Phillip Island’s Billy Taylor kicked straight for goal in the second quarter against Cora Lynn on Saturday. n332419

Phillip Island’s Jaymie Youle slides in for a goal in the third quarter with Cora Lynn on his back. n302419

Phillip Island’s Jarrod Andreatta and Zak Vernon go up for a mark during the third quarter against undefeated Cora Lynn. N312419

IN one of the best games of country footy in recent memory, the match-up between the top of the table Cora Lynn and Phillip Island moved like a pendulum between the at home Bulldogs and visiting Cobras, as the sides drew with a total of 75 each.
In the middle of the ground, the matchup between the Island’s Cam Pedersen and Cora Lynn’s Billy Thomas was crucial.
Thomas had his work cut out for him, taking on one of the league’s most talented players.
Though he trailed at times to Pedersen’s ruck-rover like athleticism, his strength played a big part in the result.
Both clubs backed their own brands of football with the Island playing a modern dedicated attack, and Cora Lynn a clean, efficient direction.
Phillip Island had impressive pace, however what the Cobras lacked in pace they made up with strength and physical presence.
With the massive long weekend crowd, the game was a genuine hit out, with fans treated by near perfect weather.
Nathan Gardiner’s role forward was of an elite standard, his ability to earn the ball through strong leads and marks were often followed by goals. He finished with seven.
From the backline, Cora Lynn’s Shaun Sparks played a pivotal role in stopping many Island attacks.
The Island’s young Billy Taylor continues to impress, he managed three goals playing on the half-forward flank, his role is of growing importance at the club.
Following under 18s last year, Max Mattock has been playing some impressive football, he is reaching stable form and will likely be a fixture in the team coming into finals.
Jaymie Youle and Marcus Wright, both experienced Island footballers, were two of their sides most reliable, combining speed and accuracy with the ball, they were two of the Island’s best.
As the day went on, the play was rarely one-sided for more than a goal, though Phillip Island did have more scoring opportunities the game was not lost through miss kicking but equalled by Cora Lynn’s efficient style.
Next up Cora Lynn will host Korumburra, a game that will not be taken lightly.
Phillip Island will again host an ‘on-the-road’ slightly undermanned Inverloch, who will be hungry for a win.
Following the game, Phillip Island hosted a helicopter ball drop that was won by a 10-year-old.
With the long weekend bringing such a crowd to the Island it was fitting that the game was of such high standard.
Senior coach Beau Vernon is impressed by the sense of community growing around the club.
“It’s great that there are so many past players coming back to games, the events and the dedication around the club is a great feeling to be a part of,” says Vernon.