Lions deliver solid performanceMulwala has moved into fourth place on the Murray League ladder after a rousing 44 point victory over Echuca United.
Trailing at quarter time, Mulwala dominated the final three quarters and kept Echuca to a measly five goals for the game.
Early on it looked as if Echuca was going to be too strong and too fast with players controlling the corridor and finding multiple avenues to goal.
A late rally and a bullocking goal from the man giant, Hamish Hosking, kept Mulwala in touch at the first change as Coach Tout urged his charges to take the game on.
The boys responded in style as the entire team lifted.
Damien Cook and brother Nathan controlled the half back line, rebounding the ball for the runners in Dale Powell and Jackson Weir.
Suddenly Mulwala was dominant as goals to Froud, Sean Robinson and Ross Anasaldi had the Lions firing.
Without his co-captain Jackson Gash, Josh Hammond more than fulfilled the role with the complete game.
Strong in the air, his intercepting marks, tackles and runs down the wing were the catalyst as Mulwala went to the main break with a handy 14 point lead.
Underdogs before the game, Mulwala now faced the proposition of keeping their heads and holding the lead.
The job was made easier with Beau Clarke in magical touch.
His aerial marking was incredible for someone just returning from a broken hand as he dominated at centre half forward.
Hamish Hosking threw himself into every contest and was rewarded with another goal, this time showing his nimble footwork with a kick off the ground.
Tom Dow was once again everywhere as he continued his brilliant form; his balance and vision were all class as he made the most of Harry Crossley’s midfield work to kick a terrific goal.
Determined to finish the game in style, Mulwala’s backline stuck to its task in the last term with a superb display of hard tough defence combined with daring run and dash.
Angus Shand, Connor Sanderson and James Wilson beat their opponents but were also crucial in rebounding the ball.
Dylan Robinson wound back the clock with a bit of a hanger but was outdone by fellow 200 gamer Nathan Parker.
With the contest still on, half way through the last quarter Nathan Parker took a towering pack mark and duly converted from 20 meters to seal the win.
Mulwala was not done however, as Tom Dow kicked one from the boundary and celebrated in style, before Ash Froud kicked his second to cap a memorable win.
With every player contributing, Mulwala found it almost impossible to pick its best players.
The challenge for Mulwala will be to maintain the form as they take on Tongala and Nathalia with two home games on the trot.
ReservesThe script has been all too familiar this year for the Mulwala Reserves.
Undermanned with a couple of veterans filling in and a heap of thirds kids stepping up, they were beaten convincingly by Echuca.
With the scoreboard irrelevant however, there was plenty of positives to come out of the game.
Jason Sanderson was ageless as he found plenty of the ball and created opportunities for his younger team mates.
With Jack Diamond returning for a decent run, the youngster was a real leader on the field and his chase down tackle was Mulwala’s best moment of the first half.
Tom Tout was another who found the footy up forward and through the midfield, the classy youngster is a future star and capped his game with a long range goal.
Returning after knee surgery, Nathan McNair’s day ended early after a courageous spoil running back with the flight into a huge pack which led to him jarring the same knee.
Charlie Magro, moving into the ruck after brother Joe limped from the field, was enormous with his left foot 40 metre pass another highlight.
Lachy Orr once again demonstrated why he has the respect of every player and supporter with his fearless approach crucial in protecting his younger team mates.
Kane Fisher, Kyle Loomes and Cooper Chung all had their moments to shine as the young boys threw their bodies in and provided the run that the old boys could not.
Corey Lindsey, who is a regular in the twos, played with tremendous spirit and was still running and yapping away deep into the last quarter.
The strength of Chris Burgess, Ash Gove and Ian Glass was telling and just by pulling on the boots they made a huge difference.
Every Mulwala player walked off the field with their head held high as they scoreboard failed to recognise the tremendous triumph that was felt by the players who battled their hearts out, many who were playing their second game for the day.
ThirdsMulwala fought bravely in the thirds but were ultimately no match for Echuca, losing by 12 goals.
Without star Cody Howard, Mulwala started brightly and matched Echuca for most of the first quarter.
Goals to Lachie Wood and Cooper Chung had everyone up and about with Dylan Leadingham and Ricky Walker dominating the midfield.
With a couple of missed opportunities Mulwala went to the first change only five points down.
It was one-way traffic after quarter time with Mulwala unable to hit the score board for the rest of the game.
Tom Tout was terrific in defeat and once again used the ball with precision.
Robert Wilson took several strong marks and was well supported by Jordan Cook who persevered in the ruck.
Two of the younger boys in Tanner Nyholm and Kyle Loomes showed moments of brilliance and won their positions.
With a couple of injured players not far away from returning Mulwala will look to bounce back this week at home against Tongala.
