Knock-out semi-final for Eagles

Maffra’s Darren Sheen takes a mark and sets off on a run down the wing during the qualifying final loss to Traralgon. This Sunday, the Eagles will meet Wonthaggi in the first semi-final.FOR the second successive season, Maffra will meet Wonthaggi in the Gippsland League first semi-final.
Nanjing Night Net

The Eagles will travel to Traralgon this Sunday because of their qualifying final loss. Another defeat will end the Eagles’ season.

Not too many positives emerged from Saturday’s defeat to Traralgon, apart from the fact the Eagles couldn’t play much worse.

The 17-point margin flattered the Eagles, who kicked six goals to two in the final term. Before that, they were out-played by the Maroons, who perhaps could have had a greater lead than the 41 points they had at the final break.

As far as Power coach Rob Railton is concerned, his side will enter Sunday’s match as the underdog.

“The pressure is on them, they were on top of the ladder for much of the second half of the season,” he said.

The Eagles and Power met two weeks ago at Wonthaggi. The tight, hard fought encounter had a thrilling finish with the Eagles winning by three points.

At Maffra earlier this year, the Eagles thumped the Power by 62 points.

Darren Sheen enjoyed both encounters with Wonthaggi this year, kicking bags of eight and six goals. The Power coaching staff would have noted the way Traralgon curbed Sheen’s influence, restricted to three goals, last weekend.

Last Sunday, the Power survived a thrilling elimination final against Sale.

Despite the Magpies winning three of the four terms and claiming the lead during the final quarter, the Power held on to win by three points. The Power’s five-goal to one first term proved to be the difference.

At the same stage last year, the Power kicked away after the main break, while restricting the Eagles to just one major for the second half.

Out-classed by Moe last Saturday, Maffra’s under 16s team will meet Bairnsdale on Sunday.

In the reserves, Leongatha will meet local rival Wonthaggi, while Traralgon and Leongatha will battle out the under 18s match.

MINOR premier Leongatha enters the finals tomorrow, meeting Traralgon in the second semi-final.

The winner of the contest at Moe will claim the first berth in the grand final.

With the week off after finishing on top of the ladder, the Parrots senior squad was in Moe last Saturday to see the Maroons defeat Maffra in the qualifying final. They were sure to have been put on notice, having seen the way the Maroons were able to restrict the Eagles for three quarters.

Traralgon ran hard, but the loss of Matt Northe to a knee injury late in the first term eventually left the Maroons a player down on the bench and tired during the final term. But by then, the Maroons led by 41 points with the Eagles’ final term comeback too little, too late.

Due to have scans on his knee this week, Northe’s availability for Saturday’smatch must be in doubt.

Any question mark over the Parrots’ off-season recruiting and coaching of Beau Vernon was put to rest in round one, when Leongatha thumped Traralgon by 123 points at home.

The Parrots won the return match by 23 points. Since that loss, the Maroons have won their past nine matches.

Having won their first minor premiership since 1997, the Parrots are bidding to reach their first grand final since 2003.

In the reserves, minor premier Maffra, which has only lost one match this season, will play Traralgon.

The Eagles’ under 18s team will play Bairnsdale, while Traralgon and Moe will meet in the under 16s.

Second semi-finals, Saturday at Moe:

Football – seniors: Leongatha v Traralgon,2.20pm; reserves: Maffra v Traralgon, 12.30pm; under 18s: Bairnsdale v Maffra,10.45am; under 16s: Traralgon v Moe, 9am.

Netball -A grade: Traralgon v Drouin, 2.15pm;B grade: Traralgon v Drouin, 1pm;C grade: Traralgon v Wonthaggi, noon; under 17s: Sale v Traralgon, 11am; under 15s: Maffra v Sale, 10am; under 13s: Wonthaggi v Sale, 9am.

First semi-finals, Sunday at Traralgon:

Football – seniors: Maffra v Wonthaggi, 2.20pm; reserves: Leongatha v Wonthaggi,12.30pm;under 18s: Traralgon v Leongatha,10.45am; under 16s: Maffra v Bairnsdale, 9am.

Netball -A grade: Morwell v Sale, 2.15pm;B grade: Leongatha v Moe, 1pm;C grade: Leongatha v Bairnsdale, noon; under 17s: Maffra v Moe, 11am; under 15s: Traralgon v Wonthaggi,10am; under 13s: Bairnsdale v Traralgon,


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