gambier with roaming forward Dylan Munn in top form and Brock Egan on the ball had much the better of Casterton/Sandford and won by 34 points. North started well but lost key forward Nic Moretti to a shoulder injury and had to rely on Matt McInerney and Sam Stafford for goals and led by just 13 points at quarter time. Casterton/Sandford’s poor tackling cost opportunities in the second term as North kicked away to a 39 point lead with Munn and Brock Egan winning kicks all over the ground. Casterton/Sandford were in serious danger of a heavy defeat going into the third quarter with only resistance being shown by Alex O’Connell and Wombwell. The Cats lifted and booted five goals but couldn’t stop the relentless output of Munn who had more support from defenders Schutz and Sam Egan who cut off many Casterton attacks and helped North to 4 goals with Matt McInerney dangerous on the forward line. The lead was still 35 points in North’s favour as the last quarter started but both sides showed signs of tiring and conditions became gloomy. Casterton/Sandford continued to give away basic free-kicks through undisciplined play and North won comfortably in the end by 34 points and joined South on equal points at the top of the ladder. Dylan Munn was the stand-out best for North ahead of Brock and Sam Egan, Matt McInerney with 4 goals and Jake Schutz. Alex O’Connell, Wombwell, Kyle Carlin in defence and Mark Cowland were best for Casterton/Sandford.
NORTH GAMBIER 14—10 94 COMFORTABLY, CASTERTON/SANDFORD 9-6 60
Round 8 - June 4, 2016
Best: East - L. Blicavs, S. Balshaw, L. Thomson, T. Balshaw, M. White, M. McCallum. South – B. O''Neil, B. Saffin, B. Howard, B. Bryant, A. Bryant, J. Weaver. Goals: East - L. Thomson 4, B. Clark 2, S. Balshaw 2, K. Thomson 2, R. Janeway, M. Dempsey, T. Lockwood. South - J. Weaver 4, B. Howard 3, B. Saffin 2, J. Tentye, T. Jones, B. Exelby
Best: Millicent – T. Hutchesson, W. Fleming, M. Thompson, J. Weir, C. Hobbs, J. Murphy. West - L. Bradley-Brown, R. Lindner, T. Zeitz, J. Pfitzner, A. Gibbs, D. Robbins. Goals: Millicent – J. Weir 3, M. Reilly 3, S. Willis 3, P. Duncan, M. Thompson, J. Walker, C. Hobbs, H. Nitschke, H. Reilly. West - J. Schapel 3, R. Lindner 2, D. Robbins 2, G. Ha, L. Morton, L. Bradley-Brown, R. Fox, T. Hawke, S. Wenman
Best: North - D. Munn, B. Egan , S. Egan, M. McInerney, J. Schutz, S. Stafford. Casterton Sandford – A. O''Connell, D. Wombwell, K. Carlin, M. Cowland, M. Jarrad, T. Nesbitt. Goals: North - M. McInerney 4, S. Stafford 3, D. Munn 2, W. Nankivell 2, T. Brookes, T. Edwards, J. Jenner. Casterton Sandford - D. Ryan 2, D. Ayton 2, R. Killey 2, B. Guthrie, J. Searle, J. Stephenson
WEST GAMBIER WASTE AN OPPORTUNITY AGAINST EAST
May 30, 2016 - Terry Willoughby
West Gambier bounced into action with a six goal burst in the first quarter to lead East Gambier by 16 points but failed to capitalize on the good start. Unlikely goal-scorer Rowan Fox gave them a target but East rallied in the second term and kept West to a solitary point while adding 4 goals amid many chances to lead by 13 points at half-time. The third quarter was almost a scoring drought with each team only managing to hit the target once and at the last change East held the lead by 14 points in a mistake riddled affair. Nick Lock had closed down the West forwards with help from Matt Dempsey and Tully Balshaw and “Hevvie” Kevvy Thomson was threatening up forward. West sparked again in the last quarter but East matched every challenge as both teams had productive quarters. But it was East who prevailed in the end by just 10 points., Best for East were Balshaw, Lock, Eldridge and Keiselbach. Bradley-Brown again stood out for West ahead of Tom Zeitz, Lindner and Fox.
EAST GAMBIER 12-14 86 NARROWLY OVER WEST GAMBIER 12-4 76
North Gambier defeated Millicent by 47 points in an uninspiring game where goals were hard to come by. North had the bulk of play early but sprayed chances well wide of goal and led by just 13 points at quarter time. Millicent struggled to get any score on the board and added only a solitary goal to their quarter time tally but north were little better and increased their lead to 19 points at half-time. Tom Edwards on the ball had done well for North and Tim McInerney held up the defence with youngster Declan Carmody having some impressive touches. North bolted clear with five goals and kept the Saints scoreless in the third term and lead by 52 points with the game in their keeping. Moretti had burst into the game and would finish with 6 goals. Millicent had their best quarter with six goals in the last but North also kicked five goals to win easily but not convincingly by 47 points. The Tiger’s best were Edwards, Tim McInerney, Moretti and Declan Carmody. Tom Hutchesson was again best for Millicent along ruckman James Weir, Hamish Nitschke and the Reilly’s, M, C and J.
