On a cold and dreary winter afternoon the young Pigeons put together a stirring performance of team football against the more highly fancied Corowa 16s outfit who were sitting in second spot of the table having only lost two games for the year.
The Pigeons were forced to change their structure through injury with Coach Terry Cartwright’s master stroke of moving Alex Lovell on to a wing (from deep forward) having instant success.
Not only was Alex marking everything coming his way, his repeat efforts and efforts to play goal side in defence were a standout and great reward for effort at training where he has kept working his way into form by competing hard.
Harry Meade went back after quarter time stabilising the back six and Sam Mickelson forward in a direct swap.
While perhaps just a rumour, Sam was heard to mutter there may be no ‘I’ in team but there are five in ‘individual brilliance’ and with that he duly slotted five goals in three quarters taking some special contested marks in a match winning display.
However, the game had a number of players stepping up.
Hayden Cartwright played a fine main midfielder’s game. He won the ball both on the inside and outside and marked the ball with authority.
In particular Hayden’s attack on the ball and desperation was a sight to see.
Sam Willett, the skipper, back from a broken arm, showed all in attendance why he was selected as co-captain with a hard running and strong performance.
Alex Byrne rucked with power and authority. His second half unchanged in the ruck was as a good of display of underage ruck play you could hope to see.
While the game had its stars, as games do, the Pigeon game could not be described as characterised by the stars, it was the entire squad performance; a sharing of the load throughout the day.
The backline group played strong and accountable looking to both control their opponent but also run to create when in possession.
The midfield, led by Max Hemphill, focussed equally upon defence as attack. It was their engagement of their opponents that was pivotal in the arm wrestle.
Down forward opportunities were taken, a focus made to play in front and harass the turn over.
It was these underlying fundamentals that brought together this young squad for their best game for the season so far.
This week will be another test taking on the ladder leader at Wodonga.
Goals: S. Mickelson 5, R. O’Kane 4, H. Cartwright, N. Gorman
Best Players: S. Mickelson, H. Cartwright, M. Hemphill, A. Lovel, S. Willett, A. Byrne
Under 14s dominant
A dominant midfield display from Baxter Droop and Will Sexton was the highlight of Yarrawonga’s 33 point victory over Corowa-Rutherglen at JC Lowe Oval on Sunday morning.
Droop was particularly impressive through the middle of the ground by combining good skills and decision making with a willingness to work hard pushing forward and defensively.
Son of a Gun Sexton continues to highlight his class with clean hands, good decision making and good kicking.
Will Connell and Ned Pendergast were both dominant in the rucks while Jett Smith provided drive across the half backline where the young Pigeons were able to generate numerous attacks.
Tyler Norman played his best game for the season while Dylan Martin was lively up forward and across the wings.
Skipper for the day Sam Hemphill was particularly impressive through the midfield with clean handballing a feature of his play.
The forward line despite inaccurate kicking and a world record number of ‘posters’ provided some great highlights with Hudson Gillies and Brendan Ryan both kicking boundary line snaps to lift their teammates and the crowd.
Jyda House continues to hit the scoreboard with strong marking and straight kicking.
The Pigeons head to Wodonga next week in what will be another great challenge for the young team.
Yarrawonga 7.17.59 defeated Corowa Rutherglen 3.8.26
Best: Will Sexton, Baxter Droop, Ned Pendergast, Ben Woodburn, Sam Hemphill, Jett Smith, Zac Banch.
Goals: Jyda House 2, Zac Banch, Hudson Gillies, Ned Pendergast, Brendan Ryan, Will Sexton.
Great effort from the young Pigeons
An outstanding game of team first football was put on display for the crowd at the Junior Rumble on the River game against Corowa Rutherglen on Sunday.
From the very first bounce, the boys worked hard for each other linking up magnificently using the ball quickly giving the wide open forward line time and space to run into.
Hunter Frauenfelder, Darby Pendergast and Geoffrey Montgomery were superb, marking and kicking everything that came their way.
Geoffrey, coming off a long injury spell, kicked the opening two goals of the game setting the tone for the rest of the game.
Dominant ruckman Mac Pendergast provided the midfield brigade first look at the football at every contest.
Silky skills from Xavier Walker, Mitch Loughnan and Harry Barker were a highlight allowing other teammates to get involved in the game.
Nathan Weir provided great run and carry from the wing, pumping the ball deep into the forward line providing numerous opportunities for the boys to take full advantage and hit the scoreboard.
Tom Ryan kicked his first ever goal and celebrated in style. His infectious energy filtered through the team.
Rudi Vodusek stood tall deep in attack taking a fantastic overhead mark, then calmly went back and slotted a well-deserved goal.
Jacob Prestage learnt from last week where the big sticks were and banged home two majors in a quality display.
With so many positives coming from the game the boys were just simply magnificent.
Yarrawonga 17.14.116 defeated Corowa Rutherglen 1.0.6.
Goals: Hunter Frauenfelder 4, Darby Pendergast 4, Geoffrey Montgomery 2, Jacob Prestage 2, Jet Peters 2, Tom Ryan 1, Rudi Vodusek 1, Callum Deoleveira 1
Awards: Geoffrey Montgomery, Daniel Nieuwenhout, Loch Harvey, Jett Peters, Ollie Connell.