Stars score … just!

By Ken Moore
EDFL newcomers Garfield held on for a
dramatic four-point victory over Nar Nar
Goon on Saturday in a game that lived up to
the pre-match hype.
Confusion reigned at the end of the
game after Goon coach Clint Williams
kicked a goal with a hurried left-foot snap
out of congested pack from 25 metres out.
Many in the crowd, along with several
players, thought his kick had put his side in
front, because the scoreboard said the
Goon had edged ahead by a solitary point.
The Williams kick was the last disposal
of the game: seconds later the final siren
sounded and the Goon coach and several of
his teammates celebrated with great anima
tion, only to find out a few minutes on, after
the goal umpires conferred centre field,
that the home side had hung on for victory.
The game could have gone either way
and whetted the appetite for the next time
the two sides meet. In the end it was the
more clinical finish in front of the big sticks
by Garfield that made the difference.
Nar Nar Goon has been one of the most
consistent teams in the league over the past
few seasons and Garfield’s effort suggests
it is a viable finals contender and hence a
genuine flag chance.
In front of one of the largest crowds at
Beswick Street this decade, Garfield called
the tune early but too often butchered the
ball when going forward until a goal by tall
utility Brett Reid when he was left
unmarked close in.
Midway through the quarter Nar Nar
Goon settled into its stride and responded
with a major by Beaconsfield recruit Luke
McConnell, followed by another to emerg
ing small forward Brodie Howe, with a long
goal from hard up on the boundary that put
the visitors eight points up.
During time on Garfield hit back with
goals by Tom Marsh and Warragul recruit
Ben Jostlear to take a four-point lead into
the quarter-time break. Both teams were
guilty of overcautious football in the open
ing term and seldom kicked the ball to a
contest, much to the chagrin of some vocal
spectators from both camps.
The second quarter saw far more adven
turous play from both sides and it was
Garfield that drew first blood when the live
ly Jostlear steered through his second goal
to put the Stars 11 points to the good early.
Mid term the Goon got humming and
with goals by former ROC wingman Kevin
Quinn, Howe with an opportunist snap, and
McConnell, the visitors recaptured the
lead.
Late in the quarter Jostlear escaped
from his opponent again to goal and peg the
deficit back to three points before a six-
pointer to Goon dynamo Matt Wade gave
the visitors a 10-point advantage at the main
break.
The third quarter was a beauty,
spawned 12 goals and brought the crowd to
life. Garfield cranked it up early with some
scintillating football out of the centre that
led to unanswered goals by Tom Marsh,
Jim Bow, Ned Marsh, Tim Mitchell and
Ned Marsh again inside the first eight min
utes to open up a decisive 22-point gap.
Not be denied Nar Nar Goon replied
mid term with two more goals by the dan
gerous McConnell and another to Quinn to
level the scores. In time on, goals by Star
forwards Jim Bow and Tim Mitchell gave
the home side a seven-point buffer at the
last change.
Early in the final quarter Josh Tynan, a
star at Gippsland Power in the opening two
TAC Cup rounds, won a free kick and
kicked truly but a stunning goal by the
hard-working Wade from an acute angle
kept the Goon in touch.
At the 11-minute mark Bow drilled
through his third goal and less than two
minutes later he won a free kick and con
verted again to give the home side the whip
hand.
Two minutes later the result looked cut
and dried when one of the Stars’ favourite
sons, Mal McKenna, pumped through an
inspirational long goal to give the league
newcomers what seemed a match-winning
break.
Nar Nar Goon refused to throw in the
towel and showed its fighting qualities with
majors by Matt Slattery and Ben Keane nar
rowing the gap before Williams’ goal that
led to the controversial finish.
Continued, Footy 14

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