The Pigeons gallant attempt to defeat Albury Tigers for the first time since 2013 at their home ground fell short by 19 points.
The Pigeons started well with the midfield delivering plenty of ball in the forward line, but it was the Tigers who capitalised, getting the ball forward through centre clearances and kicking the first four goals of the game.
During this period the Pigeon’s defence were under siege as Albury’s desire for the ball was far stronger. Albury full forward Josh Mellington made the most of his opportunities kicking 3 goals in the first term.
But a fiery finish to the quarter seemed to inspire the Pigeons, nailing home the last 3 goals of the quarter through Symes and Barnes to only trail Albury by 7 points at quarter time.
The game showed just how fierce the rivalry between Yarrawonga and Albury is with plenty of off ball scuffles combined with a vocal crowed on the sideline. The Pigeons work ethic could never be questioned all game with fierce determination to follow the coach’s instruction to keep them in the contest.
After half time, half forward Scott Oswald moved deep into defence to attempt to curtail Albury forward Josh Mellington, who had 5 goals at the main break. Oswald limited Mellington to only 2 more goals. This was a huge performance from Oswald against big odds. Pigeons’ players Mark Whiley, Brayden Coburn, Xavier Leslie, Brandon Symes, Drew Barnes and Jordan Daniel battled gamely to keep the, alive.
A special mention to Pigeon skipper Tyler Bonat who was sensational playing his 200th Ovens and Murray game. It was a gallant effort in his first game back after a horrific injury to his leg. His leadership was outstanding in keeping the Pigeons in the contest.
The game did open up during the final quarter with both sides having the best scoreboard quarters with 5 goals for the Tigers and 4 to the Pigeons. A good solid performance by the Pigeons with indications the sky is the limit now with even stronger motivation to keep the dream alive. This week the Pigeons take on Wodonga Raiders at the JC Lowe Oval.
The Pigeon Reserves, who sit third on the ladder, travelled to the Albury Sportsground to take on the Albury Tigers, who sit second on the ladder, and the Pigeons triumphed by a massive 41 points.
The Pigeons had dominant ruckman in Riley Welsh and David O’Dwyer providing plenty of opportunities to the on ball brigade in Jarryd Whinray, Doug Arnold, Jordan Urquhart and Nick Lawless back from a long injury lay off.
In a tight first half it was Albury who held a slender 2 point lead at the main break.
James Elliot and Reid Clarke kept the Albury forwards in check, enabling Pigeon runners to carry the ball into attack. The second half was all Yarrawonga’s as they continued to open up the margin through slick ball movement.
Score: Pigeons 12.8.80 Defeated Albury 5.9.39
Goals: M Grinter 3, D O’Dywer 2, N Lawless 2, J Gallagher 1, L Congram 1, M Bourke 1, J Whinray 1, J Urquhart 1
Best: Doug Arnold, James Elliot, David O’Dwyer, Riley Welsh, Jordan Urquhart, Jarryd Whinray.
All in all it has been a really good month of Football for the Pigeons, and this week it will be another massive test as they host top of the table Wodonga Raiders.
The U18’s have taken the points against the ladder leaders Albury for the second time this year.
The boys had a slow start with Albury posting the first couple before the Pigeons got going. The backline saw a lot of ball in the first quarter but eventually got on top thanks to the efforts of Isaac McMillan, Kayden Sharp, Lachie Rouel and Beau Zanin.
At the other end Joe Gorman stood tall to post the Pigeons only goal for the quarter and see them go in 12 points down at the first break.
The second quarter saw the team fire up. Two early goals to dominant forward, Ronan Pritchard saw them back in the game.
Onballers Matt Casey, Jake McConachie and Macauley Lonergan had all lifted and were providing plenty of run which set up Tim Lawrence for his first goal.
Down back Zac Smith was repeatedly frustrating the Tiger forwards by intercepting their attacks. At half time the scores were level.
The third quarter turned into a real battle of defences. After losing Kayden Sharp to injury, Brandon Carlin stepped up in the backline winning repeated one on one contests to assist in keeping the ladder leaders goalless for the quarter.
A single goal to Ronan Pritchard saw the boys take a four point lead into the last quarter. The Pigeons backline held the home side goalless, whilst great work from Jack Sexton saw Will Woodburn put through the final quarter’s only goal to see the boys come away with a great win.
Yarrawonga 6.8.44 def Albury 4.9.33