POOWONG travelled to Ellinbank after the game was changed back from Poowong to honour Ellinbank player Ricky Johnson who was tragically killed in a farm accident recently.
One minute’s silence was observed by all at the ground including Ricky’s workmates in a special tribute.
The emotional release may well have contributed to a flurry of scoring from Ellinbank who kicked their first three goals in three minutes with Tim Masado especially damaging on the lead.
Adding two more for the quarter, the Poowong defence was under pressure all the quarter with Ellinbank playing a more direct style of football with long deep entries into the forward 50.
The second quarter opened up with Ellinbank again kicking three quick goals and it looked like the Magpies were in for a hiding but a goal to Tim Francis finally opened their account.
Another chance came late to Trevor Hooker but the kick was out of bounds on the full leaving Ellinbank with a strong 45 point lead at half time.
Poowong made some changes in the big break, throwing Joseph Bisognin into the ruck to try and get first use of the ball.
As usual Bisognin did the job, playing with great heart and desire.
The third quarter was very tight early with young first gamer Jai Newcombe and Jayden Sullivan working hard in defence for the Magpies.
Tommy Wyatt nailed an early dribble goal but Ellinbank replied quickly with a major of their own.
However the Poowong team was gaining in confidence and started to take the game on when Hooker kicked slotted another goal.
The Magpies failed to capitalise on two relatively simple opportunities in front of goal soon after and a late goal to Ellinbank pushed the margin back out to 42 points at the final change.
Poowong turned up the heat in the last with two early goals to Hooker but Ellinbank continued to find answers.
However a good goal to Joshua Chiavaroli and another to Hooker shortened the margin.
A flurry of late goals to Peter Edwards wasn’t enough to pull the Magpies over the line eventually going down by seven points.
Next week Poowong plays Catani at home and will gain Tim and Ben Hancock and a couple of recruits that were unavailable this week.
This will strengthen the side and add some height around the ground.
The Reserves battled hard and hit the front in the last quarter but three late goals to Ellinbank resulted in a victory by 15 points.
The Thirds worked hard but a couple of taller players from Ellinbank made the difference but definitely they will win or worry all sides this season.
The Fourths look very promising and the skill level is good over the side. All players worked hard together to lead all day to win 5.10.40 to Ellinbank 3.4.22.
A lot of positives came out of Round 1 for all teams and Poowong can look forward to the season with a lot of confidence that they will be competitive in all grades in football and netball.
Late flurry was not enough for Poowong