TARRAWINGEE and Milawa have earned a week’s break after tough Ovens and King Football League qualifying finals on Saturday in heavy conditions.
Goals were at a premium with just 13 scored between Milawa and Glenrowan in their clash at Tarrawingee.
A productive first quarter with six goals set up Tarrawingee’s four-point win against King Valley at Milawa in a match which was a real arm wrestle after half-time.
“Both sides knew what was on the line with a week off,” Bulldog coach Finton Eames said.
Tarrawingee’s productive first quarter came from the dominance of ruckman Jarrod Everitt, who provided his teammates with first use of the ball.
The Bulldogs had plenty of possession and took the ball inside the 50-metre arch many times.
Eames said his team was converting early, but was a little astray later on as conditions got heavier.
It was King Valley’s turn to take charge in the second quarter and they piled on five goals to close the gap to 13 points midway.
Stephen Beavis, Simon Hunter, Jono Rea, Matthew Smith and Leigh Maples were crucial players for the Roos and continued to contribute in the second half.
“They got on top in the midfield. They were winning the clearances,” Eames said.
The Bulldogs’ lead was similar at three-quarter-time, but they failed to kick a goal in the last quarter and King Valley kicked two.
It was tough, tenacious defence which was instrumental in Tarrawingee holding on with Mark Anderson, assistant coach Trevor Edwards and Kaz O’Keefe prominent across the half-back line.
Edwards had a good battle with King Valley coach Brendan Sessions, who managed two goals.
Full-back Jordon Fisher was another star player for Tarrawingee along with Brendan Cairns, who played on a wing, in defence and up forward.
Meanwhile, just three goals were kicked in the first half between Glenrowan and Milawa at Tarrawingee.
But Milawa came out in the third quarter, piled on six goals and set up a winning break.
“Probably our third quarters have been good all year,” Milawa coach Mick Newton said.
“The first half was a game of defences, but in the third quarter we ran and carried the ball.”
The margin was 31 points in Milawa’s favour going into the final quarter.
But Glenrowan came home hard and Milawa managed just one point in the desperate finish.
“We probably had more of the play. We had opportunities and we just could not get a goal,” Newton said.
“It was a nervous last five minutes.”
In other games, bad kicking in front of goal was North Wangaratta’s undoing in yesterday’s elimination final against Moyhu at Milawa.
Moyhu had a 10-point lead at half-time and kicked 6.3 for the rest of the game compared to the Hawks’ 3.11.
Whorouly had a tight win against Bright at Tarrawingee.