MARONG won its second game of the Loddon Valley league season on Saturday in a match against Mitiamo that ended early in the third quarter.
The Panthers were leading 6.2 (38) to 4.9 (33) at home when Marong’s Cam Muir was knocked out in the early minutes of the third term following friendly fire from team-mate Cameron Ross as the pair both attacked the ball.
Play continued briefly, with the ball ending up in the hands of Mitiamo’s Jarryd Wiegard, who marked about 30m out with the opportunity to put the Superoos in front.
However, before Wiegard had the chance to take his set-shot at goal the game was halted as a stretcher was brought onto the field for Muir.
An ambulance was subsequently called to attend to Muir, who wasn’t stretchered off and remained on the ground, but with play halted for more than 30 minutes, under AFL laws of the game the match was called off.
And because the game was abandoned in the second half, the result, also under AFL laws, was declared a five-point win to Marong.
Had it been abandoned in the first half – as was the case in Marong’s reserves match against Pyramid Hill the previous week – it would have been a draw.
The Panthers said on Sunday Muir – who kicked one of their six goals – had been released from hospital on Saturday night and cleared of serious injury.
What proved to be a winning score of 6.2 featured the Panthers kicking five goals in the second term after trailing by 17 points at quarter-time.
“We had a really undermanned team today and the boys just battled away… I was proud of the effort of the boys,” Marong coach Damien Lock said.
“I guess it’s a bit of a hollow way to win, but I definitely took a lot out of it in terms of our effort and the way we were able to compete. At the end of the day, we were in front when the game was called off.”
The loss has increased the pressure on Mitiamo, with the Superoos now only percentage inside the top five.
Mitiamo coach Justin Maddern says the Superoos only have themselves to blame for not being in front when the game was called off given their inaccuracy of 4.9, which was five more scoring shots than the Panthers.
Mitiamo’s 4.9 followed on from its 4.14 against Bridgewater the previous week in what was also a defeat where the Superoos had more scoring shots than their opponents.
“We put ourselves in the predicament because we just didn’t capitalise,” said Maddern, who kicked three goals.
“Had we kicked straight in the first quarter (3.5) it probably would have been a different result, but we didn’t and it cost us.”
• Pyramid Hill has climbed from sixth to fourth, and knocked Bears Lagoon-Serpentine out of the top five after beating the Bears in a pivotal game.
The Bulldogs dominated the second half to win 13.16 (94) to 9.14 (68) at Serpentine in what was a game where they produced two contrasting halves of goalkicking.
The Bulldogs had a wasteful 3.12 on the board at half-time when they trailed by nine points.
But they found their radar after the main break, kicking 10.4 to win by 26 points.
“We didn’t do a lot different in the second half, we were just able to execute a lot better in the forward half,” Pyramid Hill co-coach Brad Fawcett said.
“Our first 10 minutes of the third quarter was really good… we got control out of the middle, kicked four quick goals and were able to control the game from there.”
Michael Bateman was one of the match-winners in attack for the Bulldogs, kicking six goals, while young gun Steven Gunther (three goals) again ignited Pyramid Hill with his run and carry.
Ruckman Justin Laird (two goals) and Charlie Gadsden were the best for the Bears, who are now outside the top five for the first time this season.
• Sam Liston in his first senior game of the season kicked five goals for Newbridge as the Maroons took another step towards locking up the double chance with a 74-point win at home over Maiden Gully YCW Eagles.
The Maroons handed the Eagles their sixth loss in a row with the 17.17 (119) to 6.9 (45) result – Newbridge’s biggest win since 2015.
“They made it tough for us in the first half, but we spoke at half-time about working through their pressure and were able to break the game open in the third quarter (7.6 to 1.1),” said Newbridge coach Matt Dillon, who suffered a nasty ankle injury in the first quarter.
As well as Liston’s five goals, the Maroons also had their best player Alex Farrow and Brad Comer kick three each.
The slumping Eagles were best served by Liam Hawkey and Brayden Aitken.
• Bridgewater extended its winning run against Inglewood to 19 games in a row, dishing out a 125-point hiding to the Blues at home.
The Mean Machine produced a strong all-round performance – albeit inaccurate – in winning 20.24 (144) to 3.1 (19) as they continue to gather momentum.
“It was an even performance across the board. We spoke before the game that we’ve been defending well the past few games and wanted to do that again today, as well as get on the end of it down the other end, which we did,” Bridgewater coach Marc Lindsay said.
Bridgewater’s 20 goals were kicked by 13 players, including four to their best, Darren Clutton.
Inglewood’s score of 19 was the lowest in the league since 2015.
Bailey Evans in his first game for the club was best for the Blues, who after trailing 5.9 to 0.0 at the first change have now been outscored 128-2 in their past three opening quarters.