Season Opener – Bairnsdale v Traralgon

The Gippsland League kicked off its season on Easter Saturday with a standalone match as a Dylan Loprese-led Traralgon got the chocolates over Bairnsdale away from home.

With star forward Brett Eddy departing over the offseason, there were some worries about where the Maroons might find their goals.

Well if week one is anything to go by, Loprese might just be the man, kicking seven goals in a virtuoso performance to give the visitors a 16.11 (107) to 10.12 (72) victory.

The Maroons didn't have it all their way as the Redlegs fought to keep them within arm's reach for most of the day, even sneaking to within two goals at three quarter time to have them believing.

They could have been closer, if not for a set shot miss from Bairnsdale’s Jamie Dore minutes before the three quarter time siren.

But come the beginning of the final term, after peppering the goals with some misses, a rolling snap from Harvey Neocleous (three goals) pushed the lead back out and ensured the Maroons would leave Bairnsdale City Oval with the four points.

Outside of Loprese, the Maroons enjoyed strong performances from Tom Hamilton, Jordan Cunico and Tye Hourigan.

Loprese may not kick seven goals every week, but for the Maroons to score 16 goals as a team after losing their best forward would have had coach Troy Hamilton enjoying his Easter that much more.

For Bairnsdale it's back to the drawing board. The Redlegs have recruited heavily, and might just consider this an opportunity lost to stamp their authority on season 2024 and send an early message to the rest of the competition.

Their best included Tyran Rees, Tom Blenheim and Cooper Harvey.

Nick Duck

Warragul & Drouin Gazette


Bairnsdale: 2.4, 4.8, 9.8, 10.12 (72)
Traralgon: 4.3, 8.5, 11.8, 16.11 (107)
GOALS: Bairnsdale: T. Rees 3, L. Byrne-Jones 2, L. Austin 2, J. Bills 1, R. Carstairs 1, C. Harvey 1,
GOALS: Traralgon: D. Loprese 7, H. Neocleous 3, J. Cunico 2, L. Willaton 2, C. Doultree 1, C. Scandrett 1,
BEST: Bairnsdale: T. Rees, T. Blenheim, C. Harvey, B. Vickery, J. Lando, H. Longbottom,

BEST: Traralgon: D. Loprese, T. Hamilton, J. Cunico, T. Hourigan, L. Willaton, H. Neocleous,

SEASON OPENER - Ranking Points

BAIRNSDALERanking PointsDisposalsTRARALGONRanking PointsDisposals
29. Tyran Rees1342226. Dylan Loprese16216
03. Will Mitchell1153730. Tye Hourigan14424
19. Cooper Harvey1012524. Tom Hamilton13121
22. Ethan East901916. Jordan Cunico12826
11. Logan Austin851604. Luis D'Angelo11329
15. Randall Stewart811210. Joel Scholtes10920
17. Kieran Vickery782009. Harvey Neocleous10820
05. Tom Blenheim772120. Liam Willaton8816
23. Link McKenna732305. Chance Doultree8220
01. Lachlan Byrne-Jones661313. Jackson McMahon6520
07. Hugh Longbottom641501. Connor Amber5619
32. Jessie Bills611311. Hugh Dunbar5516
08. Matt Corbett541328. Tate Marsh5114
09. Ricky Tatnell511202. Jacob Van Iwaarden505
06. Byron Vickery48607. Joshua Hamilton417
20. Joshua Lando48717. Connor Little4010
14. Lachlan Cloak431232. Connor Scandrett348
31. Jamie Dore401342. Cooper Brown3310
10. Tate Clay361115. Lucas Tripodi3213
18. Reece Carstairs351508. Kade Marsh329
04. Max East16423. Sammy Hallyburton307
28. Matthew Hamilton14840. Lachlan McDonald103

Evans Petroleum Reserves

Bairnsdale Reserves: 0.4, 3.5, 3.10, 5.11 (41)
Traralgon Reserves: 2.2, 4.4, 5.6, 5.10 (40)
GOALS: Bairnsdale Reserves: O. Clarke 2, H. Cook 1, R. Peters 1, L. Dunkley 1,
GOALS: Traralgon Reserves: J. Cunico 2, J. Macumber 1, J. Mcmillan 1, R. Guiney 1,
BEST: Bairnsdale Reserves: O. Clarke, C. Moresi, D. O'Connor, H. Cook, R. Peters, L. Dunkley,

BEST: Traralgon Reserves: R. Guiney, A. Lovison, P. Akram, T. Anderson, C. Ruyters, L. Hahn,


Bairnsdale Thirds: 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, 5.8 (38)
Traralgon Thirds: 1.2, 5.3, 8.6, 11.6 (72)
GOALS: Bairnsdale Thirds: J. Saulle 1, R. Cullinan 1, O. Emmett 1, M. Neate 1, C. Cook 1,
GOALS: Traralgon Thirds: B. Burrows 3, O. Haberl 2, R. Rutter 2, C. Booth 2, J. Zappulla 1, E. Roscoe 1,
BEST: Bairnsdale Thirds: T. Matthews, R. Cullinan, J. Saulle, O. Emmett, C. Cook, H. McGuinn,

BEST: Traralgon Thirds: E. Roscoe, R. Peavey, B. Burrows, H. Little, R. Rutter, O. Haberl,


Bairnsdale Fourths: 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0 (0)
Traralgon Fourths: 6.2, 10.7, 15.10, 22.12 (144)
GOALS: Bairnsdale Fourths:
GOALS: Traralgon Fourths: S. Wight 4, J. Murdoch 3, L. Macumber 3, H. Leech 2, B. Stevenson 2, H. Connolly 1, F. Gore 1, O. Wilkins 1, J. Taylor 1, A. Woodall 1, L. Hooper 1, K. Thorley 1, W. Hamilton 1,
BEST: Bairnsdale Fourths: B. Nugent- Brown, L. Desio, X. Cook, H. McGuinn, S. Buckley, C. Hughes,
BEST: Traralgon Fourths: A. Woodall, C. Tatchell, S. Wight, B. Adams, L. Macumber, O. Wilkins,