NORTH GAMBIER 14-18 102 TOO GOOD FOR MILLICENT 8-7 55
South Gambier won a hard fought game over Casterton/Sandford by 24 points after being seriously challenged in the first half. The Demons shot to a four goal lead the Cats realised the game had started. Key forwards Jace Weaver and Brett Exelby were causing the Cat’s defenders plenty of problems as South went to the first break with a 21 point lead. Slowly but surely Casterton/Sandford worked their way back into the contest in the secondquarter and South started to make mistakes. The Cats levelled the scores just before half- time with defenders Gray and Jarrad playing strongly but South goaled late to lead by six points. South edged ahead in the third term against the untidy tackling of Casterton/Sandford who broke down ahead of centre against the solid work of Brad Bryant and the strength of Fleming at the stoppages. South restricted the cats to just a goal in the third quarter and stretched the lead to 28 points at the last change, Bronson Saffin and Liston, both hardly sighted earlier had influential disposals late in the quarter. Casterton/Sandford mounted another assault but South led by Bryant and nuggety Brent Howard again resisted and South steadied to win by 24 points. The demons best were Brad Bryant, Scott Fleming, Bryn Weaver, Howard and Tyler Jones. For the Cats it was Dan Wombwell, defenders Dan Gray and Jarrad and Damien Ryan with 4 goals.
SOUTH GAMBIER 12-14 86 DEFEATED CASTERTON/SANDFORD 9-8 62
Best: South – B. Bryant, S. Fleming, B. Weaver, T. Jones, B. Howard, N. Jenkin. Casterton Sandford - D. Wombwell, D. Gray, M. Jarrad, D. Ryan, T. Shannon, D. Ayton. Goals: South – J. Weaver 4, B. Exelby 3, T. Jones 2, B. Saffin, L. Foran, A. Bryant. Casterton Sandford - D. Ryan 4, J. Searle, R. Killey, M. Oldfield, K. Zippel, D. Wombwell
Best: East - T. Balshaw, N. Lock , J. Eldridge, M. Kieselbach, M. Dempsey, S. Balshaw. West - L. Bradley-Brown, T. Zeitz, R. Lindner, J. Coombe, R. Fox, J. Pfitzner. Goals: East - K. Thomson 4, M. Kieselbach 2, B. Clark, S. Balshaw, M. McCallum, M. Scanlon, N. Lock , J. McKeon. West - R. Fox 5, R. Dalby 2, G. Ha, S. Wenman, L. Bradley-Brown, L. Lean, M. Hunter
Best: North - T. Edwards, T. McInerney, N. Moretti, D. Carmody, M. McInerney, J. Jenner. Millicent - T. Hutchesson, J. Weir, H. Nitschke, M. Reilly, C. Reilly, J. Reilly. Goals: North - N. Moretti 6, S. Stafford 3, B. Close, D. Munn, H. Telford, B. Kennedy, D. Carmody. Millicent - S. Willis 2, E. Glass Reilly, C. Hobbs, A. Allen, S. Duldig, M. Thompson, M. Reilly
CASTERTON SANDFORD KEEP WINNING
May 23, 2016 - by Terry Willoughby
Slow starts have plagued Millicent often this year and it was so again when Casterton/Sandford bounced out of the blocks to have the game in their control by half-time. The Cats were constantly first to the ball and this gave forwards Rick Killey and Dylan Ryan plenty of scoring chances, which they made the most of. Millicent trailed by 36 points at half-time and the result was almost a forgone conclusion. Casterton/Sandford continued to hold the upper hand in the third quarter but Millicent now had a few more contributors and matched the Cats on the scoreboard but only closed the margin narrowly. Tom Hutchesson was again the leading light for Millicent but the Cats Mark Cowland, Mick Jarrad and Daniel Gray were often stumbling blocks. Millicent again outscored Casterton/Sandford narrowly in the last quarter but the damage had been done and the Cats ran out winners by 31 points. Best for Casterton/Sandford were Gray, Cowland, Jarrad and Alex O’Connell whilst Killey booted five goals. Tom Hutchesson and fellow youngster Hamish Nitschke were best for Millicent along with Aidan Schultz and Will Fleming.
CASTERTON/SANDFORD 17-4 106 TOO GOOD FOR MILLICENT 11-9 75
South Gambier saw of an early challenge from West Gambier to win easily by 52 points. West’s straight kicking gave them an early advantage over the wasteful Demons but it wasn’t to last. South swung into action immediately the second quarter began with coach Brett Exelby back in the team after injury to guide the way. West were kept scoreless in the second quarter whilst South piled on six goals and also a lot of behinds to race to a 33 point lead. West had difficulty breaking through the tight South defence and on-ballers in Saffin and O’Neil used their superior skills to advantage. West battled hard to get back in the game during the third quarter but South answered every challenge. Dale Robbins and Bradley-Brown got plenty of possessions but lack of quality team-mates meant the ball came back South’s way all too often. South finished off strongly in the last quarter with four goals to West’s two to win quite easily. The star performers in O’Neil, Bronson Saffin and Howard again did well for South along with ruckman Fleming and Liston. For West, Robbins, Bradley-Brown, Taylor, Pfitzner and young giant Mason Hunter battled hard all game.
