The Pigeons recorded another percentage boosting win against Wangaratta Rovers on Saturday, keeping the Rovers to their lowest score against the Pigeons in their history, finishing with a tally of just 2.6.18 at their home ground.
The win takes the Pigeons to 22 victories since the Rovers last defeated Yarrawonga in 2008 – a satisfying result for those players and supporters of the 70s and 80s.
All of this on the day celebrating Xavier Leslie’s 250th senior game as he became only the second Pigeon player to reach the milestone.
The late and great ‘Pascoe’ Ellis would be thrilled that such a dedicated and brilliant Pigeon is now only 16 games from breaking his games record of 265.
The day belonged to Leslie who played another of his trademark games, gathering 33 possessions and featuring among the better players of which there were plenty.
The big Findlay Oval suited the Pigeons who moved the ball the best they have all season, with plenty of foot and hand delivery that left their opponents flat footed.
Repeating the dose and backing each other up would have pleased co-coaches Kennedy and Sexton.
Jess Koopman maintained his return to form following last week’s nine goals with another four majors taking his season tally to 30 - a big effort for a small forward after 11 games.
Mark Whiley, Logan Morey, Drew Barnes, Lach Howe and the Hargreaves brothers had plenty of the ball and applied the toughness obviously lacking by the Rovers.
Brayden Coburn and Justin Perkins continue to play their roles pleasing the coaches.
However the two outstanding performances on Saturday when to Bronson Schofield and Connor Hargreaves.
Both had an abundance of possessions and their run, tackling and good decision making ensured reward for their hard work.
Final score Yarrawonga 16.20.116 to Wangaratta Rovers 2.6.18.
Let’s be assured the supporters are sure to see more of the same, not only from these two Pigeons but the rest of the team over the coming weeks.
Next week the Pigeons tackle sixth place Magpies on their home turf.
Chronicle Award: 5. Bronson Schofield, 4. Connor Hargreaves, 3. Jess Koopman, 2. Mark Whiley, 1. Lach Howe.
The Reserves boys were on fire after sitting out the forfeit last week, beating Wangaratta Rovers 17.8.110 to 2.4.16.
Reid Clarke, Luke Congram, Jordan Daniel, James Elliott, Dave O’Dwyer, Tyson Schofield, Riley Welsh, Jake Wild and ‘Mr Reliable’ Doug Arnold all displayed great form after long breaks due to injuries and study commitments.
Coach Rich Handreck was happy with their individual performances and pleased to have his side further strengthened by their return.
“I’m pretty happy to have many available and back training with the group,” Handreck said.
“His five goals shows that we have Congram back on deck along with Riley Welsh, on the wing, booting another three goals shows he’s nearing full fitness.”
This was the reserves best win for the season and it was a great team effort but Jayden Gallagher, Ross Mulquiney, Dave O’Dwyer, Luke Congram, Matt Grinter, Riley Welsh, Matt Bourke and Jake Wild were all exceptional contributors on the day.
Goals: L Congram 5, R Welsh 3, D O’Dwyer 2, T Schofield 1, M Grinter 1, I Byrne 1, J Daniel 1, J Gallagher 1, J Whinray 1, M Bourke 1.
Best: R Mulquiney, J Daniel, L Congram, J Elliott, R Welsh, D Arnold.
Despite a final flurry in the last quarter the Under 18s were unable to get the job done against the Wangaratta Rovers.
The first quarter saw the two backlines dominate their forwards.
James Jordon, Kayden Sharp and Darcy Norman were the standouts in the backline keeping the Rovers to a single goal.
Jack Sexton stood tall to get Yarra’s only goal for the quarter.
The Rovers pounced out of the blocks in the second. Their run and accurate delivery saw them add five goals for the quarter.
Matt Casey and Ronan Pritchard both did their best to lift the side with goals but the boys went in 19 points down at the halftime break.
Things did not improve for the boys in the third even with a great goal from the running Macauley Lonergan.
Jake McConachie and Ned Mullins were both working hard through the middle of the ground but the margin increased to 29 points at the last break.
The last however saw the boys hit back hard.
James Jordon was instrumental in Yarra’s fightback and was well supported by Kayden Sharp and Macauley Lonergan.
Matt Casey slotted two great goals along with Tim Lawrence to close the gap to only six points but despite having eight scoring shots to one in the last quarter, the boys could not get over the line.
Yarrawonga 8.9.57 lost to Wangaratta Rovers 9.9.63.
Goals: M Casey 3, T Lawrence 2, R Pritchard 1, M Lonergan 1, J Sexton 1.
Best: J Jordon, K Sharp, M Lonergan, D Norman, N Mullins, J MaConachie.