By Trevor Jackson
THE Western Border Football League dominated the 2021 South East Zone football carnival, undefeated through all grades.
The big news this year was the WBFL and Mid South East A Grade sides going head-to-head in a full game, rather than the round-robin type carnival played in recent years.
The result was a strong performance by the WBFL, despite a relatively even contest throughout the game.
After three even quarters, the WBFL held a slender nine-point advantage heading into the final stanza and picked up the pace as the clock wound down.
A dominant five goals, seven behinds to just two major scores in that last quarter saw the WBFL run away with the game and record an impressive victory.
Youngster Colby Munro starred up forward with three major scores for the victors, while Mark Rumbelow and Sam Willis kicked two each.
Only single-figure goal scorers kept the MSEFL board ticking over.
Nick McInerney was at his best for the victors, with his hard-running style of football ideally suited to the representative format.
He was awarded the best player for the WBFL for his efforts.
Sam Wallis was voted best MSEFL player in an impressive game.
Best Under 21 players went to WBFL’s Todd Reid and MSEFL’s Tye McManus.
The game was contested well for the full four quarters, despite the WBFL running out comfortable victors.
Such was the intensity early, it took eight minutes for the first goal to be scored, with Sam McManus putting the MSEFL up.
Clint Gallio showed his hand early and put on an impressive major to take back the lead.
The see-sawing contest continued, as both sides peppered their forward 50s.
Jayden Eldridge was in fine form for the WBFL, finding his East Gambier team mate and co-coach Matt Willson out on the wing regularly.
Nick Lock was equally impressive in the defensive zone and caused the MSEFL plenty of grief as they looked to stay in touch.
Mark Smith and Patrick Mitchell kept the WBFL forwards honest, while Joe Ferguson-Lane had plenty of touches through the mid-field.
Mitch Lowe was a standout for the MSEFL and by the first break just seven points separated the two sides.
A 50-metre goal to Jack Casey provided another major for the WBFL early in second quarter and it appeared they were on target to open the game up.
Lawry Bradley-Brown moved the ball well through the centre and when Frazer Bradley kicked an impressive running goal, the WBFL had stretched the lead to 17 points.
While the result looked ominous, the MSEFL was certainly not done and Dylan Bromley stood tall to goal and keep his side in touch.
A penalty against MacInerney took Mitch Lowe to within a kick of the danger zone.
Lowe found Bromley, who played onto Michael Kruiger with a resulting goal and the margin was back to just six points.
Josh Fiebig tied the scores up early in the third term and again the game was on in earnest.
Willis responded for the WBFL then Ferguson-Lane showed his class with a long goal from the boundary.
A big mark to MSEFL’s Harry Evans had the crowd on their feet and a goal soon after kept the side in touch.
By the final break just nine points separated the two sides.
Jack Skeer goaled for MSEFL inside the first minute of the final term, but MacInerney found Willis on a strong lead inside 50 just a minute later for a goal.
Soon after Gallio hit Todd Lockwood on a lead, who in turn found Kain and another goal resulted, which stretched the margin out to 15 points.
Lockwood showed some real class with an impressive running goal from the boundary and when Munro kicked his third with 10 minutes to play, the game was all-but over, with the WBFL appearing to have a bit more run late in the contest to take control and finish in style.
SOUTH EAST ZONE CARNIVAL RESULTS
A GRADE: Western Border Football League 13.10 (88) d Mid South East Football League 8.6 (54). Goals: WBFL – C. Munro 3, M. Rumbelow 2, S. Willis 2, J. Carger 1, F. Bradley 1, T. Lockwood 1,
B. Kain 1, C. Gallio 1, J. Casey 1; MSEFL – L. Jones 1, J. Skeer 1, D. Bromley 1, S. Mcmanus 1, J. Ferguson-Lane 1, H. Evans 1, M. Krieger 1, J. Fiebig 1. Best players: WBFL – N. McInerney, C. Gallio, L. Powell, J. Eldridge, S. Enderl, T. Reid; MSEFL – S. Wallis, M. Lowe, J. Wallis, D. McElroy, J. Ferguson-Lane.
UNDER 17.5: WBFL 9.3 (57) d MSEFL 0.2 (2). Goals: WBFL – J. Cushion 2, T. Lang 2, H. Gould 2, K. Shanks 1, T. Rayner 1, Z. Hopgood 1. Best players: WBFL – H. Gould, A. McKinnon, J. Domaschenz, E. Redman; MSEFL – J. Maconachie, R. Maconachie, E. Cornish, J. Robertson, J. Bowering, B. Weedon.
WBFL 4.5 (29) d KNTFL 2.2 (14). Goals: WBFL – A. Prosperi-Porta 1, M. Sims 1, J. Cushion 1, H. Gould 1;KNTFL – L. McKenzie 1, B. Pratter 1. Best players: WBFL – R. Cowling, K. Dunn, H. Gould, J. Domaschenz; KNTFL – D. Porter, L. McKenzie, J. Shepherd, S. Thomson, T. Anderson, A. Zerk.
KNTFL 4.7 (31) d MSEFL 1.1 (7). Goals: KNTFL – W. Graetz 1, S. Thomson 1, A. McShane 1, B. Pratter 1; MSEFL – E. Cornish 1. Best players: KNTFL – S. Thomson, E. Murdock, A. McKenzie, D. Porter, T. Anderson, B. Pratter; MSEFL – C. Baker, I. Mulraney, E. Cornish, M. Keane, B. Weedon, E. Bowman.
UNDER 15: WBFL 10.8 (68) d MSEFL 1.1 (7). Goals: WBFL – J. Bowden 2, K. Allen 2, J. Sims 2, H. Wright 2, K. Gibson 1, J. Lawrence 1; MSEFL – M. Robertson 1. Best players: WBFL – J. Lawrence, J. Bowden, K. Gibson, C. Watson, J. Salmon, D. Arthurson; MSEFL – C. Bevan, C. Kelly, M. Robertson.
WBFL 4.4 (28) d KNTFL 2.1 (13). Goals: WBFL – A. Clarke 2, J. Kuhl 1, J. Sims 1; KNTFL – S. Malone 1, F. Watts 1. Best players: WBFL – J. Bowden, A. Clarke, C. Watson, D. Arthurson, D. Harten, J. Kuhl; KNTFL – D. Will, G. Malone, L. Glynn, E. Hocking, C. Brodie, F. Watts.
MSEFL 4.7 (31) d KNTFL 3.1 (19). Goals: MSEFL – K. Bevan 2, C. Kelly 1, D. Richards-Fennell 1; KNTFL – E. Hocking 1, S. Malone 1, L. Glynn 1. Best players: MSEFL – C. Kelly, Z. Bowering, K. Bevan, K. Carter, M. Robertson, O. Fitzgerald; KNTFL – N. Skeer, G. Malone, C. Brodie, L. Glynn, L. McKenzie.