SOUTH GAMBIER 15-16 106 EASILY, WEST GAMBIER 8-6 54
North Gambier comfortably accounted for East Gambier by 34 points in a game that was a curious mix of good passages of play and very poor ones. East forced errors in North’s play early on but didn’t have enough good players to make them pay. The spasmodic brilliance of Nick Moretti was a constant threat to East but he was often missing or giving away frees unnecessarily. North kicked clear in the second quarter but East harassed and tackled to reduce the game to a lot scrimmages which kept them in touch. Whenever East closed to within striking distance North were able goal and keep them out. Brett Kennedy won well in the ruck contests for North but East defenders , Nick Lock and Matt Dempsey restricted the scoring. North took control late in the third quarter when Sam Stafford goaled cleverly and Matt McInerney added another. North pushed the margin out beyond eight goals midway through the last quarter before East bounced back with a couple of late goals to Matt Scanlon. Better players for North were on-ballers Marshall, Tom Edwards, defender Jake Schutz and Kennedy whilst Moretti booted five goals. East’s best were Lock, Dempsey, Scanlon and Jayden Eldridge.
NORTH GAMBIER 16-9 105 TOO GOOD, EAST GAMBIER 11-5 71
Round 6 - May 21, 2016
Best: Casterton Sandford - D. Gray, M. Cowland, M. Jarrad, A. O''Connell, J. Searle, K. Zippel. Millicent - T. Hutchesson, H. Nitschke, A. Schultz, W. Fleming, C. Reilly. Goals: Casterton Sandford – R. Killey 5, D. Ryan 4, D. Jamieson 2, M. Oldfield 2, J. Stephenson, B. Galpin, E. Currie, D. Ayton. Millicent - T. Hutchesson 3, H. Reilly 2, S. Duldig 2, H. Nitschke 2, J. Weir, M. Reilly
Best: South - B. O''Neil, D. Liston, B. Saffin, S. Fleming, B. Howard, T. Saffin. West - D. Robbins, L. Bradley-Brown, N. Taylor, J. Pfitzner, M. Hunter, G. Ha. Goals: South – B. Exelby 3, B. Howard 3, J. Weaver 2, D. Liston 2, B. Kain 2, T. Saffin, L. Foran, T. Jones. West - G. Ha 3, R. Dalby 2, L. Lean, S. Wenman, T. Zeitz
Best: North - F. Marshall, J. Schutz, T. Edwards, B. Kennedy, J. Jenner, W. Nankivell. East – N. Lock , M. Dempsey, M. Scanlon, J. Eldridge, M. McCallum, T. Balshaw. Goals: North - N. Moretti 5, M. McInerney 3, S. Stafford 2, B. Egan , T. Edwards, F. Marshall, T. Young, W. Nankivell, J. Jenner. East - M. Scanlon 4, S. Balshaw 2, K. Thomson 2, M. McCallum, B. Gibbs, T. Balshaw
CASTERTON/SANDFORD OVERCOME EAST AND MOVE INTO TOP 4
by Terry Willoughby - May 9, 2016
Casterton/Sandford won a see-sawing battle against East Gambier by 21 points and moved into the top four after each team shared the lead in the first 3 quartes. East had the better of play in the first term but couldn’t get a break on the Cats. Casterton/Sandford started strongly in the second with Nesbitt and Stephenson winning around the packs and Jesse Fry now with the Cats tormenting his former East team-mates. Casterton/Sandford kept East to a solitary goal and kicked three themselves but wasted several other chances to lead by 12 points at the main break. Casterton/Sandford again wasted chances around and East made the most of theirs to snatch a narrow 3 point lead heading into the last quarter. The result could go either way but it Casterton/Sandford grasped the chances when presented with four goals and kept East goal-less to win by 21 points. Killey booted three of the four goals to pilot the Cats to victory and keep East Gambier anchored at the bottom of the ladder. Better players for Casterton/Sandford were Stephenson, Nesbitt, Fry and Killey. Harder to find better players for East were the Janeway brothers, Riley and Grady, Blicavs and McCallum.
