The Hoppers were defeated by top of the table Shepparton East by 36 points at a windy Rennie on Saturday to end a 6 game winning streak.
The home team lost the game early as they were unable to take advantage of first use of the breeze.
Beams, Bigger and Pendergast were solid early but the Eagles’ tall timber and chipping of the ball creatively bought Rennie undone to be down by 17 at the first break.
Term 2 saw the Hoppers lift and a great running goal to Pearn was the highlight as well as the Bayles snap.
Strong defence led by Gallagher and Ednie helped see the lead only stretch to 22.
The Hoppers clawed their way back early in term 3 with 2 goals to debutant McKee, the 30th player to play his first senior game for the Hoppers this season.
Davis was enormous on his wing, Russell was winning on ball and Dykes was fighting like a tiger in the ruck.
The final term saw no drop off by Rennie who ground the game out, but the Eagles were able to kick 4 goals to 1 to win comfortably. Bayles and McKee kicked 2 each.
Awards: Liam Russell and Lach Davis.
The reserves also lost their game early, finding themselves down by 31 at the first break and then not kicking any goals in term 2.
The return of the legend L Wolfe saw him slot into the forward line and snag a couple.
He was well supported by great run and carry by thirds youngster Chilcott who more than backed up his earlier game, Runnalls who exhibited his silky skills and Westwood who when the going gets tough he gets going.
Boults, Joe Ferg, Dicko and Dodge were also solid contributors in the 38 point loss. Still third and 2 games clear.
Awards: Bi Rite Electrical - Zane Chilcott, Yarrawonga Hotel - Leon Wolfe, ClubMulwala - Claye Runnalls, Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Resort - Karl Westwood, Cellarbrations Yarrawonga - Dustin Sugden.
Another super win by a team with many away.
The Hoppers defence kept their opponent goalless in the 97 point victory.
O’Dwyer was the star up forward slotting 5 supported by O Conway with 3.
Around the ground Chilcott was having the first part of a great individual day, Campbell was ubiquitous getting multiple possessions.
Nick Soutter was great in defence and even slotted a goal and Brock Conway performed well.
Again thanks to the many fourths for doubling up and playing well.
Still second but with the draw the way it is the thirds need to keep winning to ensure the double chance.
Awards: Murray Valley Rural Supplies - Charlie Campbell, Intersport Wingates - Zane Chilcott, AXT Plumbing - Josh McInness, Redback Waste - Brock Conway, Arnold Hall Family - Owen Conway, Judd’s Yarrawonga - Joel O’Dwyer.
The youngest Hoppers have again stood tall winning by 66 points and keeping their opponent goalless.
Rennie won the game in the first half as a rampant Tom Kennedy who ended with 5 goals and Daniel Hoskings with 3 dominated the game.
This was another all-round team effort with contributors all over the ground exemplified by Xav Watson who did an excellent job in the backline late in the game.
The fourths 14 out of 15 and clear on top with 3 rounds to go.
Awards: I & P Ferguson - Brody Benjamin, Kennedy Builders - Daniel Hoskings, STF Engineering - Ben Kennedy, Murray Valley Electrical - Cooper Lonergan, Belmores Accounting - Josh McInness, Rennie Catering Committee - Tom Kennedy, Lake Mulwala Bakery - Xavier Watson.
Three homes games in a row is a tough gig so special thanks to all the volunteers whose support is greatly appreciated.
Off to Dookie this week then back to the Mulwala Water Ski Club for awards.