LEONGATHA has continued on its winning ways with a strong win in the local derby under lights at Parrot Park on Saturday.
Wonthaggi Power got the first goal but Leongatha ran away with the game playing inspiring, confident football and supporting each other well.
In the tough conditions, Power’s Chris Wylie had a clear advantage in this marking contest in the match against the Parrots on Saturday night.
Photo courtesy Gerard Bruning@www.fourcornersframing.biz
LEONGATHA has confirmed it will be a genuine premiership contender with a convincing win against old foes Wonthaggi in front of a big crowd at Parrot Park on Saturday night.
These games are always tough and played with passion and intensity.
This game would be no different with the Parrots this time prevailing and sending a strong message that this season they are on the march.
In the end a well-deserved clear victory by 36 points.
After a reasonable autumn day the senior game was about to begin when the drizzle and strong breeze arrived.
What promised to be a real showcase game was now all about maintaining the pressure, working in numbers and basically who wanted the ball the most.
Wonthaggi had some changes to its side with youngsters Aloysio Ferriera-Neto, Matt Howell and Jye Read coming in and Dom O’Connor and Jack Blair out.
Play would be congested all evening as the defences of both sides would be continually tested.
Power got the first goal of the night through Phil Young but the game was already a scrappy affair.
The Power forwards were working hard to keep the ball in their zone and there were no easy possessions as the pressure continued to build.
Earl Shaw, Power’s big ruckman was working well around the ground while Byron Dryden, Aloysio Ferriera-Neto, Matt Coyne and Tim Gilliland were busy down back.
For the Parrots, Zac Vernon, Dale Houghton, Ash Lynch, Tom Marriott and Aaron Heppell had started well and were providing plenty of drive and spirit.
The game see-sawed between the half-back lines and was a real contest as the players battled the pressure and weather.
Aaron Hillberg brought the crowd to its feet with a big mark and the Parrots were soon on the board with a goal to even up the score.
The intensity of the game was lifting as Leongatha worked hard to keep possession.
Power scored the next goal from a free kick and 50 metres to Gilliland but Cade Maskell who presented strongly got the reply soon after to end what had been a tight first quarter.
The game was not reaching any great heights with many stoppages and packs gathering.
The signs were however good for the home side with most of the play down at the scoreboard end.
Chris Verboon for Leongatha helped himself to a goal with a strong smother and second effort which seemed to lift the Parrots’ confidence.
They now seemed more comfortable in pressing hard and working in numbers at the ball.
It looked like they had broken free and were in control but were not finishing on the scoreboard, wasting opportunities.
The game was tough with strong tackling as you would expect in these trying conditions.
Power goaled through Adam Cook but their scoring opportunities were really limited.
Tas Clingan, Ben Willis and Dale Houghton were doing a great job for the home side while apart from Ferriera-Neto, Shannon Bray, Dryden, Gilliland and Matt Coyne, it was hard to find a consistent Power performer.
With the Parrots in control at half time by 10 points the signs were all good.
The second half saw this pattern continue as conditions worsened and the visitors’ intensity fell away.
The home side were handling the weather far better, were in full flight and Wonthaggi at times seemed disinterested.
Maskell added more goals in a valuable contribution, as did Verboon, Hillberg and youngster Kyle Cooper while Wonthaggi could not find the goals in a disappointing second half.
The scoreboard broke down which gave some temporary relief but was soon up and operating again.
The Parrots were relentless sensing a victory was in reach.
In the final quarter the game was stopped for nearly 10 minutes when courageous youngster Tom Marriott went down in a heavy clash and the crowd went very quiet.
Fortunately he was fine but may miss next week’s game.
The match resumed and was soon over, giving the Parrots not only the bragging rights from the derby but a measure of how they are travelling in what is shaping up as an exciting season.
Only a single goal was scored in the final quarter as the match became a slog in the unpleasant weather.
Leongatha had earlier made the most of their opportunities, playing inspiring, confident football, working hard and supporting each other well.
There will be no panic in the Power camp as this was only the second round of a long season and this reality check will do them more good than harm.
Their effort was uncharacteristic and there is no doubt they will bounce back strongly against Sale at home this week.
Leongatha have their next test against Maffra and will go into the contest with growing confidence.