CASTERTON/SANDFORD 11-15 81 NARROWLY OVER EAST GAMBIER 9-6 60
North Gambier clung grimly to the lead all day against a determined West Gambier to win by just six points. Small forward Brad Close threatened to wreck West’s game when he started brilliantly and would finish with 6 goals as North led by 23 pts at quarter-time. West however weren’t reading the same play list and surged back into contention with 5 goals and trail by 12 points at half-time. Rick Dalby was being given an amazing amount of free space at full forward for West and punished North every-time West went forward. North again had more of the play in the 3rd term but couldn’t put West away and they led by only 14 pts at three-quuarter time and dangerously exposed. The last term was a quite a battle with West threatening on many occasions but never able to get their nose in front and North managing to goal just twice to keep the lead at more than a kick apart. North hung on to win by six points in the gloomy conditions. Close, with six goals was best for North along with Tim McInerney, Schutz, Edwards and Brock Egan. Adam Gibbs in the ruck, Dobie at full-back, Dalby with seven goals and Lindner were best for West.
NORTH GAMBIER 13-6 84 JUST OVER WEST GAMBIER 12-6 78
A determined Millicent took the game right up to league leader South Gambier in the first-half and trailed by just 7 points at the long break. South Gambier always looked more likely to break free given their greater spread of talent but Millicent hung in tenaciously with Tom Hutchesson and first gamer Sam Willis doing well. South Gambier’s strong on-ballers in Bronson Saffin, Fleming and O’Neil upped the ante after half-time and the Demons extended their lead to 29 points at three-quarter time. South exploded into action in the last quarter and crushed Millicent with 9 goals to zip and race to an 85 point win. It was big finish by South who booted 14 goals to one in the 2nd half. Saffin, Fleming, defender Nick Jenkin, mid-fielder O’Neiland youngster Liam Denton were best for South. Better players for Millicent were Hutchesson, Willis, Schultz and Pratt.
SOUTH GAMBIER 18-11 119 EASILY MILLICENT 4-12 36
Round 5 - May 7, 2016
Best: South - B. Saffin, S. Fleming, N. Jenkin, B. O''Neil, L. Denton, C. O''Reilley. Millicent - T. Hutchesson, S. Willis, A. Schultz, T. Pratt, W. Fleming, M. Thompson. Goals: South - B. Saffin 3, D. Stratford 3, L. Denton 3, B. O''Neil 3, J. Schleter 2, B. Howard, M. Jennings, S. Fleming, B. Glynn. Millicent - S. Willis 2, C. Hobbs, T. Hutchesson
Best: North - B. Close, T. McInerney, J. Schutz, T. Edwards, B. Egan. West - A. Gibbs, J. Dobie, R. Dalby, R. Lindner, L. Lean, L. Bradley-Brown. Goals: North - B. Close 6, M. McInerney 2, T. Edwards, N. Moretti, D. Munn, F. Marshall, B. Egan . West - R. Dalby 7, J. Schapel 2, G. Ha, L. Bradley-Brown, M. Hunter
Best: Casterton Sandford - J. Stephenson, T. Nesbitt, J. Fry, M. Killey, B. Galpin, D. Gray. East – R. Janeway, L. Blicavs, M. McCallum, G. Janeway. Goals: Casterton Sandford - R. Killey 3, D. Ryan 2, S. Broomby 2, K. Carlin, A. O''Connell, J. Stephenson, M. Oldfield. East - K. Thomson 2, M. Scanlon 2, M. McCallum, L. Blicavs, M. Dempsey, M. Kieselbach, J. McKeon
NORTH SURVIVE A CLOSE ONE AND MILLICENT WIN AGAIN
May 2, 2016 - by Terry Willoughby
An injury depleted North Gambier survived against a determined Casterton/Sandford to win by just 9 points. The Cats hit the front about halfway through the last quarter before North goaled twice in quick succession to retrieve the situation. In fine but windy conditions both teams struggled to score and the game was reduced to a scramble with many packs forming. Tempers became frayed several times but North led narrowly by 12 points at half-time. Early goals in the third term enabled North to get away but the Cats got a late one to trail by 16 points at the last change. The skill level was low and both teams turned the play over regularly. North had more of the play early in the last quarter but couldn’t put the score on the board and Casterton/Sandford hit back strongly with two goals to get within a kick. Play became very desperate as North battled to hold-on and the Cats threw everything at them in bid to cause an upset. Another goal to Casterton/Sandford put them in front by 3 points and North looked likely to go down with the Cats now having plenty of momentum. Mistakes were plenty but North somehow got the ball to Blachut who goaled from 40m out to regain the lead and ruckman Brett Kennedy got another moments later to put the margin out to 9 points with time running out. Good players were hard to find in either team but North‘s best were Tim McInerney and Jake Schutz in defence, Telford, Munn and Brock Egan around the midfield. For the Cats it was Daniel Gray, Kyle Carlin, coach Dylan Ayton and follower Trent Nesbitt.