FourthsMulwala faced the might of Echuca and even though the scoreboard showed one way traffic, the spirit and fight of the Mulwala kids was inspirational as they battled right up till the final siren.
The improvement of the Adkins boys, Miller Sanderson and Rhys Burgess was clear to see as they competed with their taller rivals.
The boys also celebrated hard when Dillon Kirchen kicked Mulwala’s only goal during the last quarter.
The usual suspects in the Psaltiras twins, Flynn Fletcher, Sam Davis and Connor Phibbs as always played with huge hearts and provided a number of terrific highlights.
Young guns help Pigeons across the lineThe Pigeons unleashed two new debutants for their match against the Raiders and the crowd were all eyes on Bailey Frauenfelder and Isaac McMillan and second senior-gamer Matt Casey, all up from the under 18s.
These boys didn’t disappoint and acquitted themselves brilliantly for all four quarters.
Isaac McMillan made grandparents and YFNC Life Members Norm and Joan McMillan very proud on his debut.
Coming from good football stock, Isaac’s father Graeme was part of the 1989 premiership side and with his wife Christine (nee Hargreaves) have been great contributors both on and off the field for many years at the YFNC.
Frauenfelder also had his family standing tall when he landed two majors for the Pigeons in the first half.
Casey may not have added any goals to his own tally but he was a significant contributor to many across the game.
The Pigeons proved to be too tough and determined right from the first bounce and displayed a big lift from last week’s performance against the Bulldogs.
McMillan was the ‘one-handed wonder’ taking some awe inspiring marks for the game and adding two impressive goals to the Pigeons score.
Matt Gorman and Mark Whiley had their opponents running from behind and grabbed plenty of the ball, pushing it forward from the midfield.
Brad O’Connor, Drew Barnes and Nick Lawless maintained a physical and decisive presence along the forward line kicking nine between them.
Unfortunately O’Connor was reported late in the final quarter putting doubt into what could be his 100th senior game against Lavington for the Queen’s Birthday round.
Young guns Brady Pritchard, Connor Hargreaves and Damon Hemphill continued to play a positive brand of attacking football contributing to the well-earned win 16.9.105 to 7.12.54.
The Pigeons against Lavington at the Grove this weekend is promising to be a beauty. Possibly O’Connor to play his 100th and club champion Marcus McMillan runs out to play his 200th senior game to join the 200 Club at Yarrawonga alongside the late Pascoe Ellis and Oscar Ryan, Russell Ednie, Xavier Leslie and the little champ Craig Ednie.
Chronicle Award: 5. Connor Hargreaves, 4. Mark Whiley, 3. Brady Pritchard, 2. Drew Barnes, 1. Brad O’Connor.
ReservesMaybe it was the frosty morning start and the long drive to Wodonga but the Pigeons were off their usual game remaining scoreless at the first break.
With plenty of new faces Yarra were often second to the ball and this was clearly showing on the scoreboard.
Even by the half time break Raiders had kicked away to have a firm lead of 35 points making it a hard second half start for the Pigeons.
Matt Grinter, Marcus Hargreaves, Xavier Kennedy, Will Robinson and Jarryd Whinray did work tirelessly for the Pigeons. Lucky for Yarra the Raiders were off their mark kicking two goal five in the third.
The Pigeons best was kept to the final quarter where cohesion and aggression was best administered but it was all too late and the Raiders were the clear winners 12.16 88 to 5.6 56.
Goals: M Hargreaves 2, I Byrne 1, M Grinter 1, L Congram 1.
Best: M Hargreaves, T Hargreaves, J Elliott, R Mulquiney, M Grinter, X Kennedy.
The Under 18 side failed to fire this week against a side that was switched on and keen for a win.
The first half started as a battle of the backlines.
Despite good passages of play Yarrawonga was not able to penetrate the Raiders defences until Ronan Pritchard was able to crumb a loose ball and score the first for the game.
The Pigeons defence was up to the task with Troy Bryce leading the way but being ably assisted by Clay Woodward, Lachie Rouel and Kayden Sharp.
Scores were level at eight points apiece at the first break.
The second saw Darcy Norman score an early goal, the only one for the quarter.
Again Yarra’s backline stood strong and kept the home side goalless, giving the Pigeons a five point lead at the main break.
The third saw the boys come under real fire. Raiders got on top in most areas across the ground.
Alex Byrne, Will Woodburn, Ely Smith and Ned Mullins did their best to keep the side in the game but when Macauley Lonergan kicked the side’s only goal for the quarter, the Pigeons found themselves 17 points down going into the last.
Alex Byrne, in a best on ground performance, helped set up Jake McConachie for a goal early in the final quarter to give the side some hope but it was all to no avail.
Wodonga Raiders proceeded to pile on the next four goals, which could have been more if not for the defensive efforts of Troy Bryce.
