LEONGATHA have started their premiership defence on the front foot with a 49 point victory over Wonthaggi Power on Good Friday.
Despite a red hot first quarter that saw both teams hit the scoreboard hard, the Parrots proved they were the top team in the comp ramping up the tempo as the game went on.
The game was off to a flyer, with the tantalising midfield match up of the Parrots’ Tom Marriott and Powers’ Aiden Lindsay.
The two pure bred bulls went head to head, both gaining vital clearances for their sides early in the piece.
But it was the work of debuting Parrots young gun Dylan Garnham who really gained the attention of the spectators with his great speed and superb ball use.
Lachie Jones and Jack Ginnane both booted majors early for their respected sides with the Parrots holding a slim 15 point lead at the first change.
The momentum shifted in the second quarter with Parrots starting to take control.
With the work of Marriott and Josh Hopkins through the midfield and Josh Schelling across half back, the Parrots started to dominate.
The Power couldn’t quite keep up with the clean cut ball movement of Leongatha, however some good work from Toma Huther in the ruck and Shannon Bray across half back made sure it wasn’t all doom and gloom.
Heading into the big break the Parrots led by 31 points and had a firm grip on the game.
Continuing to kick away in the third the Parrots kept finding goal scorers in Chris Dunne and Dylan Garnham who slotted five and three majors for the day.
Another debutant Mitch Bentvelzen also stepped up for Leongatha, showing the depth of their young local talent.
With a lead of 49 points at three quarter time the final quarter became simply a formality for the reigning premier.
The Power saved some face in the last with couple late goals, but unfortunately it’s back to the drawing board.
Some positives did come out of the game for Wonthaggi however with recruit Jordan Staley taking several strong grabs up forward and the work of Toma Huther in ruck was a welcome return.
Cade Waters also battled hard in the midfield but it was the Parrots who were just a bit more polished. With the addition of young guns Garnham and Bentvelzen teamed with the experience of Marriott and Dunne the Parrots look to be a force again in 2018.
The Power wore black arm bands to mark the passing of club legend and Wonthaggi icon John ‘Junior’ Liddle, who died last week.
A much loved figure around the club and a life member of the Wonthaggi Blues, Junior will be sorely missed by the entire community.
Parrots begin title defence