NORTH GAMBIER 8-7 55 JUST, OVER CASTERTTON/SANDFORD 6-9 45
South Gambier led all day against East Gambier but were unconvincing winners by 13 points. Leading by 2 points at quarter time the Demons had most of the play in the second quarter but missed many shots for goal which would put the game beyond East’s reach. Classy mid-fielder Bret O’Neil was the most prominent player for South and finished with four goals and big-man Fleming marked strongly. South led by 18 pts at half-time. Play was even in the third quarter with East matching South everywhere but the margin remained 18 points. The Scanlon brothers Matt and Frazer worked hard to keep East in the game with strong help from Matt Dempsey. East kept in touch in the last term but could never bridge the gap and South had good on-ballers in Bronson Saffin and nuggety Brent Howard to hold them up. Best for South were O’Neil, Fleming, Saffin, Howard and Brad Bryant. For the improving East, McCallum, Matt and Frazer Scanlon, Dempsey and Kieselbach stood out.
SOUTH GAMBIER 10-15 75 NARROWLY, EAST GAMBIER 9-8 62
Millicent won for the second time this season when they came from 17 points down at half-time to win by 10 points. The Saints trailed for most of the first-half in windy conditions but West were never able to get far ahead. Bradley-Brown continued his good form for West and Adam Gibbs did well in the ruck with young defender Mitch Kipping holding up many Millicent forward moves. Millicent got on top in the third quarter with long-kicking Tom Hutchesson providing goals and Hamish Nitschke bobbing all over to win possessions and the Saints hit the front by just a point at three quarter-time. Millicent who had fallen short so many times before in recent years now sensed an opportunity and outscored West in the final term to win by 10 points. Nitschke, Matt Thompson, Fleming, James Weir and Tom Hutchesson with five goals were best for Millicent. West who let this game slip were best served by Bradley-Brown, Gibbs, Kipping and Dale Robbins.
MILLICENT 13-13 91 DEFEATED WEST GAMBIER 12-9 81
Round 4 - April 30, 2016
Best: Millicent - H. Nitschke, M. Thompson, W. Fleming, J. Weir, T. Hutchesson, E. Glass Reilly. West - L. Bradley-Brown, A. Gibbs, M. Kipping, D. Robbins, B. Stratman, G. Ha. Goals: Millicent – T. Hutchesson 5, E. Glass Reilly 3, T. Hutchesson, L. Ferguson, M. Thompson, S. Duldig, M. Gordon. West - R. Dalby 4, J. Schapel 2, S. Wenman 2, G. Ha, L. Lean, L. Morton, A. Pfitzner
Best: North - T. McInerney, J. Schutz, H. Telford, D. Munn, B. Egan , M. Ashby. Casterton Sandford - D. Gray, K. Carlin, D. Ayton, T. Nesbitt, K. Zippel, J. Searle. Goals: North - N. Moretti 2, D. Munn, M. McInerney, S. Stafford, H. Telford, B. Kennedy, N. Blachut
Casterton Sandford - R. Killey 2, J. Dunn, J. Galpin, D. Ryan, D. Ayton
Best: East – M. McCallum, M. Scanlon, F. Scanlon, M. Dempsey, M. Kieselbach, S. Balshaw. South - B. O''Neil, S. Fleming, B. Saffin, B. Howard, B. Bryant, B. Weaver. East – M. Scanlon 5, M. McCallum 2, B. Gibbs, M. Dempsey. South - B. O''Neil 4, D. Stratford 3, T. Saffin 2, T. Jones
SOUTH WIN EASILY ON ANZAC DAY
April 26, 2016 - Terry Willoughby
North Gambier won the toss and kicked with the wind in a bright opening. The first quarter was even with each team goaling relatively freely. North gained a narrow lead through Matt McInerney and Close but South responded quickly with goals Kain and Saffin and opened up holes in the North defence.
Leading by a goal going into the second term, South rattled on two goals to lead by 18 points. Kain, Saffin and youngster Hamish Stevens were dangerous around the ground and near goal for South along with Fleming who exposed Norths fragile defence. North were now struggling ahead of centre largely due to poor ball use and lack of pace. South, more assured with the ball, stretched their lead to 19 points at half-time.
The 3rd quarter saw South get away to a 26 point lead and North looked in trouble. Kain was still dangerous near goal and others on the forward line relished the freedom given North defenders. Around the stoppages South took advantage through strength of Saffin, Liston and co. North had few genuine good players but Tim McInerney and Jake chutz were trying to stem the flow. Matt McInerney’s goal on the thre quarter-time gave them a glimmer of hope but they trailed by 20 points.
South put the game beyond North’s reach with goals to Kain and Jace Weaver as the skill level began to fall away in the warm conditions. North could do no better and turned the ball over all too easily and South ran out good winners by 42 points. Bronson Saffin won the Tony Casadio Medal for best on ground but South had many good players. It was a different story for North, Schutz, Tim McInerney, Brock Egan and Nick McIinerney early were their best.
SOUTH GAMBIER 15-11 101 TOO GOOD FOR NORTH GAMBIER 9-5 59
In Saturday’s games, Casterton/Sandford broke through for their first win with an eight goal triumph over West Gambier. After a lack lustre first half where only 2 points separated the teams with West narrowly ahead. Casterton/Sandford burst clear in the 3rd quarter. The Cats slammed through seven goals to West’s solitary one and have the game under control. They again outscored West in the final term to win easily. Searle, Oldfield, Ryan and veteran Jason Dunn headed the best players for the Cats. West were very disappointing with only Kipping, tom Zietz and Giddings showing much ticker.
