The Hoppers had a convincing 46 point win over finals aspirant Waaia at Rennie on Saturday.
The first half was a slog as both team defences were on top and only 6 goals were kicked. Pendergast and Oughton were winning the clearances for Rennie with the backline of Luke Ednie and Brooks was holding the Bombers attack at bay.
All changed after the long break as the Hoppers had an 8 goal term, led by Strawhorn and Sudholz up forward, Beams providing the linkup play and Davis and Fountain pressuring the Waaia defenders when they had the ball.
Rennie took their foot off the pedal in the last term which will give coach Ednie some ammo to throw at them during the week, but the win guaranteed a top 3 spot with 1 game left after 2 winless seasons.
Strawhorn kicked 4 and Sudholz 3. Best players were Pendergast, Beams, L Ednie and Brooks.
The reserves had control all day but were never able to truly shake a persistent Waaia, but eventually won by 27 points.
Again the Hoppers were well served by whippet Fitzpatrick who feasted on the aerial skills of Jack and Ben Welsh.
Joe Ferg was hard as a cat’s head at half back, Dishot nobody picks up and he keeps on getting kicks and Nishy was at his piggy best. Sam Ferg snagged 4, Ryan and Fry 2 each.
Awards: Bi Rite Electrical - Jack Welsh, Yarrawonga Hotel - Ben Welsh, Club Mulwala - Adam Nish, Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Resort - Andrew Dishot, Cellarbrations Yarrawonga - Joe Ferguson.
The thirds were again strong this week, winning by nearly 20 goals.
They controlled the play all day and a highlight was 6 multiple goalkickers with Jack Kennedy and Owen Conway with 4 each and McCabe, Chilcott, O’Dwyer and Nick Soutter 2 each.
Around the ground it was the work of Bott and Brock Conway who set up their teammates up field with Chilcott continuing his stunning form.
A chance to test themselves against the undefeated top team next week.
Awards: Murray Valley Rural Supplies - Zane Chilcott, Intersport Wingates - Jack Kennedy, AXT Plumbing - Brock Conway, Redback Waste - Brock McCabe, Arnold Hall Family - Nick Soutter, Judd’s Yarrawonga - Will Bott.
The youngest Hoppers had a major reality check going down to Waaia by 12 points.
Rennie led through the first half but a 3 goal to none third term gave the Bombers the lead which they deservedly held.
Although the Hoppers will finish top if they win next week they need to learn to put 4 quarters together.
They have also kicked more points than goals for the season and need to rectify this going into finals.
Awards: I & P Ferguson - Brody Benjamin, Kennedy Builders - Charlotte Donovan, STF Engineering - Dom McInness, Murray Valley Electrical - Josh McInness, Belmores Accounting - Zac Forge, Rennie Catering Committee - Axel Doherty, Lake Mulwala Bakery - Joe Lee-Conway.
Off to Katandra next week then back to the Yarrawonga Hotel to celebrate all four footy teams and a host of netball teams making finals.