On what was a windy day at Shepparton East, Tungamah persisted for a very tough four quarters to come out winners by seventeen points and take over top position on the Picola & District League ladder with only two games to play in the regular season.
The first quarter was all Tungamah with Chris Oliver winning the hit outs to give first use of the ball to running players in Bodhi Butts, Jim Irvine, Nick Doyle and Drew Haebich.
Brady Hayes was on fire on his wing as was Kade Rowe as they pumped the ball consistently into the forward fifty where Duane Haebich scored two goals along with singles to Brent Chapman and Chris Oliver.
The backline were tough as ever with Dan Clarke keeping close check and Ada Connell running the ball out repetitively. This group were so tight and miserly that Shepp East scored only a single behind for the term giving the Bears a twenty-seven point break at the quarter’s end.
The second term showed how well Shepp East could move the ball on the break and they scored three quick goals in three minutes to be back in the game. Tungamah had plenty of run as well but were not hitting targets and missed a few opportunities through undisciplined bombing into the forward line.
In a rare event the Bears didn’t register a major for the whole term even though the likes of Matt Clark and Ash Saunders were working hard to present and keep the ball inside the fifty metre zone. Shepp East went on to kick another two goals to take in a slim half time lead of four points.
After a bit of half time soul searching the Bears came out to play in the third term with repetitive second efforts by the likes of Leigh Howroyd and Nick Irvine as well as steady defence by Jarrod O’Shea and tackling by Nick Doyle and Brady Hayes. Shepp East were shut down to not score at all for the quarter. Thomas Wilson and Damian Payne delivered into the fifty and late in the term Saunders and Hayes scored to put the Bears eleven points up at the last break.
The scene was set for a tough last term as Shepp East scored in the first minute and Tungamah was kicking to the end that neither side had scored a goal too all day.
The Bears were up to the challenge and continued to run and leave their opponents in their wake and mid- way through the quarter Jez O’Brien scored, with Chapman bagging another four minutes later.
The whole team had lifted and even though playing one man down for the last ten minutes, after an undisciplined act, there was a real maturity in the way the likes of Chris Powell, Hayes, O’Brien, Rowe and company used the short game to run down the clock and secure a well-deserved win.
The challenge now is to try and hang onto top spot by beating Dookie in their last home game next week and Waaia away the week after. Go Bears.
The highly anticipated trip to the south is always fun. The expectation of a good game is always high and it doesn’t get better than a top of the ladder clash.
A hamstring to one of reserves best players in the first ten seconds effected early rotations for the team. In the first ten minutes the game was fought out in the centre and between the two half back lines. The first quarter saw one goal each and a slim lead to Shepp East.
The second quarter was a real battle and Shepp East’s run started to hurt on the scoreboard until Will Kirchen goaled again and Ciccia also scored.
Half time saw some structure changes but two quick goals to Shepp East meant the Bears needed to lift and lift they did with both sides kicking four each.
Kirchen was on fire and a strong target. Richardson was good as was Whykes. Dan Williams started to win in the ruck and we were getting first use in this quarter.
Justin Saunders class and disposal efficiency was starting to impact. As always Shane Thomson Matt Powell and Damo Powell were hard working and impacted on the game. Kirchen goaled again and momentum was going the Bears way in the third quarter. Shane Thomson hit the score board using his strength to shrug a tackle in heavy traffic.
In the last quarter momentum was still with Tungamah and saw Whykes burst from a stoppage and kick a long bomb however the Bears just couldn’t drag back the two goal advantage they gave away early. Shepp East showed why they are on top with scoring options and plenty of run and sound defensive structures.
Best was out of Kirchen, Richardson, Williams, Saunders, Thomson, Whykes, D Powell, M Powell, and Laity.
Final Score 9.10 Shepp East 7.7 Tungamah
Goals: Kirchen 4, Ciccia, Thomson and Whykes.
The young Bears rebounded well over at Shepparton, after last week’s loss to Katandra.
The team played some good footy, led again in the middle by Liam Connell who gave first use of the footy to the on ball brigade.
Will Sharp had a day out, including snagging 5 goals. Lachie Elliott led well from full forward kicking 7 goals up until three quarter time.
Tom Lidgerwood and Blayze Young-Mail were good up forward. The Bears backline was solid again, with Liam Einsporn, Tom Elliott and Jack Clarke good contributors.
Team changes in the last quarter saw Jack Clarke head down forward and he took his opportunity kicking 2 goals.
Dylan Sidebottom played up the ground and made the most of it, as did Jack Ardle. Brandon Einsporn and Wally Thomson also did well. In the end a good team performance and a big win by 133 points.
With two games remaining the Thirds fourth on the ladder, needing results to go their way to get into a top three position.
Final Score: Tungamah 22.13.145 def Shepp East 2.0.12.
Thanks to the award sponsors Yarrawonga Golf Club Resort; Dylan Sidebottom, Crusty Loaf Bakery; Tom Elliott, Tungamah Shop; Jack Ardle. Encouragement Award; Jack Clarke.
The Eagles greeted the Fourths with a cold and slippery ground. True sent the young Bears out with clear instructions and finals in sight.
Again the top aged boys all played well and continually brought the young boys into the game. The younger guys have really stepped up. It’s great to see the team coming together and all the boys keen to contribute.
It was a fantastic team effort with the finals around the corner.
Final Score: Tungamah: 15.11.101 def Shep East: 1.1.7
Goals: Mitch Goldman 4, Jack Costigan 3, Desi O’Kane 3, Oscar Willis 2, Ned Connell 2, Tyler True 1.
Best: Desi O’Kane, Ned Connell, Tanner Irvine, Jack Costigan, Mitch Goldman, Paul Mills.
Awards: Golf Club; Paul Mills. Canteen; Jack Costigan, Tanner Irvine. Tungamah shop; Desi O’Kane, Oscar Willis.