Yarrawonga 4.5.29 lost to Wodonga Raiders 9.10.64
Pigeons topple ScotsThe Yarrawonga Pigeons have highlighted their depth of talent with a number of bottom age players starring in their win over Scots School in perfect conditions in Albury.
A sunny morning greeted the Pigeons faithful as a number of top age players were rested to allow for the ongoing development of all members of the squad.
Dylan Martin, Max Mickelson, Ethan Byrne and Kobi Gallagher all thrived on the extra time through the middle of ground and in the forward line.
Gallagher was particularly impressive in the forward half kicking two goals, birthday boy Max Mickelson demonstrated his running power with two goals from half forward while Byrne and Martin demonstrated good skills, effort and running power.
Experienced players Will Wheaton, Zac Banch and Jett Smith were dominant across the day, Smith particularly impressive both as a midfielder and when positioned across half back in the second half.
Zac Fraser benefited from extra time in the midfield gathering numerous possession while Olly Ridley, Hudson Gillies, Sam Hemphill and Caleb Mitchell continue to impress with their attack on the ball, decision making and skill level.
The Pigeons will enjoy a two week break before resuming their season Sunday 25 June against Corowa.
Yarrawonga 14.9.93 defeated Scots 7.5.47
Best Players: Will Wheaton, Zac Fraser, Jett Smith, Zac Banch, Caleb Mitchell, Max Mickelson,
Goals: Caleb Mitchell 3, Max Mickelson 2, Zac Banch 2, Will Wheaton 2, Kobi Gallagher 2, Hudson Gillies, Thomas Gorman, Fletcher Wallden, Max Williams 1.
Under 16s blow Scots awayA nine goal first quarter on a perfect postage stamp of a ground at Scots College saw the Yarrawonga Under 16s return to the winners list.
Their season is now balanced at 4 and 4 after 8 games.
Hayden Cartwright and Jordyn Studd were dynamite early, clearing the middle and feeding the forwards.
Before the game a real focus was placed onto the start and Hayden and Jordyn executed, swinging the game to the Pigeons.
Also up forward Sam Mickelson was a standout target and along with Riley O’Kane controlled the forward half.
With an early injury to Alex Lovell, Nick Gorman was required to fulfil the ruck duties for the day and his efforts to continue to persist throughout the day were rewarded with a goal and a number of quality possessions.
Tom Adkins and Zac Webster were solid around goal and down back, but in a rare move forward for Zac he was (he says) robbed of a third goal.
Henry Lonergan was outstanding at fullback and although outsized defended at all times with eyes on the ball and won a battle well out of his weight division.
Special mention must be made of Riley, Jordyn and Sam who competed well in the opposition jumper for a quarter each. The trio showing great sportsmanship and leadership (with the Pigeon side rotating some players through Scots after quarter time).
With the season ladder very close, every game going forward is vital for the young pigeons. It is an even competition where anything can happen.
There is a bye this week but the side will play an informal match following the senior game versus Lavington Saturday at the JC Lowe Oval.
Goals: R. O’Kane 4, H. Cartwright 3, S. Mickelson 3, J. Forge 3, Z. Webster 2, T. Woodward 2, A. Lovel, S. Trewin, Z. Burns, T. Adkins, N. Gorman.
Best Players: H. Lonergan, T. Adkins, J. Spain , M. Hemphill, N. Pendergast, N. Gorman.
Tough day for Pigeon girlsIt was cold when the Pigeon girls ran out on the field late Saturday afternoon and it was evident from the start the Raiders had the home ground advantage.
It was a low scoring start before the lights went on for the girl’s first twilight game and the Pigeons remained scoreless at the first break with the Raiders having a ten point lead.
By half time the Raiders had pushed the margin out to 42 points and it was always going to be a struggle from Yarra to come back from there.
Tackling was on point by the Raiders defence and although the Yarra forwards tried to capitalise at every opportunity, Raiders converted any turnover and scored.
Courtney Sexton worked hard across the middle constantly chasing the upskilled Raiders.
Heidi Murray used her height to advantage and Sarah Ryan never game up.
Finlay Nyholm had her work cut out for her among the dominant Raiders forward line but she pushed them to work harder just the same.
Stella Mulquiney grappled with her opponent and Elise Freeman took some good overhead marks.
But overall Yarrawonga found it hard against the Raiders who capitalised with their confidence and strong attacking skills, pushing accurately forward to their goal end.
Final score Raiders 9.10.64 to Yarra 0.0.0.
It was a disappointing finish but the girls were thankful for the support shown by the Yarra cheer squad who stayed back in the cold to cheer them on.
The girls will concentrate on training over the next couple of weeks with no junior games being played this weekend but will head to Whorouly for their next game against Alpine Lions on June 18.