THE further the West Gippsland season goes, the more apparent it becomes that recent North Melbourne and Melbourne retiree, Cam Pedersen, is in a league of his own.
We saw it for a number of seasons from ex-Carlton star Brad Fisher, who led Dalyston to an elusive premiership in 2015 with his AFL-standard marking ability a hallmark of the grand final that year.
Pedersen is the same.
On Saturday against Korumburra-Bena he was again dominant, despite the best efforts of Manny Jakwot in defence, kicking six goals and doing pretty much as he pleased with pack marks, trapping the loose ball and kicking expertly to position.
A mobile, 193cm player, aged 32 and not much below the peak of his powers, he wasn’t the difference on a day when a very talented Island side won by 80 points, against spirited opposition, but he’s a huge asset and great to watch.
The Giants made two changes for the match with Jakwot a welcome return down back and Mitch Nicholas on loan from Gippy Power.
The visiting Burra-Bena boys took it right up to the Island in the first term, often limiting the effectiveness of Pedersen and kicking two goals of their own, through Cann and Dixon.
And they continued that in the second term, attacking to the scoreboard end with their on-ball brigade led by Fitzpatrick, Dorling, Patterson and co taking it up to the Island and putting on two goals to four; both of them off the boot of Rhys Dixon. Kimber and Pedersen led the Bulldogs’ scoring.
The third quarter opened with Pedersen in the ruck, then forward where he marked for the first goal. Mark Griffin to Zac Vernon for a nice goal from the angle was their second and they were off to the races.
It was some time before the Giants could intervene with the likes of Fitzpatrick, Dorling, Johnston, Celebrine, and Walker all in the play. An end-to-end play with a goal to Brad Monson was reward for effort. But goals to Daniel Bourke and Matt Jones stretched the lead.
Phillip Island was the better resourced team on the day, with Pedersen the standout, but the Giants stood tall with a competitive effort despite the final result.
Next week the Giants are away again when they play Warragul Industrials.