Australian rules football: West Gippsland Latrobe Football League Grand Final

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Maffra defeated Moe in the Preliminary Final
Video: Patrick Gillett.
Warragul (player in White and Teal) lost to Maffra (players in Black and Red) in the Under 18's
Image: Patrick Gillett.

Traralgon were defeated by Maffra in the West Gippsland Latrobe Football League (WGLFL) Grand Final at the Recreation Reserve in Morwell, Australia. Both teams defeated Moe to qualify for this match - Traralgon in the major Semi Final, Maffra in the Preliminary Final.

Traralgon finished on top of the ladder after the Home and Away season, earning a week off in week one of the finals. They defeated Moe in the major semi final - their only match in the first three weeks of the finals - by 32 points. Maffra had lost to Moe in the Qualifying Final by 37 points. They recovered in the minor semi final by thumping Leongatha by 74 points before getting some revenge of sorts over Moe in the Preliminary Final, running out winners by 52 points.

Traralgon (Maroon shorts, White numbers) defeated Moe (White shorts, Gold numbers) in the major semi final
Image: Patrick Gillett.

"I think we're as cherry ripe as we can be for a grand final," Maffra coach Graham Robbins said going into the match. "We're pretty even across the board but we've got to get our hands on the footy and move it smartly to our key forwards."

Cquote1.svg We're pretty even across the board but we've got to get our hands on the footy and move it smartly to our key forwards Cquote2.svg

—Maffra coach Graham Robbins on Thursday

Traralgon coach Steve Hazelman said, "We now know we can beat anyone, anywhere, it's just a matter of performance and hopefully everyone can step up. There's lots of team structures that we've worked on all year, so we're just sticking to what we've done and making sure we're switched on for the whole four quarters."

In lower grades, Traralgon lost to Moe in the Reserves. Warragul lost to Maffra in the Under 18's and Traralgon beat Maffra in the Under 16's. The WGLFL is considered one of the "major leagues" controlled by the Victorian Country Football League, the governing body of Australian rules football in regional Victoria.

Scores below are quoted as goals-behinds (total). Goals are worth six points, behinds one

September 19, 2009
2:30 pm (UTC+10)
Traralgon 9-12 (66)
Maffra 7-27 (69)
Recreation Reserve
Morwell, Victoria, Australia
Moe defeated Traralgon in the Reserves Grand Final
Image: Patrick Gillett.

Traralgon and Maffra fought a low scoring opening quarter. The contest went back and forth with both teams kicking one goal each. Maffra lead 1-4 (10) to 1-1 (7). No body could get a clear shot on goal. Maffra created forward pressure time and time again creating a handful of chances. However, Traralgon created their own chances in response.

Traralgon kicked five goals to one to go into the long break by 18 points. At half time, Traralgon 6-5 (41) lead Maffra 2-11 (23).

By the end of the third quarter, Maffra had kicked an inaccurate 6-18 (54) and were behind Traralgons 8-9 (57). One could argue that Maffra should've been well ahead and would've been had they been accurate.

Traralgon lead but conceded a free kick when the final siren went giving Maffra the chance to kick a goal to steal victory. The goal was converted. Final scores Maffra an inaccurate 7-27 (69) to Traralgon 9-12 (66).


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