By David Nagel
Tooradin-Dalmore has claimed its biggest scalp of the 2021 West Gippsland Football Netball Competition (WGFNC) season with a 26-point – 15.10 (100) to 11.8 (74) victory over a gallant Cora Lynn at Westernport Oval today.
On a freezing cold day, where a chilling mist descended on the ground after half time, the Seagulls ramped up the pressure gauge in the third quarter, booting five goals to one in the most telling part of the contest.
Trailing by a point at the main break the Seagulls came out firing, with Andrew Dean kicking a goal at the two-minute mark after taking a grab next to the closest point post to the Tooradin social rooms.
A fired-up Piva Wright then converted from a set shot after taking a strong mark, and when Dean kicked a banana from almost exactly the same place as his first goal for the quarter the Seagulls had opened up a 17-point lead in the space of seven minutes.
Nathan Gardiner then answered with the sixth of his magnificent seven-goal haul, before Cam Brown and Adam Oxley put the exclamation mark on a fantastic quarter of football for the home side.
Brown’s goal, which came after a strong tackle and holding the ball decision, exemplified the Seagulls ferocious attack on the contest in the second half.
They out-hunted and out-hustled a team well-renowned for its character and success.
“You look at Cora Lynn, and its success over the last 15 years has been amazing,” said a delighted Seagulls coach Lachie Gillespie in the changerooms after the match.
“Being in finals and playing in big games is what they’re used to…and we’re not.
“This win gives us some confidence going forward, but we’re definitely not getting ahead of ourselves and understand we’ve got a long, long way to go.”
The first half was an intriguing arm wrestle, with the Cobras taking the early ascendency before the Seagulls fought back to square things away by quarter time.
Roles were reversed in the second term, with the Seagulls – after goals to Jimmy Trezise and Wright – moving 11 points ahead at the 24-minute mark of the term before the sticky hands of Gardiner put the Cobras ahead by a solitary point at half time.
Gillespie was impressed with the way his team fought its way back into the contest after the Cobras expected hot start.
“You sort of brace for that type of start from Cora Lynn, because you know they’re going to come at you fast and they’re so hard to stop,” Gillespie said.
“Honestly, I got a little bit nervous early, but that’s when you hope the boys out there can do the job, and they did, full credit to them.
“By quarter time we’d evened it up, the same again at half time, so it was anyone’s game.
“We just had to reset again and I think the good thing today is that we applied a few of the things that we learned from our mistakes from earlier in the year.
“I’m very proud of the boys. It was a tough challenge against last season’s grand finalists and they’re a good quality outfit.”
Dean and Wright finished the day with four each for the winners, and Trezise two, while the work rate and skill of Liam Adams and Blake Grewar were important factors in a tough midfield battle.
Ruckman Josh Mulheron was also impressive for the Gulls, while the run and carry of Brad Butler ignited some of the spark for the Seagulls early in the third term.
Gardiner was magnificent for the Cobras with his seven goals, while Jaxon Briggs put his explosive pace to good use in the midfield. Lochie Peluso also deserves special praise for his wonderful minding job on the dangerous Stewie Scanlon.
Tooradin-Dalmore moves to third on the ladder after the big win.
Warragul Industrials has kept its finals hopes alive with an upset 11.13 (79) to 10.9 (69) victory over the home side Nar Nar Goon at Spencer Street.
The Goon looked set for an easy afternoon at the office, booting the first two goals of the game, but goals to Darren Granger, Sage Tapner and Mason McGarrity had the Dusties holding a slight ascendency at quarter time.
The Dusties lead could have been greater with star forward Anthony Bruhn hooking two relatively easy set shots at goal early in the first term.
But you could tell the Dusties were up for the fight with fierce determination and strong tackling a feature of their first-quarter efforts.
Granger kicked four, and Bruhn three for the winners, while skipper Shane Brewster, ruckman Jackson Mockett and midfielder Will Gibson played huge roles in the victory.
Troy McDermott kicked five for the vanquished, while the classy left feet of Kyle O’Sullivan and Trent Noy kept the Goon in the hunt until the final minutes of play.
In other games, Dan Helmore and Matt Rennie booted five each in Garfield’s hard-fought 14.10 (94) to 12.9 (81) victory over Kilcunda-Bass, while three goals to Josh Hill proved the difference in Korumburra-Bena’s 8.10 (58) to 4.11 (35) win over an inaccurate Kooweerup.
Tristan Van Driel kicked six in Inverloch-Kongwak’s 18.6 (114) to 8.8 (56) victory over Bunyip, while Phillip Island had a whopping 52 scoring shots to five in its 29.23 (197) to 2.3 (15) demoralisation of Dalyston.
The Bulldogs certainly shared the load with a staggering 16 goal scorers on the day.
Phillip Island 10 1 0 1318 435 302.99 40
Inverloch-Kongwak 9 2 0 1038 662 156.80 36
Tooradin-Dalmore 8 3 0 1111 720 154.31 32
Nar Nar Goon 8 3 0 1006 779 129.14 32
Cora Lynn 8 3 0 941 764 123.17 32
Garfield 7 4 0 791 691 114.47 28
Warragul Industrials 5 6 0 778 697 111.62 20
Bunyip 4 7 0 690 916 75.33 16
Kilcunda Bass 3 8 0 707 958 73.80 12
Korumburra-Bena 2 9 0 488 902 54.10 8
Koo Wee Rup 1 10 0 491 1023 48.00 4
Dalyston 1 10 0 408 1220 33.44 4