CASTERTON/SANDFORD 15-7 97 DEFEATED WEST GAMBIER 7-7 49
Millicent allowed East Gambier to get away to good start and were forced to play catch-up footy for the remainder. Trailing by nearly seven goals at half-time was too great a task for Millicent who again broke down near goal. East still had a big lead at three-quarter time and despite being outscored in the final quarter had too much of a lead and won by 34 points.
EAST GAMBIER 14-10 94 TOO STRONG, MILLICENT 9-6 60
Round 3 - April 23 & 25, 2016
Best: Casterton Sandford - J. Searle, M. Oldfield, D. Ryan, J. Dunn, D. Wombwell, E. Currie. West - M. Kipping, T. Zeitz, K. Giddings, A. Gibbs, L. Lean. Goals: Casterton Sandford - R. Killey 4, D. Ayton 3, M. Oldfield 2, J. Dunn, T. Nesbitt, M. Jarrad, J. Galpin, A. O''Connell, J. Searle. West - J. Schapel 2, D. Robbins, R. Dalby, A. Kamara, J. Dobie, K. Giddings
Best: East - C. Lloyd-Fox, M. Dempsey, T. Agnew, N. Lock , J. McKeon, M. Scanlon. Millicent not av. Goals: East - K. Thomson 5, L. Blicavs 3, B. Clark, G. Cooper, T. Agnew, M. Scanlon, M. Dempsey, D. Howard. Millicent - J. Grimes 2, T. Hutchesson 2, E. Glass Reilly, M. Reilly, J. Weir, H. Nitschke
Best: South - B. Saffin, L. Denton, B. O''Neil, S. Fleming, B. Bryant. North - N. Mcinerney, T. McInerney, L. Symons, B. Close, J. Schutz. Goals: South – B. Kain 4, B. Saffin 3, J. Weaver 2, D. Stratford, T. Jones, L. Denton, D. Ridding, S. Fleming, B. Howard. North - M. McInerney 3, B. Close 2, S. Stafford, D. Munn, B. Egan , T. McInerney
WEST UPSET EAST WITH BIG WIN
April 18, 2016 – Report from Terry Willoughby
West Gambier pulled off something of an upset when they defeated East Gambier by 39 points. Both teams were soundly beaten the week before but East were expected to improve sharply. After an even first quarter where West led by two points the Roo’s took control against the wind and booted four crucial goals to lead by 27 points at half-time. Bradley-Brown had been good around the mid-field and Gibbs solid in the ruck. East couldn’t find a way forward at any stage and West were in complete control when they added another five goals to nil and lead by 56 points at three-quarter time. West coach Steve Wenman dominated in defence in the last quarter and although East outscored them they never looked in danger of defeat. Best for West were Bradley –Brown, Gibbs, Tom Zietz, Dalby with five goals with a good leaders’ game from Steve Wenman. East barely had an effective contributor with Matt Dempsey, Lock and Lockwood the best of a poor effort. Undermanned and poorly skilled, East have plenty of work to do.
WEST GAMBIER 12-9 81, TOO GOOD FOR EAST GAMBIER 5-12 42
A week may be a long time in politics but two hours without a goal-kicking forward is a thrashing in football and that’s what Millicent suffered at the hands of North Gambier. North dominated from the first bounce with Nic Moretti and Brad Close running rings around the Millicent defence. Leading by 33 poits at quarter time North continued to dominate in the second term and should have been further ahead but missed several easy chances to lead by 58 points at half-time. Millicent had hard workers in Weir in the ruck, Hutchesson and Steve Duldig but North went on their merry way with newcomer Fraser Marshall, on-ballers Nick McInerney and Brock Egan all winning kicks at will. North kept up the tempo right to the final siren to win easily by 109 points. Best for North were Brad Close with four goals, Marshall, McInerney, Brock Egan, the elusive Moretti with six goals and Sam Stafford. Harder to find better players for Millicent were Weir, Thompson, Duldig and Hutchesson.
NORTH GAMBIER 20-17 137 THRASHED MILLICENT 4-4 28
Premier team South Gambier easily accounted for Casterton/Sandford by 85 points. Always in front, South went further ahead at each change and piled on nine goals in the last quarter to rub salt into the Cats wounds. Youngsters Hamish Stevens and Liam Denton headed the best players with strong support from veterans Fleming, Saffin and Brad Bryant. Brayden Kain was the major scorer with four goals for South. Casterton/Sandford were disappointing with only Nesbitt, Oldfield, Zippel and Ayton showing much fight.
