Koopman opened up the match with a classy kick through goal only 34 seconds from the first bounce, however the Wangaratta Magpies weren’t deterred and played out the first quarter wanting to maintain a top ladder position. Scoring kicks were seven a piece at the end of the first.
Koopman and O’Connor looked dangerous early and went on a goal rampage, kicking a bag of 10 between them.
Gorman won plenty of possession as a result of his skill, speed and endurance.
Cooper’s return to senior football was welcomed along with his great marking skills and knack for putting the ball to good use, resulting in a major to add to his stats.
Whiley’s performance across the midfield was second to none. His possession and use of the ball gave the forwards plenty to receive.
Connor Hargreaves rattled the Maggies forwards and Seymour and O’Sullivan’s intercepts gave plenty of opportunity for Schofield and Pritchard to take the ball forward.
Barnes’ goal from 55 metres was a true demonstration of his typical performance on any day, let alone marking the significance of his 150 game milestone.
Co-Coaches Kennedy and Sexton were pretty happy with his “true grit” performance which pleases the crowd at every game.
Although coming from behind at each break, Wangaratta persisted all game and their use of the ball had the Pigeons on their toes.
The Pigeons may have had the game in hand but the Maggies wouldn’t let them dominate as they had the round prior against Rovers.
The final score showed the true endeavour of the Pigeons to keep their spot on top of the Ovens & Murray leaderboard.
Next week the Pigeons head to Corowa on Sunday.
ReservesThirds players Matt Casey, Jake Maconachie and Troy Bryce did a stellar job for the Pigeons Reserves on Saturday when they were called up to bolster numbers against the Wangaratta Magpies.
It was also history repeating itself, with 2006 senior premiership players Dallas Gallagher, Tim Hargreaves and Marcus McMillan uniting once again and veteran Gallagher showed the crowd he’s still up for it, even booting a goal.
It was a solid win for the Pigeons having claimed four from four and sitting comfortably second on the ladder.
The unfurling of the 2016 Premiership Flag before the game was a proud moment for Rich Handreck, and one his boys will be striving to achieve again.
In their 2017 Anzac Day commemorative jumpers, Yarrawonga dominated throughout the game giving young Matt Casey opportunity to bag six of his best for the match.
To their credit Wangaratta never gave up but, even low in numbers, the Yarrawonga reserves were too strong for the Maggies outfit.
Goals: M Casey 6, Tim Hargreaves 5, M McMillan 4, D Gallagher 1, I Byrne 1.
Best: M Casey, Tim Hargreaves, M Athanitis, M McMillan, W Robinson, B Smith, Marcus Hargreaves and J Urquhart.
Under 18sThe Yarrawonga Under 18 Pigeons unfurled last year’s premiership flag at this week’s first home game but unfortunately it was not enough to inspire the boys to get over a quality Wangaratta Magpies outfit.
Both sides struggled for early ascendency with the ball carrier being under pressure at all times. This resulted in poor conversion rates for both sides in front of goal and numerous turnovers.
The close contest saw the Pigeons down by two points at the first break.
The second quarter was more of the same but it was Wangaratta who steadied late in the quarter to give themselves a 21 point lead at the half.
The third saw the coaches shuffle the key position players to great effect.
Macca Lonergan set the standard for the Pigeons with his attack on the ball and the youngest player in the side, Jack Sexton, provided great run and drive.
The back line stepped up, led by Ned Mullins, whose courageous defensive acts kept the strong Magpie forwards to only one point for the quarter. This gave the young Pigeons a two point lead going into the last.
The game opened up in the last quarter with more goals kicked than in the previous three quarters.
Darcy Norman and Ely Smith did all they could to get the Pigeons up and Beau Zanin’s intercept marks were inspirational. Unfortunately it was all to no avail as the Magpies ran out winners by 17 points.
Yarrawonga 7.12.54 defeated by Wangaratta 10.11.71