By Russell Bennett

Poowong has broken its 16-game losing streak to start the EDFL season with a nine-point win over Lang Lang at the showgrounds, 8.5(53) to 6.8(44).
The Magpies were staring right down the barrel of a winless season until Saturday when they opened proceedings with three unanswered goals in the first term against the Tigers.
Lang Lang had the better of Poowong on the scoreboard in the second quarter despite adding just the one major, and the Tigers roared to life in the third – dragging the deficit back to just four points.
But they ran out of steam in the last as the Magpies rallied for a famous first win of 2017.
Conor Cunningham (two goals) was outstanding for the visitors while the likes of Alex Doria and Jaemeel Knecht also shone.
Buln Buln, meanwhile, showcased its finals credentials with an impressive win away to top four side Ellinbank.
The Lyrebirds opened up with four goals in the first term and extended their lead from 11 points at quarter-time to 19 at the half.
They maintained a three-goal advantage with a quarter left to play but the Bankers inevitably made their charge – finishing with three goals to one in the last to fall just a goal short, 10.14(74) to 10.8(68).
Mitch Nobelius was once again outstanding for Buln Buln while Bryce Monahan slotted four goals and player-coach Matt Gray also had a huge impact. Matt Barrand booted three goals for the Bankers while Gray’s counterpart Ben Wragg was also one of his side’s best.
The Warragul Industrials edged closer to the top two courtesy of a 22-point win at Western Park over Catani, 13.7(85) to 8.15(63).
Tye Holland and Tyson Bale (two goals) starred for the Dusties while Corey Nickels snagged five majors up forward.
James Alexander’s impressive run of form continued for the Blues with another standout game, while Antonio Benvenuto, Tanny Rodda and Brandon Scammell also made their presence felt and spearhead Owen Fitzpatrick slotted three goals.
In the other two games of the round, Longwarry was no match at home for Neerim Neerim South – 16.15(111) to 7.12(54) – with Chris Redl (six goals) and Chris Urie (two goals) starring for the Cats; and Nilma Darnum overcame the Saints by just four points at Nyora, 11.11(77) to 10.13(73).
This week, in the final round of the home and away season, Catani hosts Ellinbank at Taplins Road, the Crows head to Buln Buln to take on the Lyrebirds, the Cats host Nyora at Neerim South, the Bombers host the Tigers, and the Dusties head to Poowong to tackle the Pies.


TEAM                            W     L     %            Pts
Neerim Neerim South 16     1     227.71    64
Catani                           14     3     129.66    56
Warragul Industrials   13     4     163.46    52
Ellinbank                      12     5     149.37    48
Buln Buln                      9      8     109.84    36
Longwarry                      8      9      87.28     32
Nilma Darnum                6     11     71.44     24
Nyora                             4     13     69.31     16
Lang Lang                      2     15     52.82      8
Poowong                        1     16     46.37      4

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