SOUTH GAMBIER 21-11 137 EASILY OVER CASTERTON/SANDFORD 8-4 52
MILLICENT CELEBRATE FIRST WIN IN OVER A SEASON
Casterton/Sandford, with first use of a 3 goal wind held a lead of just over that against Millicent. Both teams had shown encouraging signs in the pre-season cup but this was the truer test. Millicent, so poor in 2015 now had their chance and slammed on 6 goals to just one from Casterton to hold 13 point lead at ½ time. Ex Sturt forward Matt Duldig, away from the rescuing duties at Community Footy led the way on the forward line along with Peter Duncan and long kicking Tom Hutchesson. In the 3rd quarter Casterton/Sandford were unable to take advantage of the wind as the Millicent held them up time and again. Millicent booted 2 valuable goals against the wind to hold a lead of 12 points and now had the wind at their back for the last quarter. More than sniffing an opportunity, the Saints stormed home with a blistering 9 goals to one last quarter and win by 60 points. Matt Duldig was best and booted 7 goals, he was ably assisted by Duncan who kicked 5 and Hutchesson, Fleming and Reilly rounded out the best players for Millicent. Last year the margin of 10 goals would have been considered a good loss. For Casterton/Sandford newcomer Broomby stood out along with Searle, Gray and coach Dylan Ayton.
MILLICENT 18-6 114 JUBILANTLY OVER CASTERTON/SANDFORD 8-6 54
South Gambier battled hard over a struggling West Gambier in an untidy game at Blue Lake Sports Park. South always looked more likely to score through strong work from Bronson Saffin and recruit Liston who booted 4 goals each. West’s lack of forward power cost them dearly and the South defenders intercepted many wayward kicks. South started to get on top late in the 2nd term when Liston got away and booted two goals as South made better use of the ball and led by 25 pts. Liston gave South a great start to the 2nd half when he goaled from a strong mark. West now had the wind but lacked cohesion ahead of centre and South still outscored them to lead by 29 points. Although looking nothing like the premiership team of 2015, South booted another 4 goals in the last quarterto win comfortably by 47 points. Liston and Saffin were good for South but the influx of youngsters, in Stevens, Denton and Ridding was a good sign as they each did well. Tom Zeitz, coach Steve Wenman, Bradley-Browne and Gibbs battled hard for West.
SOUTH GAMBIER 14-9 93 TOO GOOD FOR WEST GAMBIER 7-4 46
North Gambier might have lost the 2015 Grand Final in overtime but they didn’t waste any time showing they meant business in the new season. They quickly raced to the lead against East Gambier and were never threatened from there on. Nick Moretti was on fire around the forward line and caused big problems for the East defence. Kicking with the wind in the 2nd quarter, East could make no headway as Tim McInerney and Jordan Mansell kept them out repeatedly as North led by 35 points. North ran over East in the 3rd quarter with on-ballers Brock Egan, Buckley and others won the ball and gave the forwards plenty of chances. East were stuck in the back half of the ground all too often and had little idea how to attack. North again piled on the goals in the last with Moretti and Matt McInerney cutting holes in the East defence. East managed only a solitary point in the last quarterwhich gives coach Matt Scanlon plenty to think about. North easily in the end by 87 points. Best for North were Brock Egan, Mansell, Tim McInerney, Moretti and newcomer Marshall. A different story for East with only Lockwood, Matt Dempsey and Matt Scanlon showing out.
NORTH GAMBIER 18-12 120 STRONGLY OVER EAST GAMBIER 5-3 33
Round 1 - April 9, 2016
Best: South - D. Liston, H. Stevens, B. Saffin, L. Denton, D. Ridding, B. Bryant. West - T. Zeitz, S. Wenman, L. Bradley-Brown, A. Gibbs, R. Lindner, R. Dalby. Goals: South - B. Saffin 4, D. Liston 4, D. Ridding 2, D. Stratford 2, H. Stevens, T. Saffin. West - R. Dalby 3, S. Wenman 2, G. Ha, J. Schapel
Best: North - B. Egan , J. Mansell, T. McInerney, N. Moretti, M. Ashby, F. Marshall. East - T. Lockwood, M. Dempsey, M. Scanlon, S. Balshaw, G. Janeway , M. Kieselbach. Goals: North - N. Moretti 7, M. McInerney 4, L. Symons 2, B. Egan 2, B. Close, D. Munn, S. Stafford. East - M. Scanlon 2, B. Clark, T. Lockwood, M. Dempsey
Best: Millicent - M. Duldig, P. Duncan, T. Hutchesson, W. Fleming, M. Reilly, E. Glass Reilly. Casterton Sandford - S. Broomby, J. Searle, D. Gray, D. Ayton, J. Fry, J. Dunn. Goals: Millicent - M. Duldig 7, P. Duncan 5, J. Reilly 3, T. Hutchesson, A. Schultz, J. Weir. Casterton Sandford - D. Ayton 3, J. Fry 2, J. Dunn, R. Killey, D. Ryan
SOUTH GAMBIER WIN IN EXTRA-TIME IN GRAND FINAL THRILLER
by Terry Willoughby - September 27, 2015
In warm conditions North Gambier made a good start in the chase for four flags in a row when coach Justin McConnell marked and goaled at the 4th minute. Both teams had settled well but North made better use of the ball and in a brilliant burst rattled on five goals to have South in danger of being blown away. Norths’ small men were giving the South defenders the run around and McConnell slammed through four goals in 10 minutes and Close got another to give the Tigers a five goal lead.
Handball and speed were North’s weapons and South needed to slow the game and Brett Exelby’s long-pass found big Scott Fleming who put South on the board. North still had plenty of play but Fleming marked again to get South’s 2nd and when Exelby goaled from deep in the pocket the Demons narrowed the margin to 14 points. South had arrested Norths earlier dominance when Fleming kicked his 3rd goal for the quarter.
It had been all North in the early stages but South fought back strongly to trail by just 8 points. A goal just into the 2nd term followed by several misses saw the scores all tied up before a Brad Bryant snap put South in front for the 1st time. This was the catalyst for North to again charge back and Mitchell found the running Nic Blachut who sent the ball forward and McConnell’s long handpass found Egan running in for a goal. South continued to apply pressure but Moretti snaffled a loose ball and cleverly found McConnell who kicked his 5th. Flett marked strongly and goaled to put North 15 points ahead and South again found themselves chasing but mistakes caused turnovers by North and a strong Exelby mark resulted in a goal for South.
A saving mark to Brad Bryant enabled South to find Simon Berkefeld within range for a goal and again reduce the margin to 10 points. The see-sawing play gave fans a great spectacle and when Jak Ryan marked strongly for South and goaled it was game on. North went forward again after the ball-up and Hamish Telford marked strongly but well out but a silly 50m penalty gifted him and North a goal right on the ½ time siren and a 10 point lead.
The warmer weather was taking its toll as play resumed in the 3rd quarter and South, with the added week’s rest, started well and goaled through Luke Foran who had been hardly sighted. The open football of the 1st half had now become tougher with more mistakes being made but South full-back Chris Oliver found himself in foreign territory but his chance for a goal missed the target before McConnelll again goaled for North. He had given Oliver a torrid time. Fatigue was noticeable in many players and umpires but North’s ruckman Sam Whelan got the ball to Nick McInerney who goaled from a sharp angle to give North a break of 16 points.
Play continued race from one end to the other and Moretti missed a chance to put North further ahead. South went forward from the kick-out and found Carl Slape who goaled. North led by 10 points at three-quarter time in what had been an even battle with both teams scoring two goals for the quarter.
The cooler breeze was good for the fans but play was still hotly contested and Brad Stafford’s miss was costly for North who made the early running in the last quarter. Scott Flett marked strongly about 50m out but his long kick was touched on the line and North’s lead was 13 points.
South again brought the play around the scoreboard wing and a long pass found Slape again within range and he made no mistake and cut the margin to just 7 points. Brent Howard was in everything around the packs for South but they wasted chances near goal. North’s defence was battling hard to keep South out but when Simon Berkefeld snapped truly the Demons were in front for just the second time but only by a point. South had kept North’s running defender Nic Blachut isolated for a long period but he as he broke clear late in the quarter looking for McConnell the South full-back was caught holding on and the resulting free gave North a chance to snatch victory with only seconds remaining. From 45m out McConnell’s long kick looked true but faded to the right and levelled the scores just before the final siren thus forcing the game into extra time.
Both teams were exhausted but North looked slightly worse. McConnell put his team in front narrowly when his snap just missed but now South capitalised on a North error and Fleming again entered the picture and marked close to goal and put South ahead. Both teams played desperately but turnovers were costly and South again went forward but missed but the margin was now more than a goal. The 2nd half of extra time was agonizing but South kept a tenuous hold on the game and when league medallist Bret O’Neil goaled for South the margin was 14 points with little time left. South were jubilant as the siren sounded to give them the Premiership in the best Grand Final seen for many years. It was South’s first flag since 2009 and thwarted North’s aim of four in a row but they lost no admirers.
Best on ground went to nuggety South on-baller Brent Howard and other good players were Brad Bryant, Bret O’Neil, Scott Fleming with 4 crucial goals and elusive Josh Ransom. For the gallant North none were better than Jake Schutz at half-back, Brad Stafford, Michael Quirk at full-back, Nic Blachut in defence and Justin McConnell whose “white hot” form in the 1st quarter nearly derailed South’ completely, he finished with 6 goals.
Grand Final (went to Extra-time) on September 26, 2015
Best: South - B. Howard, B. Bryant, B. O''Neil, S. Fleming, J. Ransom. North - J. Schutz, B. Stafford, M. Quirk, N. Blachut, T. McInerney, P. Perry. Goals: South - S. Fleming 4, B. Exelby 2, C. Slape 2, S. Berkefeld 2, J. Ryan, L. Foran, B. Kain, B. O''Neil. North - J. McConnell 6, S. Flett 2, B. Close, B. Egan, N. Mcinerney, H. Telford